Florida Southern College
Campus Heritage Plan
Wright conceived the campus as a series of long low esplanades “that occasionally became a building”. All of the structures feature decorative cast-in-place concrete combined with Wright’s signature “textile blocks”; hand formed precast blocks only three inches thick. After over fifty years of continuous use, Wright’s buildings have suffered in a variety of ways, ranging from structural settlement to unsympathetic mechanical system insertions to inappropriate use. These and other issues have contributed to the general erosion of the architectural quality of Wright’s work, and the Florida Southern College administration has set a course to reverse this pattern by preparing a Getty Foundation-funded Campus Heritage Plan.
This plan, which was completed in the fall of 2007, recorded changes made to the buildings and their landscapes since their construction and made recommendations as to how to re-establish Wright’s vision for the campus while meeting the modern needs of the college. The master plan has provided clear and concise recommendations for future interventions related to Wright’s buildings and their landscapes. These recommendations were based on building fabric priorities and specific priorities of the college.
The Campus Heritage Plan marked the occasion that for the first time the remarkable archives at both Florida Southern College and Taliesin were merged. This merger will now enable future researchers to obtain a complete picture of the story of the design and construction of the campus, and includes all of Wright’s architectural drawings, hundreds of photographs and letters, telegrams and an array of other material. This archive has already proven to be invaluable during the initial restoration work occurring on the campus.