A New Beginning
The Miller Planetarium Restoration
Jan 15, 2021
Florida Southern College is home to the world’s largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, with twelve astonishing and breathtaking structures. Wright named the collection “Child of the Sun” as a description of his designs. During his last visit in 1957, Wright described FSC as “the first uniquely American campus”. Since Wright’s passing, FSC has been gifted the responsibility of preserving his works. However, as time goes on these old buildings need a little assistance braving the Florida weather.
The next restoration project is the Miller Planetarium, which is located at the southern end of campus. FSC’s Planetarium was the only Wright-designed planetarium ever built and was the last building to be completed. Polk Science opened in 1958 and is home to mathematics and science classes. Since its opening, the Planetarium has filled students with awe and wonder, through stargazing and fascinating presentations.
With the challenging Florida weather, the Planetarium is in need of repairs to be restored to its original glory. Once these updates have been made, it will be again open to the campus.
The updates to the building will not only help keep the original design of Frank Lloyd Wright alive, but it will foster curiosity in students as it can be used in more of an educational context. All updates will remain aligned to the designs left behind by Wright. With a grant totaling $500,000, Florida Southern is able to make these much-needed updates.
The project supervisor is the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs, Terry Dennis.
The College has asked me, Kelsey Elmhorst, to blog during the process of the Planetarium restoration. I am a junior Communications major with two Business minors at Florida Southern. Last year I had the opportunity to study abroad in London, through FSC. While I was traveling, I blogged about my experiences for my family and friends back home. Because of this blog, the FSC Administration asked me to document the restoration, which is expected to be completed Summer 2021. I’m excited to share each step along the way with you!