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Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings Passed Over by UNESCO World Heritage Committee

A group nomination of 10 of the architect's masterworks was referred for later consideration.

An effort to get a selection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most important works recognized by one of the world’s foremost cultural heritage organizations didn’t pan out, at least this year.

Earlier this week, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, met in Turkey and voted on adding new site to the respected World Heritage list. Of the numerous submissions this year, 21 were added. But the Wright submission, which included Fallingwater, Taliesin West, and the Hollyhock House and was, didn’t make the cut.

The U.S.-backed submission of these works has officially been "referred," which means that the committee requested more information to make a final decision. It will likely be resubmitted next year.

Fallingwater’s Lynda Waggoner said, "While we would have preferred the series be inscribed at this session, we feel the decision to refer is fair. A serial nomination like ours is a very complex undertaking and it is certainly not unusual for such nominations to be reworked multiple times before inscription is achieved. We appreciate the opportunity to address the Committee’s concerns in the coming months and hope for inscription of the series in a few years."

This year’s additions, which included a Canadian coastal area, the Mistaken Point Cliffs, with some of the world’s oldest known fossils, as well as ruins on the Pacific Island of Pohnpei, met at the benchmark of being sites with "outstanding universal value." The prestigious list of additions does include a significant number of important works of modern architecture. A similar group nomination of works by Le Corbusier, including work in France, India, and Tokyo, were added to the list, celebrated for "inventing new architectural techniques to respond to the needs of society."


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