The largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world is located at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. It’s a short drive for those enjoying Florida retirement at Lake Ashton. The Florida Southern College Historic District was designated a national historic landmark in 2012. The Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, which features the Wright-designed Usonia house, was opened as part of an ongoing effort to better educate visitors about the Wright architecture on campus. The center is home to a permanent display of photographs, furniture and drawings.
It also features exhibits on loan from various other Wright sites, so you may want to put regular visits to the college on your Florida retirement schedule. The campus has nine structures designed by Wright. You can view them on your own self-guided walking tour using maps that are available for purchase at the Tourism & Education Center. Guided tours are also available for a fee, and you can choose from seeing just the Usonia house, a basic tour of the campus, or a longer, in-depth tour which includes taking visitors inside the structures when possible. You might also consider the behind the scenes tour, which includes seeing the interior of the only planetarium designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Visitors to the center praise it: “The docents are well-versed in Wright architecture and the history of the campus. I recommend the in-depth tour.” “Beautiful setting with lovely buildings. Great guided tour. What a fabulous place to receive your education.” “Our docent was so passionate about Wright’s architecture. Be sure to stop and shop at the gift store.” “This is truly a national treasure.” “We were a group of 12 retired university professors, all of whom have been on many campuses over the years, but none like this! We were enthralled with the entire campus.” The Frank Lloyd Wright Visitors Center is located at 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr., Lakeland, and is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.