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World Heritage Site

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Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings is part of the Tentative list of USA in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.



  • Tentative

The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

Frederik Dawson Netherlands - 21-Jun-15

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings (T) by Frederik Dawson

It seems very strange to me that many reviewers have been to the famous Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York but did not write any review on this stunning piece of architecture, since I visited this museum last month on the special day that the museum was very quiet and almost empty by the change of the whole exhibition, allowing a big chance to admire its architecture detail with almost no restriction to take photo. Located on the famous Fifth Avenue next to the beautiful Central Park, the museum exterior was really stunning with unique design that some people said toilet-liked building, but for me, its pure white colour really reminded me a spinning top, a really contrast to its surrounding of luxury apartments.

Inside, the famous spiral atrium was truly amazing, very futuristic and really beautiful piece of art by itself. The natural light in the atrium from the glass roof was quite a genius as not only bright the atrium hall, but also gave the feeling of warm and soft atmosphere to the whole place. I took an elevator to the top floor; the elevator itself was also quite unique with semi-circular or actually half oval shaped. From the top floor I walked on the ramp to the lower floor. Since there was no exhibition, I really questioned how the museum displays the art, especially painting with slope floor and little bend out wall. I continued to other exhibition halls and other small atrium. The small almost circle shaped atrium, while not grand like the main one, but still lovely to see for its nice design that plays with light. Another beautiful and stylish piece of architecture is the triangular shaped staircase, which was used as an alternative way to go up and down instead of the ramp of the main atrium. I also found out that the shape of toilet rooms are also in half oval shaped, a really nice design to use leftover space, but the unusual shaped also made toilet too big and load of unused space.

I really enjoyed my time in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and really admired Frank Lloyd Wright’s creativity for his unique design in the atrium and staircase, maybe too futuristic but unbelievably provided the sense of softness and touchable in the same time. Too bad that this is just my second times to admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s works, another one is Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, and each site gave me the totally different experiences on this famous architect and made me a little bit confusing in his styles and overall idea. Anyway in my opinion I totally agreed that this nomination by USA to World Heritage Site programme is truly justified its place on the list.

Boj Philippines - 15-Jun-15

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings (T) by Boj

I will be among one of the many who will happily cheer when Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings get listed as World Heritage in 2016. I was able to visit two nominated sites in May 2015 - the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and Taliesin West in Arizona.

Taliesin West is indeed a masterpiece; a building that is alive and blends well with its environment. Wright's concept of organic architecture is beautifully manifested in the construction materials (stones with desert varnish). From the inside, the arrangement of windows and passageways naturally "frame" the desert landscape outside. The nearby hill is also enhanced by the house's slanted rooflines. Simply put: architecture as poetry!

Kim Valentine USA - 04-Apr-13

Why isn't the Bradley House in Kankakee Illinois (USA) included? It is a beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright home that is often forgotten. While in High School I worked there as a hostess for the Yesteryear Restaurant. There is a stream flowing beneath the home and it displays beautiful architecture.

Kyle Magnuson California - United States of America - 25-Jul-12

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings (T) by Kyle Magnuson

Probably the United States greatest architect with a far-reaching influence, this nomination should be an early inscription on the new US tentative list. By every definition a site of outstanding universal value.

I visited 6 of 10 sites included in this nomination.

- Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House (Madison, WI)

- Hollyhock House (Los Angeles, CA)

- Marin County Civic Center (San Raphael, CA)

- Taliesin West (Scottsdale, AZ)

- Unity Temple (Oak Park, IL)

- The Guggenheim Museum (New York City, NY)

In the near future I hope to visit one other site located in Wisconsin, since I have family there. The nomination covers many iconic structures of Frank Lloyd Wright's long career that extended seven decades. When inscribed the Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings will be an excellent addition to the world heritage list.

Read more from Kyle Magnuson here.

Adam DeMura USA - 12-Nov-11

Frank Lloyd Wright was a pioneer of not just "American" architecture, but architecture in general. I have visited Fallingwater (my favorite piece of architecture) and it does not disappoint. I'm not going to waste my time trying to describe it to you... so i suggest you schedule a tour and JUST GO. You'll be glad you did.

One thing that really sets Wright apart from the rest is that he was willing to create more than just a building (a mere shell) to live/work in. Rather, he created a living space that catered to whomever inhabited it. In fact, it seems as though his buildings "nurtured" their inhabitants. His organic architecture compliments our lives AND nature. He was a very, very forward-thinking man and was way beyond his time.

