Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation celebrates new gate at Taliesin West

Those who helped with the project will gather at the new gateway to celebrate the completion of the project on Monday, April 29. (Submitted photo)

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has unveiled a new desert masonry gateway structure to signify Taliesin West’s main passageway.

The project was made possible through weeks of staff, student and community volunteer efforts and by a grant awarded to the Foundation from American Express, according to a press release noting that it took several months to complete.

Visitors from around the world, entering or exiting the property, have a clearer sense of direction, according to the release. In addition, the new gateway will increase site security and provide better wayfinding for more than 110,000 guests that visit Taliesin West annually.

When creating the new gateway, volunteers experienced building like Mr. Wright’s apprentices once did, using desert masonry, a building technique that involves sourcing sand and stones from the surrounding desert, a method that was used to create Taliesin West, described the release.

In addition to desert masonry, an older metal gate was repurposed and incorporated into the design of the new gate structure. Students from the School of Architecture at Taliesin contributed to the initial concept designs for the new gate.

“It was a pleasure to participate in the construction of the new entrance to Taliesin West,” volunteer Bill Orr said in a prepared statement.

“I have visited over 100 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and am always on the lookout for unique ways to experience them. This was a real hands-on way to experience and in a small way become part of Taliesin West. In addition, as a professional engineering geologist I enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the desert masonry construction method.”

In addition to staff, volunteer, and student involvement, 180 Degrees Design + Build, a local Phoenix firm that worked with the Foundation on other projects in the past, acted as the general contractor for the project, coordinating and executing all work that needed to be completed, the release noted.

On Monday, April 29, those who participated in the project will gather at the new gateway to celebrate the completion of the project. Remarks will be made by Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation President & CEO Stuart Graff who also served as a volunteer for the project. A representative of American Express will also be present.

“It was a great experience to see how many volunteers came out to help us build the desert masonry walls,” Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Preservation Manager Emily Butler said in a prepared statement.

“Several people even drove in from out of state to be involved. I think that this speaks to the community spirit and legacy of learning by doing the Wright promoted at Taliesin West and Taliesin. You gain a deep connection to a place when you help to build it, which is what I hope all of the volunteers got out of the experience.”

The Scottsdale Independent publishes a free daily newsletter. A print edition is mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses each month. If you value our journalistic mission, please consider showing us your support.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable. Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the arrow in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment