Child of the Sun

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Florida Southern College
Architectural District
Lakeland FSC Pfeiffer Chapel01.jpg
Pfeiffer Chapel, 2009
Child of the Sun is located in Florida
Child of the Sun
Child of the Sun is located in the United States
Child of the Sun
LocationLakeland, Florida, United States
Coordinates28°1′50″N 81°56′54″W / 28.03056°N 81.94833°W / 28.03056; -81.94833Coordinates: 28°1′50″N 81°56′54″W / 28.03056°N 81.94833°W / 28.03056; -81.94833
Area100 acres (0.40 km2)
ArchitectFrank Lloyd Wright
NRHP reference No.75000568
Significant dates
Added to NRHP11 June 1975[1]
Designated NHLD2 March 2012[2]

Child of the Sun, also known as the Florida Southern College Architectural District, is a group of buildings designed for the campus of the Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, United States, by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright from 1941 through 1958. The buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and together form the largest collection of buildings by the architect. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on March 2, 2012.[2] On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter ranked it eighth on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.[3]


Frank Lloyd Wright was retained by Florida Southern President Ludd M. Spivey in 1938 to develop a master plan for the expansion and further growth of the college's campus. Spivey gave Wright the chance to plan the campus using ideas about organic integration with the environment that the architect had been developing for some years. As basic design blocks for the campus, Wright adopted a plan based on the idea of orange groves, which have evenly spaced trees forming a grid. For construction, Wright sought the use of textile blocks, which he had developed formally a decade before in his "Textile Block" houses in California. The buildings on the Florida Southern campus could be made of concrete blocks of standard size, whose use would simplify design and construction of the buildings. These blocks would, at least in part, be formed by the college's students using local materials. The basic plan for the campus was based on ideas Wright had conceived as part of his Broadacre City idea of urban planning.[4]


The buildings within the District include:

  • Annie Pfeiffer Chapel – first completed Frank Lloyd Wright structure on the campus, dedicated 1941
  • Seminars (now the Financial Aid and Business Office) – completed 1941
  • Buckner Building (original Roux Library) – completed 1946
  • Watson/Fine Building (Administration Building) – completed 1949
  • Water Dome – partially completed 1949, completed and restored in 2007 to Wright's original plans
  • Danforth Chapel – completed 1955
  • Ordway Building (originally called the Industrial Arts Building) – completed 1952
  • Polk County Science Building (called Polk Science by faculty and students) – completed 1958
  • The Esplanades – various completion times, currently undergoing restoration

Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center[edit]

Opened in 2013, the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center features a Wright-designed Usonian house and the GEICO Gift Shop. The center offers self-guided, docent-led, and group tours of this collection of the architect's work that Wright himself proclaimed to be among his best. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System – Florida Southern College Architectural District (#75000568)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 9 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Weekly List Of Actions Taken On Properties: 3/12/12 through 3/16/12". National Park Service.
  3. ^ "Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places" (PDF). AIA Florida. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 Jun 2012.
  4. ^ "NHL nomination for Florida State College Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 13 Jan 2018.

External links[edit]