Filed Under Architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright Spire

The Capitol that Never Was

On April 5, 1957, Frank Lloyd Wright presented a sketch for the new Arizona State Capitol, which included spires and a grand landmark. Finally, in 2004, his design was finished and created to fulfill his dream.

In 2004, a defining piece of Frank Lloyd Wright's 1957 state capitol design rose in the Promenade shopping center in Scottsdale, Arizona. The shopping center desperately needed a focal point, and Frank Lloyd Wright's protégé, Arnold Roy, was happy to oblige. Wright's original design never graced the Capitol but Roy, who was Wright's apprentice during the controversial Oasis project, suggested it for the Promenade.

The 125-foot turquoise spire boasts 1,700 pieces of steel and weighs over 75,000 pounds. Its glowing, electric blue point can be seen in the distance across the North Valley. The corner of Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright was the perfect spot for the piece to debut. The spire's hue is true to Wright's consistent use of natural colors that relate to the surrounding landscape and is unmistakenly an ode to Arizona's ubiquitous and world-renowned turquoise.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Spire is a tribute to the renowned architect's influence on the Valley of the Sun and the Capitol that never was.

Images

View From the Fountain at The Scottsdale Promenade
View From the Fountain at The Scottsdale Promenade Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s state capitol design. The Oasis is located on Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in Scottsdale, Arizona. Source: Alan English, FLICKR Creator: Alan English Date: 2007
Frank Lloyd Wright Spire
Frank Lloyd Wright Spire Wright's design weighs over 75,000 pounds and architects used over 1,700 pieces of steel to construct the structure in 2004. Source: Wikimedia Commons Creator: Tony Santiago Date: 2016
Frank Lloyd Wrights' Sketch
Frank Lloyd Wrights' Sketch April 5, 1957, Frank Lloyd Wright presented this sketch in the hopes of solidifying the beauty of Scottsdale. Source: http://www.steinerag.com/flw/Artifact%20Pages/Projects.htm Creator: Frank Lloyd Wright Date: 1957

Location

12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ | At the southeastern corner of Scottsdale Rd and Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, in the Scottsdale Promenade shopping center.

Metadata

Sierra Stewart and Jennifer Schaper, “Frank Lloyd Wright Spire,” Salt River Stories, accessed July 21, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/299.