UNESCO Adds 8 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings to World Heritage List

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings were recently added to the prestigious list.
Fabienne Lang
Frank Lloyd Wright BuildingsFrank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Eight of the works of famed American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on Sunday. The buildings join the list next to well-known cultural sites such as The Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal. 


Adding Wright's creations to the list has placed the United States firmly on the World Heritage map for its first modern architecture additions. 

Why were the eight buildings added

Some of Wright's most notable pieces of work have now been included as part of a World Heritage site.

The buildings that are part of the list include: the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; the Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania; the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, Wisconsin; Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, California; Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona; Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin; the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago, Illinois; and the Unity Temple in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

UNESCO Adds 8 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings to World Heritage List
The Guggenheim Museum, now part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Source: KaiPilger/Pixabay

As per the UNESCO press release, "Each of these buildings offers innovative solutions to the needs for housing, worship, work, and leisure."

The committee, that met on Sunday in Baku, Azerbaijan, continued in their statement, "Wright's work from this period had a strong impact on the development of modern architecture in Europe."

Furthermore, architecturally speaking, the UNESCO press release stated: "These buildings reflect the 'organic architecture' developed by Wright, which includes an open-air plan, a blurring of the boundaries between exterior and interior and the unprecedented use of materials such as steel and concrete." 

UNESCO Adds 8 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings to World Heritage List
Fallingwater house. Source: 12019/Pixabay

"The nomination took more than 15 years"

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation said that the "nomination took more than 15 years."

Now that Wright's buildings have been added, they join the list of 1,121 locations worldwide that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Each place must meet at least one of 10 criteria. For example, representing a masterpiece of human creative genius, or containing superlative natural phenomena. 

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UNESCO Adds 8 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings to World Heritage List
Taliesin West in Arizona. Source: netdesignate/Pixabay

Wright's buildings dating from the early 20th century, have certainly met some of these criteria, and now form part of the 24 American sites listed on the World Heritage List.

As Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, perfectly put it "These sights are not simply World Heritage monuments because they are beautiful. These are places of profound influence, inspiration and connection."

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