Frank Lloyd Wright Spire
N 33° 38.254 W 111° 55.491
12S E 414229 N 3722354
Quick Description: A blue sentinel rises 172 feet above the desert floor.
Location: Arizona, United States
Date Posted: 4/29/2006 12:47:04 AM
Waymark Code: WMBGX
This 125 foot tall spire was originally a centerpiece to a proposed Arizona state capitol complex at Papago Park designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1950s. The state in its infinite wisdom (sarcasm) rejected the plans. Drawings of the ornamental spire remained in a filing cabinet until 2002, when it was chosen to tower over a massive north Scottsdale commercial development, the Promenade of Scottsdale shopping and office complex, on the southeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard. In addition, a restaurant and visitors center, using Wright’s 1947 designs of a drive-through bank, will be built next to the spire.
The spire is constructed of teal and blue transluscent panels. It cost $1 million to build. Schuff Steel welded thousands of miscellaneous pieces of steel together to create the 40-ton spire, which required two, 100-ton cranes to mount. It lights at night to a blue color that can be seen for miles. Supposedly it changes color throughout the day. We have only seen it in 2 colors, as seen in the photos here. A nice sculpture garden is next to the spire.
Interesting historical reference:
Years after the project was passed over, John F. Kennedy's Secretary of Interior Stewart Udahl was asked why Arizona has the ugliest state capitol. His reply, "Because we missed the boat and muffed the ball when we rejected the Oasis Project designed by Frank Lloyd Wright."