At just 13 years old, I knew I wanted to be an architect. Hearing my interest, my mother bought me a book about architecture at a library book sale. The book's subject? Frank Lloyd Wright.
Twenty years later, after architecture school morphed into a career designing products for my own company, I wanted to get back to my earlier love so I began presenting talks about Frank Lloyd Wright's life and architecture to small groups at museums, libraries, and women's groups.
In just a few short years, this led to invitations from organizations all over the country and opportunities to present at some of the most famous Wright structures, including Hollyhock House in Los Angeles and Robie House in Chicago.
Today, the story has come full-circle, with my mother, Robin Richter, joining me to curate special Wright-focused tours through our small company, Architecture Travel Companion. From day trips to sites like Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida or the Spring House in Tallahassee, to weeklong intensive trips to Wright's Prairie work in Oak Park, Illinois and to his iconic work at Fallingwater in Southwestern Pennsylvania, we put together amazing experiences for our guests, based upon Robin's knowledge of the travel industry and my passion for the architecture of Mr. Wright.
As a child, I was mesmerized by the gentle geometric rhythms of Wright's work. Without knowing then that his work was rooted in nature and organic principles, I absorbed the concepts of his ordered designs that synced with my own burgeoning understanding of the natural world. Wright's ideas and creations resonate for so many of us because they reflect back our natural harmony with nature, filtered through the lens of our human need to recognize patterns and order the world around us. Now as an adult, it is my great joy to share my lifelong love of this master artist's work with others.
We are busy crafting our next year of tours to important Wright sites around the United States. We expect to curate both large and small group tours. We hope to be able to share our excitement and the amazing sites that await us soon.
Image at top left of page: Tim Totten, Brock Stafford (Tour Operations Manager at Taliesin) and Robin Richter at Taliesin, August 3, 2020. (Click photo for link to Taliesin Preservation.)
One of my very favorite Wright Usonian houses. Located in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, the Louis Penfield House is available for overnight rentals. The story goes that Mr. Penfield wrote Wright for a house design, enclosed a check as a downpayment, and then waited. The plans that arrived were magnificent except for one tiny detail: they ceilings were only 6'8" tall. Mr. Penfield sent back a letter asking for a revision, as he himself was 6'6" tall and he was worried about claustrophobia! The design that returned was even better, with a double-height living room, and it's the house featured in this amazing video.
As of April 29, 2021... We are anxiously waiting for Florida Southern College to reopen and allow tours again!
This is the description of our tours to FSC. We have taken many people on this very in-depth tour by Tim Totten. We usually have several tours each year.
Master Storyteller Tim Totten will take you on an in-depth walking tour of the Wright-designed campus of Florida Southern College, culminating in a tour of the Usonian faculty house, completed from Wright’s plans in 2013. This tour is perfect for those who have heard Totten’s talks and want to see the architecture in three dimensions. Tour will include all buildings on campus designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that are open at the time of the tour. Special events, rentals, and/or repairs may close one or more buildings during the tour.
While the tour features numerous places to stop for a seated discussion of the architecture, the buildings are spread out on the campus and not all are accessible without walking. If you have difficulty standing for 30 minutes at a time or walking at least 1 mile during the 3 hour tour, this may not be the tour for you.
Tim was a Volunteer Docent at the college and has intimate knowledge of the campus. His tours always sell out quickly.
This is Tim's main business. Final Embrace produces and manufactures products for the funeral home industry. The business started in 2001 and continues today as the leader in alternative viewing products for the funeral home industry throughout the world! We also provide our products to hospitals, morgues and removal services. Approximately one-half of our business comes from wholesale customers.
One of Tim's most creative endeavors, Artisan Laser Guild has the largest laser engraver in Lake County, Florida. Brinna is the Office Manager and can handle any need you have for personalized laser engraved products! We also do fundraisers. Contact Brinna for ideas or to capture your own ideas!
Our banner program has been widely embraced for the banners we produce and hang in downtowns and other locations. We offer banners for veterans every year and Tim paid to have banners made and displayed for every graduating senior in Lake County, Florida in 2020. We do banners all over the country.
Tim has a YouTube channel where he offers directions, advise and just a lot of fun while showing you how to create your own projects and is big on making masks that people love! He gives you the instructions and a paper template is available. If you wish to purchase an acrylic template, those are available through Artisan Laser Guild. Visit, view and subscribe to Tim's YouTube channel below:
Join our group by clicking on our Facebook page below:
Tim is the founder and president of the Amazing Race for Charity. He brought the race idea to the Eustis, Florida community and we had our first race in 2014. Each year, teams of two run, skip, jump and mostly walk to compete in 20 or more challenges throughout a different 5 mile course in Eustis. Donations are made to local Lake County charities only and the charities are chosen well in advance through an application process. To date, over $170,000 has been given to local Lake County charities. ARFC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in the state of Florida.
Robin has been a behind-the-scenes volunteer since day one.
Our next race is June 5, 2021.
We are registering racers and volunteers at this time on the website.
Click the website above for more details!
TEDxEustis is a licensed TEDx event brought to you annually in Lake County, Florida, by co-organizers, Timothy Totten and Byron Faudie. Our TEDxEustis began in 2017 and our first event was held on January 5, 2018 in downtown Eustis.
Subsequent events have been held on:
January 18, 2019
January 17, 2020
January 30, 2021
Our next event will be in January 2022.
Our speaker applications are taken in the middle of the year before each event and our coaching process takes approximately seven months before a speaker hits the stage.
TEDxEustis, Inc. Board
Tim Totten, President
Byron Faudie, Vice President
Robin Richter, Secretary and Treasurer
TEDx is a global movement devoted to bringing Ideas Worth Spreading to communities around the globe through independently-organized TED-like events http://www.ted.com/tedx
x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
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Architecture travel companion, llc
632 s. bay street
eustis, florida 32726-4860 USA
813.500.2819 Robin Richter text or call
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