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In 1938, not long after he began work on a master plan for Florida Southern College’s campus, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright sketched a series of small homes for faculty members. Wright and Ludd M. Spivey, Florida Southern’s president, hoped to build as many as 20 houses, but money for them never materialized. The house plans ended up gathering dust while the college built a library, two chapels, administrative offices, a series of academic buildings, and a huge fountain to Wright’s striking designs. In fact, the college has the largest single collection of Wright buildings anywhere.
Now Florida Southern, located in Lakeland, is finally gearing up to build one of the Wright houses. According to M. Jeffrey Baker, a partner in Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects who has been helping the college restore its other Wright buildings, the house will be a flat-roofed, two-bedroom home with walls made of the same custom-cast blocks that Wright used throughout the campus. A cantilevered carport will mark the entrance, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows will open to the outdoors from the living room and the bedrooms. "You can open this house up like a pavilion," Mr. Baker says, to take advantage of the patio and good weather.