School of Architecture at Taliesin Closing

John Hill
28. January 2020
Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona (Photo: Greg O'Beirne/Wikimedia Commons)

The School of Architecture at Taliesin, founded by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1932, was unable to reach an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and therefore will close at the end of June.

Until 2017 the school that evolved from Frank Lloyd Wright's apprenticeship program was known as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, with campuses at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. That year it was renamed the School of Architecture at Taliesin (SOAT), when it was pushed to gain financial independence from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in order to maintain accreditation as an institute of higher learning. 

That 2017 victory ended up being short-lived with today's announcement that the "School of Architecture at Taliesin was not able to reach an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to keep the school open." The details of that agreement -- or lack thereof -- are not revealed in the press release (this article will be updated if and when we determine those details), but since 2017 SOAT has been a separate independent entity from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, whose mission is "preserving Taliesin and Taliesin West for future generations." 

Only around 30 students are currently enrolled at SOAT; they will most likely transfer to The Design School at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts to complete their degrees. In addition to carrying on the tradition of "organic architecture" as defined by Wright, SOAT's curriculum has been notable for the small shelters built by students in the desert next to Taliesin West.

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