Observations, photographs, and video of the construction of a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house which serves as the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center on the campus of Florida Southern College, located in the South Lake Morton Historic District of Lakeland, Florida. Follow this link for visitor information.

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.  |   G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Flash job

August Gallery
Okay, time for a little amateur engineering analysis. I can't identify the material precisely, but it appears that the current work centers on installing "flashing" along the perimeter. I have watched workers hammer it into shape and into place over the Styrofoam material all along the way.

The next step is to pour a concrete "topper" along the lower level. In close-up views in the August Gallery you'll see that the flashing is installed on top of the bottom rail of the steel frames that have gone up at various locations around the edge of the floor area.

One such assembly, delivered and erected last week, comprises four uprights unevenly spaced along the horizontal rails, leaving one end open to meet an open end at a ninety-degree angle at the southernmost southwest corner.

Checx the latest images in the August Gallery.

3 comments | Add a New Comment
1. Tom | August 30, 2011 at 04:52 PM EDT

So is the perimeter flashing material a metal? I first assumed it was rubber, but it can't be lead can it?

The steel frames are a real surprise to me. At first I thought they were merely guides for the masonry blocks. Are they stainless or aluminum? They are something of a disappointment to see, but this is no doubt a structural enhancement. Do you know how these frames are attached to the slab?

2. Michael | September 01, 2011 at 09:30 AM EDT


The flashing behaves a little like lead but I also doubt that it is. Definitely metal, but what I don't know.

I still think the steel frames are guides for blocks, but we'll soon see. There are drilled holes along the bottom plate, so I assume bolts, but I didn't get to see any installed.

I do know that there will be a huge steel beam for the cantilever that must be engineered to meet modern hurricane codes.

3. Tom | September 01, 2011 at 09:50 PM EDT

Thanks Mike.

I was not thinking about hurricane codes.

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in Wood
Craftsman earns national reputation 
for work on Florida Southern project

The whole world is watching! 

More than 50,000 people from 155 countries have visited the site nearly 68,000 times and racked up more than 153,000
page views. 
We are re-telling the story of the project on our facebook page. If you "Like" it, you'll always know what's what as soon as we do!
Traffic Operations sign technician Gary Griffith installs one of the new Frank Lloyd Wright Way street signs at Success Avenue and the former McDonald Street. The address of the house itself is now:

Our Video makeover is complete! Choose the main Video page, or any of the "year" pages to watch all of the project action in full HD. Also see The Blocks, The Glass, The Wood, The Fountain, and 3D Animation in crisp, clear high defintion.
With so much happening at once during the final month, we thought you might find it helpful to have these links to our most recent blog posts. Just click the headline to go directly to the post. 
It's in all the papers! 
And online, TV, and radio. Check out
the News page for more.

And see ...
the last 30 Days
in just 30 seconds

Click here for that
and all the October videos
The Premiere of the historic Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House took place October 31st. Dignitaries from the city, the county, and the college joined the donors, craftsmen, and professionals who made it all possible.

Watch our interview with Ken Berman who installed the glass inserts, and see how all of the 10,000 board feet of southern cypress was turned into ceilings, walls, shelves, and doors. 
Click here for the video.

Take a look at the last frenetic month in the October Gallery.
On May 20, 2010, Dr. Anne Kerr announced Florida Southern College's plans to construct a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed "Usonian House" which will serve as a new education and tourism center.

Click here for a slideshow of the announcement posted on flickr in the  fsc.mocs photostream.
The site of Florida Southern College's latest addition to its Frank Lloyd Wright collection - the largest in the world in a single location - is on McDonald Street between Johnson and College Avenues in one of Lakeland, Florida's oldest historic neighborhoods.
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