Florida Southern College
Visitor's Center & Usonian House
The Visitor's Center at Florida Southern College, known as the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, is comprised of three distinct parts. The Usonian Faculty House provides the visitor with an introduction to Frank Lloyd Wright and his design principals used throughout his buildings on the campus. The Gift Shop is where visitor's begin their tours and can shop for Frank Lloyd Wright merchandise. The landscape and landscape features organize the four parcel site into distinct zones that help educate visitor's to Wright's residential design principles. The project was divided into three phases: Phase One was the new Usonian Faculty House, an adaptive use of an existing bungalow for the Gift Shop, the entry ramp and fountain lantern. Phase Two included a new entry sign. Phase Three will complete the project and include a hanging planter, trellis, plantings, and a reflecting pool.
The Usonian Faculty House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939, took 74 years to complete. This house was to be the first of an entire neighborhood of homes designed specifically for Florida Southern College faculty. The house never got past the review board of a federal lending agency because of its stark departure from other homes of that era. MCWB was tasked with taking Wrights original drawings and our expertise, and finishing the work. The house is now part of the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center to the Frank Lloyd Wright campus. MCWB has gained invaluable knowledge with the construction of this house that is being used to restore Wright's other works on the campus.