The U.S. Department of the Interior recently released a new list of sites that it would tentatively nominate for UNESCO World Heritage status. Of particular interest to PrairieMod fans was the fact that 10 Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings are being proposed as a serial nomination. So what does this mean?
As stated on its website, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972. Sites on that list include the Taj Mahal, The Great Barrier Reef, The Great Wall of China, Notre Dame Cathedral, etc. The Wright Top 10 may soon be added to the auspicious list of sites as an example of important cultural wealth for all humanity. What follows is an excellent quote from the U.S. Interior's report on why Wright's work deserves this highest of cultural honors:
Wright’s work represents an outstanding creative contribution to both twentieth-century architecture and to architecture as a whole. The 10 properties illustrate his genius in the creation of an architecture of dynamic interior space designed around the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of the individual and with the goal of integrating the building with its setting. Each also represents a reconceptualization of programmatic requirements in modern terms and a unique expression of the relationship between form and function. Each example is given a powerful symbolic form directly expressive of the institution it houses, whether it be the family, the workplace, the place of worship or of cultural or civic activity. The properties proposed have been acclaimed as masterworks by architects, scholars, and critics, virtually from the time of construction.
For those that are curious, The Wright 10 buildings are:
• Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois
• Frederick C. Robie House, Chicago, Illinois
• Hollyhock House, Los Angeles, California
• Taliesin, Spring Green, Wisconsin
• Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania
• S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Administration Building and Research Tower, Racine, Wisconsin
• Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona
• Price Tower, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
• Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York
• Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael, California
Image copyright UNESCO