All there is left for me to do is to own a FLW home... (wish me luck)

Ian Cade UK - 19-Mar-10

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings (T) by Ian Cade

I will be very surprised if these buildings do not make it onto the World Heritage List as they are exceptional testaments to one of the most important architects of the 20th century.

A few years back I was lucky enough to have a week or so in Chicago and was able to tour the Architectural delights of the city. The buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright were certainly one of the highlights. The western suburb of Oak Park is littered with buildings he designed though only Unity Temple is nominated this is a great place to start getting an understanding of the architects’ work especially if you visit his house and studio.

The effect of the Prairie school that he pioneered can be seen in houses across the wealthier outskirts of the city; however the finest building of his that I saw, the Robie House, is located in the less salubrious South side of Chicago. It is next to the leafy Chicago University campus (worth a visit for the excellent Oriental Institute Museum) and it is an exceptional feat of domestic architecture. The use of space and horizontal lines is incredible and I was surprised by how impressed I was by the building as I had not guessed it would be so good from the pictures I had seen.

A few years later I was able to visit one of his most renowned works, the Guggenheim Museum in New York. This again was a highly impressive and unique building made all the better by the long stroll across Central Park that led to it. There are additions to the Museum to Wright’s original plans that make it look strangely like a toilet, however the aesthetic joy of the spiralling gallery is great both internally and externally. Though it has to be said it is not really that great a space for displaying works of art.

I hope to continue viewing more of Wrights work as I travel around with Fallingwater and the Johnson Factory topping my wish-list.

These buildings would be an excellent addition to the World Heritage List and it would also signify a slight shift in the focus of the US’s approach to it, hopefully for the better as there are so many modern architectural marvels that could be added in the future.

Tish USA - 30-Jun-09

I grew up across the street from the Darwin Martin House. When I was little it was wooded; an architect lived there. His daughter had her own skating rink. We played in the perglola. There were three buildings. At present it is almost completely restored. The feeling inside a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie house is both airy and warm - he really liked natural light. Windows through windows, skylighting - in 1904! The room they rebuilt in the Metropolitan Museum in NY has high ceilings but still feels roomy and very cosy at the same time. I wonder what it would be like to cook in a Frank Lloyd Wright kitchen.

Els Slots The Netherlands - 17-Apr-09

Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings (T) by Els Slots

There are 10 buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright nominated for inclusion (as a serial nomination). One of these, arguably the most prominent one, is Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. I visited it on a bright sunny weekday in April.

Fallingwater is located about half an hour from the highway, amidst forests and green hills. The scenery reminded me of Germany or Slovakia. There are many beautiful traditional wooden houses here. It is so remote that I am beginning to think that perhaps I will be the only visitor to tour the house.

But when I approach the parking lot I find more than 40 cars already there! Now it becomes clear why you must book weeks in advance.

As I'm an hour early for my tour, I first have something to eat at the café and have a look around at the museum shop. Both are well-stocked.

With a group of about 15 people I then am allowed to visit the house. It is only visible when you come very near, you get there via a bridge. From the bridge there's already a great view of the characteristic terraces, like swimming pool diving boards. They are on one side supported by beams and the rest is suspended.

Fallingwater was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and built between 1936 and 1938 as a country house for the Kaufmann family (for a price of 155,000 dollars). Its name comes from the waterfall in the Bear Run river which was incorporated in the design of the house.

A guide gives us a tour of the interior. Materials used are walnut wood, reinforced concrete, natural stone slabs and steel. Also natural elements are reused, for example a large boulder. Almost all rooms have a fireplace, the central focus of the house. There are also sliding glass doors to terraces at different levels. It all looks very comfortable to live in.

In addition to the home of the Kaufmann family, there is also a guesthouse. The guests were taken care of just as well as the owners. The family had five staff to serve and for the maintenance of buildings and terrain.

My general conclusion about this site is that it's very much worth a detour when you're in Pennsylvania or Ohio. Also I think this would be a worthy addition to the WH List, so I'm looking forward to when the US finally gives this site a go.

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Site Info

Site History

  • 2016 - Referred 
  • 2008 - Revision Former TWHS "Taliesin West" and "Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio" (both from 1990 T List) merged into this site
  • 2008 - Added to Tentative List 
  • 1991 - Referred As Taliesin and Taliesin West: Bureau -deferred the examination of this nomination pending the results of a topic-by-topic study of contemporary architecture.

Site Links

In the News


The site has 11 locations. Show all

  • Fallingwater
  • Frederick C. Robie House
  • Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House
  • Hollyhock House
  • Marin County Civic Center
  • Price Tower
  • S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Administration Building and Research Tower
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Taliesin
  • Taliesin West
  • Unity Temple