Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center
The Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center is the gateway to the visitor’s experience of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed campus at Florida Southern College (also known as the Florida Southern College Architectural District) in Lakeland, Florida. Designed and built between 1938 and 1958, the Florida Southern College Architectural District is the largest single-site collection of Wright’s work in the world and a National Historic Landmark (2012).The Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center offers a variety of self-guided, docent-led, and group tours of the Wright campus, providing visitors with an engaging, informative experience of this one-of-a-kind collection of the architect’s work that Wright himself proclaimed to be among his best. The Center provides a home for the permanent display of photographs, furniture, and drawings depicting Wright’s relationship with the College. The Center also acts as a home for visiting exhibits on loan from various other Wright sites.
Located at the corner of Johnson Avenue and Frank Lloyd Wright Way in Lakeland, Florida, the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center is open Sunday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day). Tour reservations can be made online, by email, or by phone. For more information, visit flsouthern.edu.
- Usonian house, a type of design by Wright In addition to the 12 built structures comprising the Wright campus, Mr. Wright created a Usonian house design, which was never built, to be used for faculty housing. Under the direction of renowned historic preservation architect M. Jeffrey Baker of Mesick-Cohen-Wilson-Baker Architects, LLP, in Albany New York, Florida Southern College completed construction of Wright’s Usonian house in 2013 as the featured structure in the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, which also includes the adjacent GEICO Gift Shop located in a restored Craftsman-style house on the same property.
- The 1,700 sq. ft. Usonian house features textile-block construction and colored glass inserts in perforated concrete blocks, both signature elements of Wright’s building designs at Florida Southern, as well as furnishings designed by Wright. A documentary film about the Wright’s work at Florida Southern is also available for visitors to view while touring the Usonian house.
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