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8 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings nominated to be World Heritage Sites

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They would join masterpieces from Le Corbusier, Barragan, and Gropius

Fallingwater (1935) in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Wikimedia Commons

The list of UNESCO World Heritage sites reads like a bucket-list of architectural wonders: Luis Barragán’s Casa Barragan, Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus Dessau, Le Corbusier’s Chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut. And if Frank Lloyd Wright’s conservators have any say in the matter, eight of his buildings will soon be on that list, too.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy nominated eight of Wright’s buildings to become a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019. Remarkably, Wright’s buildings are the first pieces of modern architecture to be submitted for the honor by the United States.

The committee nominated them as a collection of buildings that span 50 years of the architect’s career from the early 19th century to the late 1950s. The buildings were carefully chosen to highlight Wright’s architectural through-lines and show how his designs fundamentally shaped the landscape of American architecture.

The Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright. The interior has couches, tables, a fireplace, and a skylight with wooden slats. The wall above the fireplace is brown brick. There is a tan floor.
Interior of the Hollyhock House (1921) in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Daniels

The buildings in the 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright collection are Taliesin, Unity Temple, the Frederick C. Robie House, Fallingwater, the Hollyhock House, the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House, Taliesin West, and the Guggenheim. If the collection is granted the honor, all of the works will receive the World Heritage designation.

The exterior of the Guggenheim in New York City. The facade, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is white and curved.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1959) in New York City.

This wouldn’t change much aside from increased tourism, according to the conservancy. Many of Wright’s homes and buildings are already historical landmarks, and a World Heritage Site designation would simply piggyback on existing regulations for the buildings—only now with an added feather in their cap.

The committee will decide on the listing in July 2019, so stay tuned for more news.