World famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, left his mark on Lakeland with his incredible 13-structure collection at Florida Southern College. If you have a love for history, architecture, or all-things-beautiful, make plans to visit the college during your next visit to Central Florida.
Temple of Education in Florida
Back in 1938, the president of Florida Southern College reached out to Frank Lloyd Wright and asked for the architect’s assistance. The president’s vision for the school was Temple of Education in Florida. and the structures Wright designed are still considered unmatched and futuristic today.
Though Frank Lloyd Wright made designs for 18 structures, only 12 were completed during his lifetime. The Usonian House was built in 2013.
When you arrive at Florida Southern College, your first stop should be the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center. The Center will provide you with an overview of Wright’s relationship with the College.
GEICO Gift Shop
The Gift Shop is located inside the Visitor Center. The Shop sells books, art, souvenirs and so much more.
Read more about the GEICO Gift Shop.
The Usonian House was built using Wright’s original 1939 design and is located next to the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center. During a tour, you’ll see inside one of Wright’s 20 faculty houses.
Read more about touring the Usonian House.
The Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation
The Princeton Review dubbed Florida Southern College as “The Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation.”
That’s right – the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture is in Central Florida and this contributes to Florida Southern College’s positive appraisal from sources of all kinds. Many of Wright’s followers from all over the world visit the college each year to admire his rare structures. Even Central Florida visitors who are unfamiliar with his work appreciate his incredible art and enjoy educating themselves on the topic by joining a tour of the campus.
Probably the most successful way to view Wright’s work is on any of the seven tours offered. Even if you were born and raised in Central Florida, one of these tours can change your whole perspective.
This tour is as simple as purchasing a self-guided tour map and strolling through the campus at your leisure- perfect for those of you who enjoy stopping to smell the roses.
Usonian House Tour
These tours offer an inside view of the recently completed Usonian House. Also, every half hour you can view the film “Florida Southern College: Frank Lloyd Wright’s American Campus.”
Read about our Usonian House tour experience.
Become knowledgeable on Wright’s vision for the campus and his method of construction during this 60-minute tour. An experienced tour guide will tell you the story behind each one of Wright’s unique buildings.
This popular 2.5-hour tour is the same as the basic tour with the inclusion of more time to explore the inside of the building and a more detailed description of the abstract structures.
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.
Tours meet and tickets are sold at the GEICO Gift Shop, inside the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center , at 840 Johnson Avenue. The Center is closed for Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.