Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Administration
Budget
Capacity Building
Communication
Community
Conservation
Credibility of the World Heritage ...
Inscriptions on the World Heritage ...
International Assistance
List of World Heritage in Danger
Operational Guidelines
Outstanding Universal Value
Partnerships
Periodic Reporting
Reinforced Monitoring
Reports
Tentative Lists
Working methods and tools
World Heritage Convention








2024 47 COM
2023 24 GA
2023 46 COM
2022 45 COM
2021 16 EXT.COM
2021 23 GA
2021 44 COM
2021 15 EXT.COM
2020 14 EXT.COM
2019 13 EXT.COM
2019 22 GA
2019 43 COM
2018 42 COM
2017 12 EXT.COM
2017 21 GA
2017 41 COM
2016 40 COM
2015 11 EXT.COM
2015 20 GA
2015 39 COM
2014 1 EXT.GA
2014 38 COM
2013 19 GA
2013 37 COM
2012 36 COM
2011 10 EXT.COM
2011 18 GA
2011 35 COM
2010 34 COM
2010 9 EXT.COM
2009 17 GA
2009 33 COM
2008 32 COM
2007 16 GA
2007 8 EXT.COM
2007 31 COM
2006 30 COM
2005 15 GA
2005 29 COM
2005 29 BUR
2004 7 EXT.COM
2004 7 EXT.BUR
2004 28 COM
2004 28 BUR
2003 14 GA
2003 27 COM
2003 27 BUR
2003 6 EXT.COM
2002 26 COM
2002 26 BUR
2001 25 COM
2001 25 EXT.BUR
2001 5 EXT.COM
2001 13 GA
2001 25 BUR
2000 24 COM
2000 24 EXT.BUR
2000 24 BUR(SPE)
2000 24 BUR
1999 23 COM
1999 23 EXT.BUR
1999 4 EXT.COM
1999 12 GA
1999 3 EXT.COM
1999 23 BUR
1998 22 COM
1998 22 EXT.BUR
1998 22 BUR
1997 21 COM
1997 21 EXT.BUR
1997 2 EXT.COM
1997 11 GA
1997 21 BUR
1996 20 COM
1996 20 EXT.BUR
1996 20 BUR
1995 19 COM
1995 19 EXT.BUR
1995 10 GA
1995 19 BUR
1994 18 COM
1994 18 EXT.BUR
1994 18 BUR
1993 17 COM
1993 17 EXT.BUR
1993 9 GA
1993 17 BUR
1992 16 COM
1992 16 BUR
1991 15 COM
1991 8 GA
1991 15 BUR
1990 14 COM
1990 14 BUR
1989 13 COM
1989 7 GA
1989 13 BUR
1988 12 COM
1988 12 BUR
1987 11 COM
1987 6 GA
1987 11 BUR
1986 10 COM
1986 10 BUR
1985 9 COM
1985 5 GA
1985 9 BUR
1984 8 COM
1984 8 BUR
1983 7 COM
1983 4 GA
1983 7 BUR
1982 6 COM
1982 6 BUR
1981 5 COM
1981 1 EXT.COM
1981 5 BUR
1980 3 GA
1980 4 COM
1980 4 BUR
1979 3 COM
1979 3 BUR
1979 2 BUR
1978 2 GA
1978 2 COM
1978 1 BUR
1977 1 COM
1976 1 GA

Decision 43 COM 8B.38
The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (United States of America)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/19/43.COM/8B.Add and WHC/19/43.COM/INF.8B1.Add,
  2. Inscribes The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, United States of America, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criterion (ii);
  3. Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

    Brief synthesis

    The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright focusses upon the influence that the work of this architect had, not only in his country, the United States of America, but more importantly, on architecture of the 20th century and upon the recognized masters of the Modern Movement in architecture in Europe. The qualities of what is known as ‘Organic Architecture’ developed by Wright, including the open plan, the blurring between exterior and interior, the new uses of materials and technologies and the explicit responses to the suburban and natural settings of the various buildings, have been acknowledged as pivotal in the development of modern architectural design in the 20th century.

    The property includes a series of eight buildings designed and built over the first half of the 20th century; each component has specific characteristics, representing new solutions to the needs for housing, worship, work, education and leisure. The diversity of functions, scale and setting of the components of the series fully illustrate the architectural principles of “organic architecture”.

    The buildings employ geometric abstraction and spatial manipulation as a response to functional and emotional needs and are based literally or figuratively on nature’s forms and principles. In adapting inspirations from global cultures, they break free of traditional forms and facilitate modern life. Wright’s solutions would go on to influence architecture and design throughout the world, and continue to do so to this day.

    The components of the series include houses both grand and modest (including the consummate example of a “Prairie” house and the prototype “Usonian” house); a place of worship; a museum; and complexes of the architect’s own homes with studio and education facilities. These buildings are located variously in city, suburban, forest, and desert environments. The substantial range of function, scale, and setting in the series underscores both the consistency and the wide applicability of those principles. Each has been specifically recognized for its individual influence, which also contributes uniquely to the elaboration of this original architectural language.

