Unity Temple, Robie House among eight Frank Lloyd Wright projects to receive World Heritage status

The UNESCO designation includes signature works designed by Wright during the first half of the 20th century.

July 08, 2019 |
Unity Temple (Chicago), Photo by James Caulfield, courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Unity Temple, Chicago. Photo: James Caulfield, courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

During the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee, currently taking place in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan (June 30 - July 10, 2019), the World Heritage Committee named eight projects by Frank Lloyd Wright to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The designation, officially named “The 20th century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright,” includes signature works designed by the architect during the first half of the 20th century. They are:
• Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House (Los Angeles)
• Fallingwater (Mill Run, Pa.)
• Frederick C. Robie House (Chicago)
• Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House (Madison, Wis.)
• Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York)
• Taliesin (Spring Green, Wis.)
• Taliesin West (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
• Unity Temple (Oak Park, Ill.)

On making the selection, the World Heritage Committee stated: “These buildings reflect the ‘organic architecture’ developed by Wright, which includes an open plan, a blurring of the boundaries between exterior and interior, and the unprecedented use of materials such as steel and concrete. Each of these buildings offers innovative solutions to the needs for housing, worship, work or leisure. Wright's work from this period had a strong impact on the development of modern architecture in Europe.”

In Chicago, the UNESCO designation coincides with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust’s announcement of a new Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor and Education Center. The trust owns and maintains Wright’s Home and Studio in Oak Park, Ill., and operates public tours and programs at five Chicago area historic sites, including Unity Temple (1905-08) and Robie House (1908-10).   

“This UNESCO designation firmly establishes Wright’s place on the international stage of modern architecture,” said Celeste Adams, President & CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.

Wright joins pioneers of modern architecture already inscribed on the prestigious list, including Gerrit Rietveld, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa. There are more than 1,000 World Heritage sites around the world, and the group of Wright sites is now among 24 sites in the U.S.

 

Frederick C. Robie House, Chicago. Photo: Tim Long, courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Frederick C. Robie House, Chicago. Photo: James Caulfield, courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

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