Falling Water

Fallingwater  is one of 10 Frank Lloyd Wright works to be nominated by the U.S. for inclusion among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The list by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is an effort to preserve the places of the world that represent a “natural heritage … of outstanding value to humanity.”

The 11 structures, all included within a nomination recognizing Frank Lloyd Wright’s work as a whole, are among the first modern pieces of U.S. architecture to be nominated.

The list, which includes 1,000 locations worldwide, already includes 22 U.S. sites including Independence Hall, Monticello and the University of Virginia.

Wright’s buildings were built between 1906 and 1969, providing a modern representation of the United States’ architectural heritage that does not yet exist on the site list. Countries such as Spain and Australia already have similar designations for the Gaudí Apartments and Sydney Opera House.

Outside the realm of architecture, U.S. designations include Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.

Among the buildings nominated alongside Fallingwater are Unity Temple in Illinois, the S.C. Johnson Administration Building and Research Center in Wisconsin, the Marin County Civic Center in California and Price Tower in Oklahoma.

UNESCO writes that “The work of Frank Lloyd Wright has made outstanding contributions to the development of modern architecture through his treatment of space, his development of an abstract geometry of form, and his expression of the ideals of an organic architecture.”

“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,” cites the nomination description.

UNESCO’s decision regarding the designation of the buildings will most likely be announced in 2016.

See UNESCO’s list of “tentatives” for full descriptions of all 10 buildings, as well as the process for their consideration.

Rebekah Zook is a Duquesne grad and all-around story-telling enthusiast. A former fellow at WESA, she worked as a production assistant for their daily talk show. Most recently, she taught in the Propel Charter School system as a visiting artist. When she isn’t writing, Rebekah is a trip leader for the local non-profit organization Venture Outdoors. You can usually find her in a bright yellow kayak.