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 is a collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on the campus of the Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. The twelve original buildings were constructed between 1941 and 1958. Another of Wright's designs, a Usonian house originally intended for faculty housing, was completed in 2013, and is now part of the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center. On March 2, 2012, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. The buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and together form the largest collection of buildings by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.


Frank Lloyd Wright was retained by Florida Southern President Ludd M. Spivey in 1938 to develop a master plan for the expansion and growth of the college's campus. Wright was given the opportunity to the 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 used 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 simplified design and construction of the buildings. Some of these blocks were 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.[3]

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.


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


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. ^ "Weekly List Of Actions Taken On Properties: 3/12/12 through 3/16/12". National Park Service.
  3. ^ "NHL nomination for Florida State College Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 13 Jan 2018.

External links[edit]