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Taliesin West: Architecture Inspired by the Desert

Take a Tour of Frank Lloyd Wrights Taliesin West

Taliesin West: Architecture Inspired by the Desert

Scottsdale’s only National Historic Landmark is set on a 491-acre Sonoran Desert preserve, a treasure at the foothills of the McDowell mountains. Taking his principles west, Taliesin West provides a prime example of Wright’s Organic Architecture as it was built of the rocks and sand of the desert, diligently handcrafted over many years almost entirely by the famous architect and his apprentices. Wright drew inspiration from the abstract forms of the majestic saguaro cactus and sharp, clear lines of the mountains against Arizona’s vivid sky, integrating his living and working spaces within the landscape in magical ways.

Today, visitors may draw from that same inspiration by experiencing a variety of tours outlining the colorful history of Taliesin West and that of its creator. Guided tours range from one to three hours and are offered every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. 

Taliesin West Red Room

The 60-minute Panorama Tour visits Wright’s Office, Cabaret Theater, and Kiva while strolling through the site. Taliesin West’s signature Insights Tour visits all the locations of the Panorama Tour plus makes special trips into the Wrights’ private quarters and living room—the gracious “Garden Room.”

New offerings include the Private Collections tour, a behind the scenes look into the collection vault for an exclsuvie view of works from Wright’s personal art collection and the Garden Walk tour, a stroll through the gardens, terraces and walkways of Taliesin West. For more in-depth visits, try the Extended Insights Tour or the combination Desert/Insights Tour, which explores how Nature inspired Wright’s design of his desert complex. The School of Architecture’s students lead dynamic Desert “Shelter” Tours on Saturday afternoons. Night Lights Tours are also offered Thanksgiving weekend and December 26-30, with several nights featuring holiday carollers. An ideal place to find an Arizona keepsake, Anneliese’s Bookstore at Taliesin West features an immense collection of Wright inspired items and books. 

Taliesin West: Watch a Video

Taliesin West: Visitor Info

To make your tour reservation,visit www.franklloydwright.org. For more information, please call 480-627-5340.

Directions: Enter Taliesin West at the intersection of Cactus Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. (approximately 114th St.) in northeast Scottsdale. For GPS directions, use 12345 N. Taliesin Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85258


Categories: Cover Story
Sue Malthaner: