The Spire at Frank Lloyd Wright Commemorative Park!
You can’t miss Scottsdale’s spire to the North. The biggest landmark around lives at The Promenade Shopping Center. Looming large, it’s the centerpiece of a sculpture garden. Frank Lloyd Wright Commemorative Park, dedicated in 2007. Overnight, it’s a lighted blue beacon. By day, it’s a respite of bronze wonders and fountains for relaxing and playing. The Spire up close is a sight to behold!
This magical and unexpected gem of a park sits in front of Maggiano’s restaurant. So, you can enjoy the park before or after dinner. Or take a break from shopping, enjoy a coffee, eat your take-out lunch — in sunshine or shade. Sit and listen to to the fountains and Maggiano’s Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin-era tunes.
‘Aiming in the Dark’
To escape the sun, there’s a shade structure guy-wired to Wright-style metal feathers. It covers a circular seating area, with artificial turf underfoot. You’ll also find set-upon or jump-upon concrete stools for resting or rough-housing around the Spire and fountains.
Locating The Spire and Park
Mr. Wright’s namesake park sits on the boulevard also bearing his name. It’s at the intersection with Scottsdale and Bell Roads, on the southeast corner at The Promenade. Bell Road becomes Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard here. If you’re in the Promenade, it’s in the northwest corner.
Bronze Beings Surround the Spire
Who was Heloise Crista?
Heloise Crista’s extraordinary bronze sculptures are the surprising discovery making this park special. You’re in for a treat of her talents. Lifelike desert creatures, include a bear standing on hind legs, Javelina, including a newborn baby ‘red’ and its mother, and a coyote. They appear to have wandered out of the Sonoran Desert wild for water and fine Italian cuisine.
‘Night and Day’
Ms. Crista had a background in the art of dance, as well as a reverence for Native American art and culture. Her human creations vividly capture contemporary physical expressions. Here eclectic collection of accomplished works stands up to Mr. Wright’s behemoth spire. All works pictured here were completed in 2007.
How The Spire Came to Life
The Spire idea was part of a concept by Mr. Wright in 1957 for the Arizona State Capitol. Alas, his grandiose idea was nixed. But, enter Roy Arnold, an architect who also apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright. He collaborated on the capitol design. And, had the vision for building The Spire at The Promenade.
Mr. Arnold worked with The Promenade owners and the City of Scottsdale to build it. The blue light switch was officially flipped on April 28, 2004. It illuminates the night sky from 6 PM to 6 AM daily. Here’s an entertaining article by Robert Danielson of Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine for the whole story of how Scottsdale’s spire came to be.
More Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West
The Spire and sculptures are mere miles from their origin of creation. Just up Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard apiece is his winter home, Taliesin West. It’s the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and home to its Foundation, tours and events.
This taste of Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries might inspire you for more. If you seek a highfalutin time with the whole shootin’ match, head up the hill. You’ll get roped in, to the tune of $40 per person.
Frank Lloyd Wright For Everyone
‘Being in the Moment’
I’m content to visit here at dawn. Watching the sunrise over the McDowell Mountains. Seeing the the sun morph the colors and shadows of the sculptures and The Spire. Wright style at the right price — free!
How fortunate we are to enjoy this beautiful ode to these three hometown visionaries and Frank Lloyd Wright disciples. I’m grateful The Promenade and the City of Scottsdale persevered to make it Scottsdale’s spire, giving us this stunning public art park. And, the workers who maintain it beautifully. Don’t miss it!
Seeking more art in Scottsdale? You’re in luck!
Scottsdale Lifestyle Blogger
I’m a 5th generation native Arizona gal who loves showing and telling what makes Scottsdale an amazing place to visit and make home! I hope you enjoy our city through my lens, making your own discoveries and memories here!