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OCTOBER 2022 NEWSLETTER: VOLUME ONE

Booking...
"An Argument for Taking a Seat" By Timothy Totten
The Enrichment Academy
2023 Adventures
What's New in the World of Wright?
Upcoming Presentations By Timothy Totten
A Testimonial From Our Website

BOOKING...
Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, AZ. Deeply connected to the desert from which it was forged, Taliesin West possesses an almost prehistoric grandeur. Wright’s beloved winter home is open for tours seven days a week.


TALIESIN WEST & MORE
FEBRUARY 20-23, 2023
Early bird pricing ends December 31, 2022. Save $300 per person!

Seating is limited and booking will stop when sold out (22 guests only).
P.S. We have a female guest looking for a roommate.
 

FALLINGWATER & MORE
APRIL 14-16, 2023

Pricing and other details will be ready shortly! Check your calendar in the meantime and let us know if you're interested in more info. Seating is limited and will stop when sold out (22 guests only).
 

Click the link for more:
https://architecturetravelcompanion.com/


Frank Lloyd Wright Designed Barrel Chair
 

An Argument for Taking a Seat

By Timothy Totten

The self-guided tour starts by turning on the slim device with the easy-to-use interface.  I’m told to push the “start” button when I get to the front door and instructions will pour out of my headphones.  Simple enough, and a great way to accommodate a busy day of tours.

So I walk to the front door and press the required button.  The pleasant voice tells me I’m visiting a building by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and then goes over a few simple rules.  Don’t touch anything, don’t open doors and cabinets that aren’t opened, don’t use the toilets inside, and don’t ever sit down on any piece of furniture.

It’s that last instruction that always makes me bristle.  Now, I’m not advocating for any site to let 20,000 visitors a month plop down on an original high-backed Prairie-style dining chair that’s 120 years old just so they can exclaim that “yes, this IS very uncomfortable, Martha!”  But at the same time, directing your guests to stand the entire time creates a barrier between the architecture and the visitor.  Much of Wright’s work is meant to be experienced sitting down, whether that’s lounging on the 25-foot long built-in banquet in a Usonian house or perched riggedly at the dining table in the magnificent E.E. Boynton House surrounded by amazing art glass windows and skylights.  Telling “guests” in a house-turned-museum that they must stand the entire time deprives them of an integral experience.

Now, before my tour manager and preservationist friends start unfollowing me on social media and adding me to their banned lists, I am certainly not in favor of interacting with or damaging historic artifacts like original furniture; as Wright-designed buildings get older, so do their furnishings.  But there are several sites where I’ve forged an amazing connection with the architecture by sitting in the space and experiencing it the way Wright intended.  Sometimes, that’s accomplished with original or refurbished furnishings and other times with reproductions.  

On my first visit to the Usonian-style faculty house at Florida Southern College in 2013, I entered the newly-constructed Wright design from the vaults and heard the docent’s initial story before being invited to sit in one of the reproduction barrel chairs that had been carefully arranged in the living space.  Sinking into one of the few comfortable Wright chairs - even Mr. Wright acknowledged that his furniture often left people “black and blue” - something changed in the room.  Being invited into the space to occupy it as a guest for more than just a walk around the perimeter of the room was transformative.  I immediately noticed things I hadn’t before.  A literal change in perspective let me see the space in a new way.

A trip to the Spring House (built for Clifton and George Lewis) in Tallahassee, Florida is equally engaging, not just because I get to visit with my friend Byrd, who grew up in the house, but I get to sit on the long built-in sofa near the well-used fireplace and listen to stories of her parents seeking out Mr. Wright to build their family dream home.  During a small-group tour at Samara in West Lafayette, Indiana, I felt the warmth of Dr. Christian’s hospitality when the curator, Linda Eales, repeated his traditional invitation to have a seat and enjoy the enormous living room of the beautiful Usonian home he and his wife commissioned from the great architect.  The room, which was designed to host salons with visiting scholars and students from Purdue University where Dr. Christian worked as a professor, is a masterpiece of public gathering accommodations.  Linda encouraged me to test out different spots in the room, even taking me over to the far corner spot she claimed as her favorite because “you can see everything and everyone from this vantage point!”   

And yes, I know that these are some lovely exceptions at sites that don’t have to deal with tens of thousands of visitors each month.  While I won’t spend a bunch of time talking about my pre-Covid experiences at both Taliesin and Taliesin West for extended tours which included seated stops in the main living rooms, I believe there are ways for even public sites with large numbers of visitors to allow people to change their perspective by taking a much-appreciated seat. 

