The School of Architecture at Taliesin, established by Frank Lloyd Wright almost 90 years ago, will be closing its doors in June, after failing to come to a financial agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
The school released a heartfelt statement saying that its board was forced to make the “gut-wrenching decision” to close both campuses in Scottsdale, Arizona and Spring Green, Wisconsin. It described the decision as “tragic”.
“The School of Architecture at Taliesin will cease operations after this semester, after a gut-wrenching decision by its governing board on Saturday,” read the statement.
The school did “everything possible” to fight for survival
“The School of Architecture at Taliesin was not able to reach an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to keep the school open,” it explained.
Dan Schweiker, a spokesperson and chair on the governing board, said that they did “everything possible to fight for its survival” but weren’t able to find an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which ultimately owns the school’s campuses.
“The closure of the school is very emotional for our students, our faculty and staff and all of us who worked so hard for this one-of-a-kind institution and its important role in Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy,” Schweiker said.
Institution aimed to continue Wright’s vision
Frank Lloyd Wright, who is largely considered the most important architect of the 20th century, established the school in 1932 as an apprenticeship that invited 50-60 students to study directly under him.
“Our innovative school and its mission were integral to Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for connecting architecture to our natural world,” Schweiker said.
“Wright’s legacy was not just building, it was a school to promulgate the lessons for all future generations.”
The school was originally named the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and funded by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation – which was established by the American architect in 1940. It was renamed the School of Architecture at Taliesin in 2017, as part of its split from the parent organisation in 2017.
School split from foundation due to accreditation issue
The split was a result from an accreditation issue. The school had until 2020 to become an independent entity to have its accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, one of the agencies in the US that accredit architecture schools, renewed. In 2010, HLC insisted that accredited schools could not be financially dependent on non-academic institutions. The future of the campuses remain unknown.