Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Thad M. Buckner Building

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Institution Name: Florida Southern College
Original/Historic Place Name: E.T. Roux Library
Location on Campus: West Campus - Johnson Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1945original construction Wright, Frank Lloyd
Designer: Frank Lloyd Wright
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/pre-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: concrete textile block
Roof: built-up
1969-present (2006)administration
ca. 2004-present (2006)classrooms (seminar room)

To the northwest of the Pfeiffer Chapel is the Thad M. Buckner Building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and originally named the E. T. Roux Library. This low, split-level building is dominated by the circular reading room measuring ninety feet across. The roof, which spans the entire space, is built-up of three flat, concentric levels which form two clear stories admitting light to the tan and white reading room. On the northeast side of the building is a two-story, rectangular wing which houses offices, book stacks, and a smaller study area. As with all of the Wright buildings, the external walls are composed of the same materials as the Pfeiffer Chapel. The interior of the reading room contains three tiers of wood study desks with a librarian's desk in the center of the room. Protruding from the northeast wing into the round space is a mezzanine. The northeast wing is dominated by diamond shaped light shafts. In 1956, a 900 square foot extension was made to the northwest corner of the structure. Between 1968 and 1969 the building was converted to administrative use, the student body having outgrown its capacity, and it was renamed the Thad Buckner Building at that time To the southwest of the Ordway Building, and at the intersection of two major esplanades, is the Polk County Science Building. This three-story structure makes a strong statement of Wright's use of horizontal lines. This horizontal feeling is expressed by the white surrounds of the square windows which form a horizontal band around the first story. The dominating feature of the structure is the white dome of the planetarium (from National Register report).


Florida Southern College. Historic American Buildings Survey report and photos. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, [n.d.].

Florida Southern College: The First Hundred Years. Lakeland, FL: Florida Southern College, 1985.

Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly 12, no. 3 (2001).

Little, J. Rodney, and Phillip A. Werndli. Florida Southern College Architectural District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1975.

Rogers, Steven B. "The Frank Lloyd Wright Campus at Florida Southern College: A Child of the Sun." Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly 12 (Summer 2001): 4-23.

Smalling, Walter, Jr. E. T. Roux Library (Buckner Building) [Florida Southern College]. Historic American Buildings Survey photographs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1979.

Sweeney, Robert L. Frank Lloyd Wright: An Annotated Bibliography. Art & Architecture Bibliographies, no. 5. Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1978.


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Last update: November 2006