At Taliesin in Spring Green, sitting down in Wright’s living room allows a view of the valley through the huge windows that isn’t as obvious as when you are standing upright.  Sitting in the pews at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church while the guide speaks allows you to survey the space and imagine the way the building is used for service (or you can go on a day of worship and respectfully honor the orthodox service the parishioners hold each Sunday).  And for sites like the Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois, it’s almost a prerequisite to get down in a seated position so you can appreciate the way that Mr. Laurent, who was confined to a wheelchair by a wartime injury, experienced the home Mr. Wright designed specifically for him. 

I will freely admit that I have no idea exactly how this would be accomplished by tour directors and preservationists at Wright sites.  I know they’re already busy enough just trying to keep the doors open after two years of diminished operations while we all figured out Covid protocols and ethical health and safety measures, but if it becomes an option, I’d love to see more of these amazing buildings inviting guests to get low and see things from a different angle. 

Ideally, each guest visiting a Wright site would be able to stay for days and experience the changing light and moods of the space as time passes.  But that’s not really attainable unless you get a job working at one of the public sites or you rent out one of the houses that are currently available.  Still, if you visit a Wright site and they invite you take a seat, you must do it.  I promise you will find a new perspective of Wright’s work and a new appreciation for the hospitality of a Wright design.

Tim began presenting at The Enrichment Academy in The Villages, Florida, this month and it is going extremely well! Don't miss out on any of his presentations. Register ASAP!

If you are interested in attending any of his presentations, you will need to register on The Enrichment Academy website, in person or through the mail.  Details are on the website.  Registration has begun!  There is a registration fee of $25 per presentation.  Each will be held in the Lake Miona Regional Recreation Complex.  There is limited seating at each presentation.

2022
October 20th, 9 am-10:30 am: Frank Lloyd Wright: The Wright Women
October 27th, 9 am-10:30 am: Frank Lloyd Wright: Goes to Hollywood
November 2nd, 9 am-10:30 am: Frank Lloyd Wright: In Your Backyard, Florida Edition

2023
January 11th, 2 pm-3:30 pm: Frank Lloyd Wright: An Introduction to Genius
January 18th, 2 pm-3:30 pm: Frank Lloyd Wright: The Wright Women
January 25th, 2 pm-3:30 pm: Frank Lloyd Wright: Goes to Hollywood
February 1st, 2 pm-3:30 pm: Frank Lloyd Wright: In Your Backyard, Florida Edition

NOTE: If you attend one or more of these, please let Tim know you get the newsletter!
We're now booking
Taliesin West & More!

Our next adventure is February 20-23, 2023.  These are the places we are planning to go as of right now: Taliesin West, First Christian Church, ASU Gammage Auditorium, Music Instrument Museum, The Heard Museum and More!  Visit our website to request your registration form on the home page of the website, about 1/2 way down the page: Frank Lloyd Wright - Architecture Travel Companion, LLC
EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS DECEMBER 31ST, 2022 or when we sell out!

We do not have dates for two of our remaining 2023 adventures as of yet. We will advise as soon as we do.

In the meantime, let us know if there is somewhere else you would like to go.  We keep an interest list updated daily as someone tells us where else they would like us to take them.

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FANS OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

If you're on Facebook and want to chat with others that are FLLW fans, too, join our Facebook group!


Click here for the link. 

We have over 4,300 members as of now, from all over the world!

 

What's New In The World of Wright?
 

Psychic Mediumship Tour of Graycliff with Ivy Rivera 2022

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Discovery Days by The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

October 29, 2022 – October 30, 2022


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Coming to Taliesin West! Photographer Andrew Pielage's Sacred Spaces Exhibition. It's outstanding! October 14th, 2022 to January 29th, 2023. Tour tickets include the exhibit.
Click here for more info.

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Feel free to forward your email from us to them and
suggest they subscribe, too! We appreciate you!


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UPCOMING PRESENTATIONS
BY TIMOTHY TOTTEN

 

Tim's presentations at The Enrichment Academy in The Villages, Florida, have begun! Each session has limited seating, so if you have not signed up yet and wish to, you may click here.

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Sacred Spaces: The Spiritual Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
Be sure to REGISTER for this event! Tickets are at NO COST thanks to sponsor and host, Hiers-Baxley Life Center. Timothy Brian Totten has not shared this talk in many places, so be one of the first in the area to hear it! We hope to see you there! October 19, 2022, 4:00 pm. Hiers-Baxley Life Event Center, 3975 Wedgewood Lane, The Villages, Florida 32162. Bring a friend or three! Visit our website to register.

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There are others listed on our website, too.
ArchitectureTravelCompanion.com


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Does your local library offer Adult Programming? We would love to get Tim on their schedule. If you have a personal contact at your library, please email us with their info or ask them to visit the Libraries page on our website. Thank you!

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A Testimonial from Our Website

"If you are looking for a fun, entertaining, informative, speaker Tim Totten is the perfect choice!"  

Marilyn Gilley, Orlando, Florida

Note: Marilyn has been a frequent guest at Tim's talks and on our tours.

(Many more testimonials on our site.)
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