The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy are proud to announce that eight Frank Lloyd Wright sites have been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List.
"After more than 15 years of extensive, collaborative efforts, eight of Frank Lloyd Wright’s major works have officially been inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee. The Wright sites that have been inscribed include Unity Temple, the Frederick C. Robie House, Taliesin, Hollyhock House, Fallingwater, the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House, Taliesin West, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The collection of buildings, formally known in the nomination as The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, span 50 years of Wright’s influential career, and mark the first modern architecture designation in the United States on the World Heritage List. Of the 1,092 World Heritage sites around the world, the group of Wright sites will now join an existing list of 23 sites in the United States."
“It is an immense honor to have Frank Lloyd Wright’s work recognized on the world stage among the most vital and important cultural sites on Earth like Taj Mahal in India, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and the Statue of Liberty in New York,” said Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “To have this unique American legacy placed alongside these precious few sites around the globe is meaningful because it recognizes the profound influence of this American architect and his impact on the whole world. This designation is a great source of national pride, and while eight buildings are included in the inscription, it recognizes the importance of Wright’s work, embodied in every one of his buildings and designs. These sites are not simply World Heritage monuments because they are beautiful. It’s so much more than that. These are places of profound influence, inspiration, and connection.”
“This recognition by UNESCO is a significant way for us to reconfirm how important Frank Lloyd Wright was to the development of modern architecture around the world,” says Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. “There are nearly 400 remaining structures designed by Wright. Our hope is that the inscription of these eight major works also brings awareness to the importance of preserving all of his buildings as a vital part of our artistic, cultural and architectural heritage. All communities where a Wright building stands should appreciate what they have and share in the responsibility to protect their local—and world—heritage.”
The nomination was a coordinated effort led by The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an international organization dedicated to the preservation of all of Wright’s remaining built works, with each of the nominated sites as well as independent scholars, generous subsidies and donations, countless hours donated by staff and volunteers, and the guidance of the National Park Service. More here.
Chicago Tribune columnist, Blair Kamin answers the question of why the news that eight Frank Lloyd Wright buildings have been inscribed on the United Nations’ World Heritage List matters.
"The World Heritage List is a select club of more than 1,100 natural and cultural landmarks, which includes the Taj Mahal, the pyramids, and the Statue of Liberty. Although the listing carries no legal protection against demolition, it raises the international profile of the Wright buildings, almost certainly ensuring their survival."
"The listing also could boost efforts to preserve other threatened Wright buildings, like the Sherman Booth Cottage in north suburban Glencoe or the crumbling Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas." Read Kamin's entire article here.
Heritage Auctions annouces that the Sondern-Adler House in Kansas City, Missouri, a Wright-designed Usonian home built in 1939 and expanded by the architect in 1948, will be offered at a no reserve auction on August 12th.
This L-shaped Usonian home connects visitors to nature with a single cantilevered roof and walls of glass. A sunken living room is anchored by a massive brick fireplace and is at once spacious and cozy. The home's tidewater cypress ceilings and built-ins virtually embrace visitors by contrasting spacious rooms and private nooks. Wright's unique casement windows fully open and allow for natural cooling in the summer and expansive views. A few pieces of furniture, original to the home will remain. More details here.
This winter a highly anticipated museum will finally open its doors after nearly four years of construction. The first of its kind, 137,100-square-foot Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Spread across five floors, it will house one of the nation's largest collections of art from the American Arts and Craft Movement.
The granite and bronze-clad $90 million museum was nearly all privately funded, with substantial donations from founder Rudy Ciccarello. The museum will house his more than 2,000-piece collection of early 20th-century art, which ranges from small pieces like jewelry to full-size rooms by a who’s who of Arts & Craft Movement artists including Gustav Stickley, Alfred Stieglitz, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Charles Rohlfs, Alsop Robineau, Alvin Langdon Coburn, and Frank Lloyd Wright. More information here.
Not far from the Pentagon in Northern Virginia, there is a small house nestled into a woodsy and green background — the kind of serene setting you'd imagine on a postcard. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Pope-Leighey House is a single-story home with a history both odd and a little sad. Read all about it here.
Before Frank Lloyd Wright became an internationally-recognized name in the world of design, the architect spent many years in Oak Park, Illinois, designing homes for Chicago-area residents. Oak Park’s federally designated Frank Lloyd Wright/Prairie School of Architecture Historic District boasts the world’s largest collection of Wright-designed homes, and by studying his work in Oak Park, we can get a good read on the architect’s evolution. Find out more here.
Although Frank Lloyd Wright is mostly known for his architecture in the Midwest, he has work scattered around the country, including significant examples in Los Angeles. His legacy there includes the Hollyhock House in Hollywood, built for Aline Barnsdall and named for its stylized floral motif. The Barnsdall Park home is open to the public ($7 for adults). Other Wright homes in L.A. include the Ennis House in Los Feliz as well as the Freeman House (owned by USC) and the Storer House, both in Hollywood.
Now five private residences, from the San Gabriel Valley to Orinda in the north, will be open to the public on selected dates in July. Tours cost $150 for each site. The cost is a donation to the sponsoring Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative, a nonprofit organization that seeks to rebuild and renovate the architect’s work around the country.
The houses, many in the Usonian style and named for the people who built them, include two in Southern California that have never been open to the public, according to Michael Miner, chief executive and founder of the organization, who has made documentaries about Wright. It’s a treat for the architect’s fans who want to visit every Wright building still standing in the U.S., which number about 350 to 400 sites.
Here’s the lineup of residential tours; visitors should purchase tickets in advance.
► 2:30 p.m. July 13: The Wilbur Pearce House in Bradbury, about 25 miles northeast of downtown L.A., which has a sweeping arched facade with floor-to-ceiling windows. The house is described as being in “pre-restored” state. Tour members will get to meet the owners’ grandson, Konrad Pearce.
► 2:30 P.m. July 14: The George and Millie Ablin House in Bakersfield is described as a Usonian concept house, low-cost houses that “were flat-roofed, usually of one floor placed on a heated concrete foundation mat,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. It was designed in 1958, a year before his death.
► 2:30 p.m. July 20: The Bazett-Frank House tour in Hillsborough will feature the owners’ sons Laurence and Oliver Frank as well as professor Paul Turner, author of “Frank Lloyd Wright & San Francisco.” Here you’ll be able to lie down in the famed “mummy room,” the smallest bedroom ever designed by Wright.
► 2:30 p.m. July 27: Maynard Buehler House in Orinda is another Usonian, with a flat roof and an L-shaped plan, designed in 1948.
► 5:30 p.m. July 28: Guests at the Robert Berger House in San Anselmo, designed and built in the 1950s, will be met by current owner James Rega and the owner’s daughter, Suzanne Berger. This tour includes a wine pour.
More information here.