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Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West in Scottsdale Makes UNESCO World Heritage List

Exploring Taliesin West, which was recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Exploring Taliesin West, which was recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Andrew Pielage/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Taliesin West is one of eight Frank Lloyd Wright designs just added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Founded in 1946, UNESCO comprises the United Nations' educational, scientific, and cultural organizations.

Wright established the site, which served as his winter home, in Scottsdale in 1937. Born in Wisconsin in 1867, Wright is widely regarded as one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. He died in Phoenix in 1959, following a career spanning seven decades.

The 20th-century architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 7, after being submitted for nomination by the National Park Service in November 2018. The nomination includes eight buildings.

“It’s an immense honor to have Frank Lloyd Wright’s work recognized on the world stage among the most vital and important cultural sites on Earth,” Stuart Graff stated in the July 7 press release announcing the news. Graff is president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

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Taliesin West is now one of two Arizona sites on the list. Grand Canyon National Park is included as a natural site, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture is included as a cultural site. Only eleven of the 24 U.S. sites on the list are cultural sites.

The U.S. National Park Service submitted its nomination for the Wright-designed sites to the World Heritage Centre in Paris on November 20, 2018. The designation was awarded on July 7, during the 2019 session of the World Heritage Committee held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Additional Frank Lloyd Wright buildings included in the designation include the Guggenheim Museum in New York, as well as Fallingwater in Pennsylvania and the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Wisconsin. These sites reflect Wright’s organic style of architecture, characterized by blending interior and exterior environments.

“These sites are not simply World Heritage monuments because they are beautiful,” Graff says. “These are places of profound influence, inspiration, and connection.”

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