The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright,

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This is the name given to a collection of eight Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings which, this year, has been given UNESCO World Heritage status.

Taliesin West © the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

All eight buildings are in the USA and it marks the first US modern architecture designation on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

One of his houses, Ennis House near Los Angeles is a Mayan design-influenced house has undergone a major refurbishment and was up for sale earlier. Whilst that might have cost the buyer over twenty million dollars, another of Lloyd Wright’s houses, Sturgess residence, went for a tenth of that sum. That is still expensive by most standards but not by the value that might be placed on other heritage sites. Another in Illinois went for under a million.

If you don’t fancy owning one of his homes then some are available for rent

Some readers may be unfamiliar with Lloyd Wright’s work in which case Chicago should probably be their first point of call. Here there are a number of his buildings

Take the Baker House for example. This home is located in the Chicago suburb Wilmette, and it’s just two blocks away from the shores of Lake Michigan. Like many of Wright’s homes, the Baker House is built into its surrounding landscape, with large, Japanese-influenced windows offering views of the surrounding nature.  Nearby, in Oak Park are Unity Temple and the Frederick C Robie House. These last ones are two of the eight that were given the World Heritage status this year.

The other six are to be found scattered around the US. That can make it trying for overseas visitors who would like to tour as many of his architectural attractions as possible but it does mean that, for those living in the USA, one is not that far away. 

Some like Taliesin, (in Wisconsin) Taliesin West  (Arizona) and Fallingwater (Pennsylvania) are known the world over. Others like the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York are known but sometimes not linked to Lloyd Wright.

It took fifteen years of collaboration to bring about the designation showing how difficult it can be to get heritage status. Even during his lifetime many people realised that Lloyd Wright’s legacy was so important and substantial so UNESCO only confirmed what most of us know. That his work is as important and influential as almost any other architect living or dead has recieved a stamp of approval.

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