Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Polk County Science Building

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Institution Name: Florida Southern College
Original/Historic Place Name: Polk County Science Building
Location on Campus: West Campus - Johnson Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1958original construction Wright, Frank Lloyd
Designer: Frank Lloyd Wright
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: concrete textile block
Roof: built-up
ca. 1948-present (2006)observatory (planetarium)
ca. 1948-present (2006)faculty offices
ca. 1948-present (2006)classrooms (including science laboratories)

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.

Powell, Kenneth. "The Wright Spirit: John McAslan & Partners Is Updating Frank Lloyd Wright's Florida Southern College to Address Inherent Structural Defects and To Cater for Changing Needs." Architects' Journal 214 (November 22, 2001): 24-33.

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. Polk Science Building [Florida Southern College]. Historic American Buildings Survey photographs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1979.


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Last update: November 2006