My sweet people surprised me for my birthday with a day trip to Bartlesville to visit the Price Tower. Taylor and I are both Frank Lloyd Wright fans so they knew this was the perfect birthday treat.
It took us around an hour to get there from Tulsa, and as soon as you could see the Bartlesville skyline it was easy to spot the Price Tower. The building stands as “a tree that escaped the forest“ just as Wright intended. The Price Tower is the only skyscraper Wright designed to be brought to fruition. Having visited other famous Wright sites around the country, it was interesting to see the way Wright executed his signature style in this type of structure.
When we arrived for our two o’clock tour, we were told it was full. Oh no! (The lesson here kids is always call ahead!) However the staff was so gracious and brought in another docent for us and let us enjoy drinks in their restaurant, The Copper Restaurant and Bar while we waited.
Our tour started in the entryway of the building where in place of the mural that Mr. Price had requested, Mr. Wright offered the “generous” compromise of a painted quote by Walt Whitman. Then it was on the tiny elevator and up to the conference room and apartment used by the Price family. There were no photos allowed on the tour so I tried to snap a few each time we stepped outside.
Inside the little elevator
A view of the Bartlesville Community Center across the street
The last stop of the tour was Mr. Price’s office on the 19th floor and this was my favorite part. Even though the square footage of the space isn’t much, the natural light is amazing and you can only imagine Mr. Price feeling on top of the world running his business from such an inspired and modern place.
We had such a fun day and I loved hearing the children recognize some of the Wright design principles that are used in our own house, what they liked and didn’t like about them, and how it all made them feel. Their discussion reminded me of why I am a Frank Lloyd Wright fan. What he lacked in practicality, he made up for in uncompromising vision, and that is art and it awakens the mind to new possibilities.
Happy New Year everyone!