You may be surprised to learn that Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL is home to the largest collection of structures designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright – 13 structures to be exact. The Usonian House was the last structure built and it is adjacent to the college’s Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center (the school’s visitor center).
Visitors can tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian House on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland.
Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House
Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Usonian House in 1939 as one of twenty faculty houses. Usonia was a word used by the architect to his vision for the United States, including the planning of cities and buildings. USONIA – United States of North America and therefore Usonian refers to the residential portion of this vision.
Tour the Usonian House
We stopped by the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center one afternoon just as a small Usonian House tour was about to begin and we were invited to come along. Paul, our tour guide, gave us a brief history of how Wright came to design the “Temple of Education in Florida.” Before entering the house, Paul gave us Wright’s ideas about home design and pointed out the significance of a few exterior details we were passing by.
Paul (Tour Guide), Laura (Visit Central Florida's Social Media Coordinator), Paul and Connie Appier (Visitors from Northern Illinois)
Touring the home was an exceptional experience. Wright’s use of natural light, low ceilings, minimalist furnishings, color and lines were explained during the hour-long tour. Inside the house, visitors have an opportunity to watch “Florida Southern College, Frank Lloyd Wright’s American Campus,” a short video that restarts every thirty minutes.
Tours of the home cost $10.00 per person and are offered daily. In addition to touring the house, visitors can sign up for other tours.
It begins inside the Tourism and Education Center with a description of Mr. Wright’s vision for the campus and the unique method of construction he chose for the site. After leaving the Center you will walk across the campus as the docent tells the story of each of the Wright designed structures, including the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, the Danforth Chapel, and the Usonian House to explore their beauty from within. This is a 90-minute tour.
Includes everything from the basic tour and then takes visitors inside all of the structures where possible. This is a 2.5-hour tour.
Behind the Scenes Tour
This tour takes visitors to spaces not included on any other tour, including the interior of the only planetarium designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This is a 3.5-hour tour and reservations are required.
Wright After Dark Tour
This new tour allows visitors to see Wright’s structures lit by artificial light. It is hosted on the 2nd Friday of each month at 7:00 p.m. This is a 90-minute tour and reservations are required.
Reservations are strongly recommended for every tour as guests arriving the day of the tour will be accommodated based on tour guide availability.
Want to know more about Frank Lloyd Wright’s collection in Lakeland? Here’s a few other pages to visit: