Iss. 13 || April 17th, 2024

Bringing Tori Himemiya to Taliesin West

"Do you think Frank Lloyd Wright would have liked Tori Enstars?"
"I think Olgivanna would have loved him."


The other day I visited Taliesin West, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site since 2019! Taliesin West was the winter home of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, named after his summer home in Wisconsin, Taliesin. I had previously gotten to visit Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, another UNESCO site designed by Wright. I really didn't know much about Wright or his work before going to Unity Temple, despite having heard his name before, and it was really fascinating! I learned a lot and gained an appreciation for both his sense of style and architecture itself, which I'd never thought a lot about before. So, when we went to Taliesin West, I already had a little bit of background about Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW if you will) and his work!

I have a friend who actually works at Taliesin West, so we (I went with my mom and aunt!) got to have a private tour. We were able to go to several places that regular guests aren't able to see, which was really cool. I also decided to bring along my Tori Himemiya nui so that I could take silly pictures of him!! I've been very plushiepilled lately, and I want to start getting in the habit of taking him places... which means I need to start doing more things, lol.

Taliesin West (I may just start saying Taliesin from here on out) is really beautiful. I'm not usually a fan of Southwest color schemes and materials, but FLW's sense of aestheticism and the way he respects his materials really shines through. He was of the opinion that materials should be 'honest' - if something is made of rocks and concrete, it should look like rocks and concrete. Many structures on the property were made by taking large rocks from the surrounding mountains and pouring concrete over them in their moulds. The picture below is a great example of that.

In his office, there was a display of his proposed design for the Arizona Capitol building. It was rejected for being too expensive, as well as having been designed to fit into the wrong area. You can see that he originally drew in three spires, and then changed his mind and erased two of them, which I think is really funny. The bird statues were on loan from Taliesin East - apparently the West and East locations shift around items and furniture sometimes, which I found interesting. The typewriter that FLW owned was also on his desk but I didn't catch it in this picture. You can see his rolodex though!

Below is a shot of Taliesin West facing backwards from the prow, which was called that because FLW liked to stand there and look out over the desert and imagine he was standing on a boat surveying the sea. The mountains in the background are really lovely! FLW thought that if you put a building somewhere, it should add to the beauty of the surroundings, not take away from it. I think he did a very good job of this!! A detail I really love is the small, angled protrustion on the roof of the building in the center here that mimics the shape of the mountain peak behind it. The red lines on the roof of the building on the left were also supposed to reference the washes of a mountain. You can see a peek of one of the property's pools on the left side as well. It was positioned there purposefully for its proximity (alliteration lol--) to both the kitchen and vault, so that if a fire broke out, there was easy access to water to put it out. Apparently FLW's other home in Wisconsin burned down twice, so he was very intent on not letting it happen again.

Here is another shot of the same area but in front of the pool!! Tori LOVES contemporary architecture!!!!! There were some people working on restoring the canvas roofing while we were there. Most of the roofing at Taliesin west was made of canvas. During the summer the rooves, furniture, and rugs would be removed from the entire home so that rain wouldn't destroy them while FLW was in Wisconsin. Come winter, everything would be placed back in the house for him to come back!

FLW was very fond of East Asian art, so there were some examples of that on the property. Much like his home in Illinois, there were lots of figurines, ceramics, and art inside Taliesin West, including two silk tapestries (? I'm not sure what to call them) that filled the entirety of the walls in two different rooms. On the outside, these ceramic 'vignettes' were placed in various areas to tell visitors that they were transitioning from one space to another. Apparently he bought them broken into pieces and had his apprentices put them back together, because he liked to find a good deal.

Most of the plants on the property are native species, once again corroborating FLW's desire to have materials match the building's location and to respect the natural beauty of the land. Here is Tori chilling by a cactus! Yeeowwwwch!! (He didn't get pricked don't worry.)


There are three different event venue spaces at Taliesin West. Each time he built one, he would soon realize it was too small, and he would build another. This is the second space, the Cabaret. They would watch movies and hold performances in here. I thought that the fairy lights on the ceiling were something the people in charge added recently, but Olgivanna, FLW's third wife and the woman he was married to during the entirely of Talien West's construction, put them there herself while she was still living there. I thought that was very sweet.


I had a really great time visiting!! It was really pretty fascinating and I'm glad I got to go! Of course having my friend give us the tour was a bonus, lol. We went out for lunch after the tour and I spilled curry on Tori's face OTL. The waitress saw me frantically dipping my napkin in water and dabbing his face clean like a sickly little pink infant in my arms and it was maybe the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to me, but it's also extremely funny. Overall I learned a lot and had a lovely time!!!


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