For nearly nine decades, Taliesin, the architecture school founded by Frank Lloyd Wright on a campus he and his students designed from the ground up, has been an iconic mainstay in the architecture community. There’s even a lego-like building kit of its Arizona location (Taliesin West) for FLW admirers to assemble themselves. Yet all good things must come to an end. After what it described as a gut-wrenching decision, the school announced it will close after the current semester.
The School of Architecture at Taliesin couldn’t reach an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation–the organization in charge of preserving the legendary architect’s namesake–to continue operating the school, according to a press release.
"The closure of the school is very emotional for our students, our faculty and staff and all of us who worked so hard for this one-of-a-kind institution and its important role in Frank Lloyd Wright's legacy,” Dan Schweiker, a chairperson on the school’s board of governors, said in the release. “We did everything possible to fight for its survival but due to other forces it was not meant to be.”
The school was originally named the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. It was renamed in 2017 when it formally broke away from the foundation, which maintained ownership of the school’s premises.
About 30 students are currently enrolled, and they split their time between FLW's former homes at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The school is working with The Design School at Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts to help students who currently attend transfer and finish out their degrees.
The foundation said the school didn’t have a solid business model to stay open, but it was willing to let second- and third-year students finish out their degrees, according to a statement given to Architect Magazine. Unfortunately, that wasn't approved by the full board.
On the bright side, the foundation said it will keep Taliesin West and Taliesin open so that visitors can experience FLW’s homes and work space. They also plan to introduce new educational programs for adults and kids alike.
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