Wednesday, March 14, 2007
As I mentioned last night, our last sightseeing of the "Big Five-Oh" trip, if you don't count IKEA, was a visit to a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Spire in Scottsdale, AZ. It was part of Wright's proposed 1957 design for the Arizona State Capitol, along with some shorter spires and other features that were too outre for lawmakers of the era. It was finally built all by itself in 2004 at the corner of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road, at the edge of The Promenade Mall. It weighs more than 75,000 pounds, according to the Roadside America tip about it, and is assembled with about 1,700 individual pieces of steel.
Yeah, well. The point is that it's this historic thing, designed by the best-known architect since Charles Eiffel; and yet it exists basically as a big turquoise-colored curiosity at the edge of a shopping mall.
But I got out of the car and walked over for a closer look and some better photos. Right away I came upon a big canvas-covered fence behind which the spire was apparently barricaded. The sign on the fence proclaimed the creation of a Frank Lloyd Wright Commemorative Park, to be opened in Spring, 2007. Peeking through the tears in the canvas told me two things: 1) they've barely started doing anything with that little block of land, and 2) the spire was not actually in the barricaded area. I walked on.
I'm glad I did! There already is a park covering perhaps a quarter acre around the spire. This bear sculpture is one of quite a few animal statues found in there, along with javalinas, a coyote and several bunnies. Real desert plants, including this youngish saguaro (perhaps 75 years old) and firecracker bushes, add natural elements to the landscaping.
According to our tour guide at Taliesin West yesterday, Wright liked the idea of a ship design in the desert. The spire and its surroundings seem to reflect this interest. Doesn't this water feature remind you of the prow of a ship? The bricks that box it in are the same kind John and I see around Tucson all the time, and want to incorporate into our house. And the water here attracts a natural, albeit ephemeral, element to this little park. Do you see what I'm talking about?
It's a whole flock of grackles, here to take advantage of the cool water on an unusually hot March day.
Now that I'm home again, I need to get on with a number of things, like packing stuff from my office into boxes, and getting on with diet and exercise, and updating a resume or two. I'm getting to the point where I can't put off such things much longer. After all, I said I was giving up avoidance for Lent!
To that end, I copied some leads off a Writer's Digest online article tonight. It was about 23 literary agencies currently accepting new clients. Of those, I found three that represent the magic combination fantasy/science fiction/young adult, and that didn't, to the best of my memory, reject a previous query years ago. If I don't announce by the end of the week that I've written at least a first draft of a query to one or more of these agents, you have my permission to start nagging me.