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Judgement Beacon

It’s referred to as the Judgement Beacon among friends, but regular folks in Scottsdale look at it and wonder what the point is. I’ll be the first to point out that the point is at the top. Not sure what Frank Lloyd Wright was thinking on this one.

By Chris Tingom

Principal of Tornado Design, a Phoenix, AZ based web consultancy

4 replies on “Judgement Beacon”

I just found out what is up with this spire. It was originally designed to be a part of the new Arizona Capitol complex that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in 1957:

http://azcapitol.lib.az.us/capitol_growth.htm

In 2002, the developer of the Scottsdale Promenade decided that he liked the spire and had it built at the corner. It’s weird because he completely decontextualized it. In the design of the Capitol, it looks completely natural. Wright would have sued if he were alive today.

Now you know.

Hey Bill,

That link is really interesting. I agree, in that one picture the spire looks right at home. It looks like there were plans for a few of them. Quite interesting.

Interesting thread. I took a tour at Talisen years ago and our tour guide was an apprentice at the school at the time. What he said was that Wright only made one sketch of the spire in the 50’s and that it was his (the apprentices) job to translate that sketch into a real buildable plan. Now that I see the rendering in the link you pasted I can tell it looks quite different. But, I saw the spire at night and it really does glow like the drawing!

I like to fancy myself as a Wright buff. I havent seen this spire yet but I have a piece to add to the puzzle. The link Bill posted, http://azcapitol.lib.az.us/capitol_growth.htm , was actually drawn bu jack howe who was working as an apprentice to wright and is known for those stunning night renderings. Wrights own drawing can be seen here http://img.groundspeak.com/waymarking/log/9864c1b6-1922-4bc8-ad9b-00369f64ecb0.jpg the spires are different but the ones drawn by Wright himself look a little closer to what was built.

Ian

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