A storied architecture school will shutter after the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation failed to reach an agreement to continue funding it.
The School of Architecture at Taliesin, which oversees sites at Taliesinin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, and another in Spring Green, Wisconsin, will close in June. The school was founded 88 years ago by Wright himself, and 30 students are currently in attendance. The institution is currently working out a deal with the Design School at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts through which students there could continue their studies.
Calling the news “sad and somber,” Dan Schweiker, the chairperson of board of governors at the school, said in a statement, “Our innovative school and its mission were integral to Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for connecting architecture to our natural world. Wright’s legacy was not just building. It was a school to promulgate the lessons for all future generations.”
The school’s closure caps a period of tumult that has persisted for the past few years, since the school’s masters program nearly lost its accreditation because the Higher Learning Commission, which oversees such degree programs in 19 states, feared that it was not independent enough from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. In 2017, the David and Gladys Wright House, a residence built by Wright for his son, was gifted to the school. One year later, the famed house was put up for sale again after Zach Rawling, its owner, came to a “mutual agreement” with the school to call off the gift.
The School of Architecture at Taliesin was founded in 1932 by Wright and his wife Olgivanna. The school’s establishment came at the beginning of the Great Depression, when Wright was receiving few commissions, and it offered a chance for him to teach apprentices about his practice.