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 US
Child of the Sun
Location Lakeland, Florida, United States
Coordinates 28°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
Area 100 acres (0.40 km2)
Built 1941-1958
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright
NRHP reference # 75000568[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 11, 1975[1]
Designated NHLD March 2, 2012[2]

Child of the Sun, also known as the Florida Southern College Architectural District is a group of buildings designed for the campus of the Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, United States, by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright from 1941 through 1958. The buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and together form the largest collection of buildings by the architect. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on March 2, 2012.[2] On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter ranked it eighth on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.[3]

  1. Annie Pfeiffer Chapel - first completed Frank Lloyd Wright structure on the campus, dedicated 1941
  2. Seminars (now the Financial Aid and Business Office) - completed 1941
  3. Buckner Building (original Roux Library) - completed 1946
  4. Watson/Fine Building (Administration Building) - completed 1949
  5. Water Dome - partially completed 1949, completed and restored in 2007 to Wright's original plans
  6. Danforth Chapel - completed 1955
  7. Ordway Building (originally called the Industrial Arts Building) - completed 1952
  8. Polk County Science Building (called Polk Science by faculty and students) - completed 1958
  9. The Esplanades - various completion times, currently undergoing restoration around the campus

Child of the Sun Visitor Center[edit]

Opened in 1992, the "Child of the Sun" Visitor Center displays photographs, furniture, and drawings depicting Wright's relationship with Florida Southern College. The Center also displays changing exhibits on loan from other sites associated with Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Center is located in the Thad Buckner Building in the William M. Hollis Exhibition and Seminar Room, and is open during the week. A gift shop is on site, and the Center offers seasonal guided tours of the Wright-designed buildings by appointment only.


Frank Lloyd Wright was retained by Florida Southern President Ludd M. Spivey in 1938 to develop a master plan for the expansion and further growth of the college's campus. Spivey gave Wright the chance to 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 developed the idea of textile blocks, essentially concrete blocks of standard size whose use would simplify design and construction of the buildings. These blocks would, at least in part, be 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.[4]


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