Frank Lloyd Wright Spire – Scottsdale, Arizona - Atlas Obscura

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Frank Lloyd Wright Spire

Originally conceived as part of a proposed Arizona State Capitol building in the 1950s, this structure built in 2004 stands as a monument to the architect's legacy. 

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This 125-foot tower was part of a design that architect Frank Lloyd Wright proposed in 1957 as Arizona’s new State Capitol in Papago Park. Called “The Oasis,” Wright’s vision included a canopy of honeycombed glass and a delicate spire atop each of the three wings. At the time, the design was rejected by Arizona for being too “modern,” and for many years it sat as one of the hundreds of Wright designs that were never implemented. 

But in 2004, the Promenade Scottsdale wanted a focal point for its shopping center. Working with one of Wright’s apprentices, Arnold Roy, they resurrected the tower elements from the design, and built one on the corner of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road.

The tower is constructed from 1,700 individual pieces of steel and weighs 75,000 pounds. The colors of the spire were chosen to represent the colors of turquoise and copper ores that are very prevalent throughout the Arizona landscape. Internal LED lighting turns on each night. It sits amongst several Wright design elements including a pavilion, reflecting pool, and sculpture park containing pieces by Heloise Crista, who joined the  Taliesin West collective in 1949 and continues to sculpt.

The surrounding buildings have incorporated several classic elements of Frank Lloyd Wright’s style, including Tree of Life glass windows in restaurants, Wright-inspired gates on several physical plant areas, and even a Wright-inspired bus stop. The spire is about 10 miles south of Taliesin West, the winter home that Wright established in 1937.

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