Lakeland's "Child of the Sun" Campus Named National Historic Landmark

Wright's Danforth Chapel
Polk Science Center Planetarium
LAKELAND (2012-3-7) -

It has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in one spot anywhere. Now, Florida Southern College has finally been named a National Historic Landmark.

The Lakeland campus has long been famed for its iconic structures like the soaring Annie Pfeiffer Chapel and the only planetarium Frank Lloyd Wright designed that got built. Wright called the campus his "Child of the Sun," and it has been a tourist attraction for decades. But it wasn't until this week that it was named a National Historic Landmark.

The U.S. Department of the Interior gave Florida Southern that designation, along with 13 other historic landmarks in nine states. On its web site, the Interior Department says it chooses sites because they "possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States."

Wright's first building was constructed beginning in 1938 for the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, and much of the labor was done by students - especially during World War II. Wright's legacy at the school continues - his Waterdome was rebuilt to its original specifications in 2007.

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