Tall Pointy Things

When I take my car to the dealer for service or, very occasionally, when hubby and I go to a restaurant in that area of Scottsdale, I see a startling and beautiful site. I am usually on the wrong side of the street to get a photo or traffic is moving too quickly. But the other day my car was stopped at the intersection, and I had a clear shot. Because it was dusk, the lights were already on.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed this spire/tower/obelisk in 1954, intending it for the Arizona State Capitol. People thought it too “avant-garde,” so it was rejected. Can you imagine? Five years before his death, a successful man like that had a work like THIS rejected. I think it’s so gorgeous. If you see a little of the design of this in the 911 Memorial building I showed you, you and I think alike, but it must be coincidence. Speaking of terrorism, I actually have been thinking about our Scottsdale spire because it also reminds me a bit of another architectural wonder, the Eiffel Tower, which has become one of the symbols for solidarity with Paris in the wake of Friday’s terror attacks.

There is something about a tall, upstanding representation that lends hope, I think.

Here’s my own little touch of hope in the desert:

I started to wonder what the difference is between an obelisk and a spire and a tower. While I think there is a lot of Β overlap, usually an obelisk has four sides to it, like the Washington Monument.

A spire is the tall pointy thing found on top of churches, for example, although you can have a spire all by itself, which is what most people think the Scottsdale beauty is.

And a tower? Well, everything else is a tower, I guess.

And, no, they are not phallic symbols. If you think they are, that’s your problem, not mine, and certainly not these works of art. Exit gutter now. hahahaha


Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, Arizona, Inspiration, Nonfiction, Research and prep for writing, Sightseeing & Travel, Writing

34 responses to “Tall Pointy Things

  1. Thanks Luanne. The information about the FLW design was new and interesting to me.

  2. There is something sexual in them! πŸ™‚

  3. If anyone’s going into the gutter…it’s Kate. πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for sharing these beautiful structures.
    It’s like a logic problem: Some towers are phallic symbols, but not all phallic symbols are towers. πŸ™‚ That lovely Wright tower, not phallic.

    • Oh, I like your way of thinking, And I am a big fan of logic! Merril! I’m so glad you like the FLW spire, too. I’m so taken with it every time I drive by. So funny to see it in Scottsdale, of all places, because that whole area is one shopping plaza after another.

  5. I love these structures, Luanne. And I also loved the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Phoenix. Taliesan? Check my spelling, but Pretty and I were there several years ago and enjoyed the tour immensely. We can also recommend his “Falling Waters” home in Pennsylvania. Incredible.

    • I went to that one a few years ago with the friend who comments here as Jeannieunbottled. So beautiful, but also fascinating. I’d love to see the one in PA. He wasn’t always perfect at what he did. He designed the Gammage auditorium at Arizona State University, and the acoustics and women’s bathrooms are awful. Apparently the design was originally intended for Baghdad, but we got it. http://www.asugammage.com/about/history
      We had another great architect here, too. Paolo Soleri. His workshop was very close to where I live. He designed Arcosanti, a futuristic “city.” He also designed the new bridge and plaza in Scottsdale and recently passsed away.

  6. I never thought of phallic until you mentioned it πŸ™‚

  7. Haaaa – you’re so funny, Luanne. No gutter for me πŸ˜€ The only tower close to my home is the ugly telecommunications tower. I’m glad we have it, but it would have been nicer if Frank Lloyd Wright had designed it πŸ˜‰

    • Hahaha, yes, it would have been MUCH nicer if FLW had designed it! We have some ugly stuff like that, too. I almost died of apoplexy (does that really exist?) when they replaced our telephone poles with some GINORMOUS structures that look as if they give off massive amounts of radiation–or something equally awful.

  8. That’s a beautiful spire Luanne, lit up like that…and I would call it a spire, lol! We have tall, pointy things on the mind at the same time, my post from yesterday has photos of Salisbury Cathedral which has the tallest spire in all of the UK…how about that for great minds thinking alike πŸ˜‰ xo

    • Sherri, spire has a beautiful sound to it, doesn’t it? The word tower now conjures up “the twin towers” and so that word is kind of ruined. I think we did it again because I know we have done this before!!!!

  9. Ooooh that is so pretty! Why anyone would reject it, I haven’t a clue…

  10. The Frank Lloyd Wright “rejection” should make us all put our own sense of rejection or rejection letters into perspective, Luanne. πŸ™‚
    The beauty of the pointy thing, oh yeah, the tower, is the turquoise lights behind the almost stained glass framing. I liked this design very much. It does remind me of the Eiffel Tower, Luanne. Your own tower with different materials is beautiful. I like the glow and reflection in the glass part.
    Thanks for letting us know the memorable differences between spire, tower and obelisks. This may stay in my memory bank!

    • That’s what I was thinking, Robin. I mean, here was a very successful and established famous man and his work was rejected! The blue spire has an almost art deco look, and that is a style I am always attracted to.

  11. My best friend is an architect, and did her master’s thesis on Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. I think the tower is gorgeous! You took a wonderful picture of it.

    • It was such luck to finally be in a spot where I could pull out the iPhone and capture it! I think students still go to Taliesin-West to study, in fact. Architecture and artwork OF architecture always attracts me.

  12. We need all the hope we can get in this world, Luanne. Love the FLW πŸ™‚ As for writing, it’ll come when it’s ready. It’s not like you don’t have stuff ‘out there’, and congrats on that.

    • We do, yes :(.
      That’s true–I was thinking about how I feel as if I can’t write enough but that in fact there is now a little track record of the work I have done!

  13. Just thought of this quote from Camille Paglia: “Men, gay or straight, can get beauty and lewdness into one image. Women are forever softening, censoring, politicizing.” πŸ™‚

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