Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Phoenix, Arizona part II

Continued from part I

The other school mentioned in Alma Mater (the School's Out album track) is of course Cortez.

I always go to the really highbrow cultural places when I'm on me hols. 

The song lyrics say, "We got no principals", but Cortez nowadays has a principal, and a psychologist (probably necessary). 

After that, perhaps tiring of the hurly-burly of high culture, we went to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, the winter home of his architectural school. (Which, on contemplating some of the things the tour guide said, was as close to a cult as you could come and still be respected.) It's still a school and the students still spend summers in Wisconsin and then pick up and spend winters in Phoenix, in a house they design and build themselves as part of the course, which seems admirably grounded. 

Looking out of the front door of Taliesin West, you can see Camelback (the hump is behind the sa gyu ro cactus, head towards the right), where Alice Cooper's famous school lies. 

And facing the opposite way, the main building of Taliesin West. Among hundreds of other facts, the tour guide said that the stone and concrete foundations and translucent-blind covered roofs were put down first but it was years before the glass was put in. I find it really hard to imagine working with large pieces of architectural paper with the desert wind (and rain) howling through the four or five foot gap between the wall and roof, but that's what she said. 

It also took years to get a well drilled and get this pool filled. And don't even think about the students digging latrines for the first couple decades. 

The tour is completely fascinating and to be recommended. 

And last but not least, STB taking his oath of citizenship in Phoenix. Due to the odd logistics, I wasn't very close to him, but he's in there somewhere. 

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