“We are beginning to learn that the highest and finest kind of morality is beauty.” -Frank Lloyd Wright, Oct. 25, 1951 at Florida Southern College
Frank Lloyd Wrightâ€™s vision of a spectacular â€œwater domeâ€ at the heart of one of his most ambitious projects was finally realized on October 24th (70 years after he designed it), when Florida Southern College turned on 74 high-pressure jets that create a graceful 45-foot-high dome of illuminated droplets above a basin 160 feet in diameter.
The water dome was a central feature of Wrightâ€™s design for the college. But the pumps available at the time proved significantly less powerful than Wrightâ€™s imagination, and the fountain was eventually divided in three smaller pools with walkways between them.
The college is in the midst of several projects aimed at restoring its Wright-designed structures, including the fountain, the larger of two chapels, and Wrightâ€™s striking esplanades â€” cantilevered walkways that connect his buildings. The effort to recreate the water dome as Wright envisioned it cost nearly $1-million. The college will need close to $50 million to complete all the Wright restoration it has slated.