It is important to bear in mind at all times that Florida
Southern College is a living, breathing entity and its structures must
fulfill the needs of the institution, its faculty and its students.
The Frank Lloyd Wright structures were built during a simpler time; before
air conditioning and computers were necessities instead of luxuries.
Wright's buildings were built using Usonian principals for economy and
efficiency. The construction materials and methods were, if not
radical, unique at the time and still are today.
All these conditions serve to present Florida Southern
College with extraordinary challenges for the future. Fortunately, the
college is blessed with an administration that is aware of and planning to
meet these challenges. Following are some images that may be
disturbing, but illustrate the nature of some of the challenges discussed:
Two views of moisture damage to a portion of the earliest
Esplanades near Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.
Shown right is a close up of sand-cast blocks in Annie
Pfeiffer Chapel. Moisture and age have caused some to crack and
disintegrate. The original blocks were not designed to repel moisture
or to seal the building. Remember the buildings were not air
conditioned originally. Redesigned replacement blocks are moisture
resistant, but are made by a costly hand casting method.
During a recent renovation, the new blocks were used in the
Polk Science Building as shown below.
College has a master plan that envisions the return
of original orange groves along with other landscaping, renovations and
restorations. Currently underway is a project to restore many of the
Esplanade structures. Shown below is a section that was recently
renovated including straightening and underpinning the foundations, an
extensive, costly process.
A modest size college,
FSC has a current enrollment of
approximately 1,800 undergraduates. With an endowment significantly less than
Harvardian, maintaining the Wright buildings has and continues to be a
financial challenge. Fundraising is undertaken for specific projects,
and participation is always welcome. Go to the
FSC website for
website is organized chronologically and by structure. Follow the
links on each page to go to the next or skip to the page of interest.