    Such features related to innovation are subordinated to designs that integrate form, materials, technology, furnishings, and setting into a unified whole. Each building is uniquely fitted to the needs of its owner and its function and, though designed by the same architect, each has a very different character and appearance, reflecting a deep respect and appreciation for the individual and the particular. Together, these buildings illustrate the full range of this architectural language, which is a singular contribution to global architecture in spatial, formal, material, and technological terms.

    The Outstanding Universal Value of the serial property is conveyed through attributes such as spatial continuity expressed through the open plan and blurred transitions between interior and exterior spaces; dynamic forms that employ innovative structural methods and an inventive use of new materials and technologies; design inspired by nature’s forms and principles; integral relationship with nature; primacy of the individual and individualized expression and transforming inspirations from other places and cultures.

    Criterion (ii): The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright demonstrates an important interchange in the discourse that changed architecture on a global scale during the first half of the 20th century. The eight components illustrate different aspects of Wright’s new approach to architecture consciously developed for an American context; the resulting buildings, however, were in fact suited to modern life in many countries, and in their fusion of spirit and form they evoked emotional responses that were universal in their appeal. Reacting against prevailing styles in the United States, this approach took advantage of new materials and technologies, but was also inspired by principles of the natural world and was nurtured by other cultures and eras. These innovative ideas and the resulting unified architectural works were noted in European architectural and critical circles early in the century and influenced several of the trends and architects of the European Modern Movement in architecture. Wright’s influence is also noticeable in the work of some architects in Latin America, Australia and Japan.

    Integrity

    The serial property contains all the elements necessary to express its Outstanding Universal Value since it encompasses the works generally understood by critics and other architects to have been most influential. Each component highlights a different aspect of the attributes that demonstrate this influence and contributes to illustrating different aspects of the Outstanding Universal Value in a defined and discernible way, and reflects clear cultural and architectural links. As an ensemble, they prove to have exerted an influence on architecture over the first half of the 20th century.

    The boundaries of each of the components include all the key elements to express their significance, although a minor boundaries modification in Taliesin, to include all the structures and gardens designed by Wright, would allow a better understanding of the whole property. The boundaries in components located in relation to wider natural settings allow an accurate representation of the relationships between the buildings and their surroundings. The components of the serial property include the buildings and interior furniture and all are overall adequately protected; none suffers from adverse effects of development or neglect. Each building has benefited from careful and comprehensive conservation studies and expert technical advice to ensure a high level of preservation.

    Authenticity

    Most of the components of the serial property have remained remarkably unchanged since their construction in their form and design, use and function, materials and substance, spirit and feeling. Conservation of each of the buildings, when needed to correct long-term structural issues or repair deterioration, has been in accordance with high standards of professional practice, ensuring the long-term conservation of original fabric wherever possible, and the significant features of each site; in all cases work has been based on exceptionally complete documentation. Very few features have been modified; the changes and replacements of material component parts must be understood as a means of retaining their forms and uses. In cases where the original function has changed, the current use is fully consistent with the original design.

    The relationship between the sites and their settings is in general acceptable; the residential low density areas where some of the buildings are located have not experienced drastic changes in scale over time, although this is an aspect that must be considered in the protection and management systems. In the case of buildings located in natural settings, only Taliesin West poses some problems because of the expansion of the city of Scottsdale.

    Protection and management requirements

    Each property has been designated by the United States Department of the Interior as an individual National Historic Landmark, which gives it, under federal law, the highest level of protection. One of the components of the series is owned by a local government; the others are privately owned by non-profit organizations, foundations and an individual. Each building is protected from alterations, demolitions, and other inappropriate changes through deed restrictions, local preservation ordinances and zoning laws, private conservation easements, and state law. Active conservation measures have been carried out for all of the components.

    Each site has an effective management system that makes use of a suite of planning and conservation guidance. The management coordination body is the Frank Lloyd Wright World Heritage Council, established in 2012 via a Memorandum of Agreement between the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the owners and/or representatives of the owners of the individual component properties. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an NGO with offices in Chicago organized for the purpose of preserving and protecting the remaining works of Frank Lloyd Wright, coordinates the work of the Council. Since the Council has an advisory capacity, its role in the decision making process should be strengthened.

    The development and implementation of management plans for those components which do not already have them is recommended; risk preparedness and visitor management must be considered for all of the components of the serial property.

    Key indicators to monitor the state of conservation of the buildings according to their specific characteristics have been identified; they are mostly related to building materials and, in the cases of Fallingwater and Taliesin West, to landscape features. The indicators, though, are not directly related to the attributes proposed by the State Party to convey the Outstanding Universal Value of the serial property.

  4. Recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:
    1. Considering the possibility of minor boundary modifications of the area in Taliesin in order to encompass all the structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,
    2. Strengthening the protection of the setting of the Robie House, in particular to control potential development impact in Woodlawn Garden, by considering the possibility of a minor boundary modification of the buffer zone,
    3. Strengthening the capacity of the Frank Lloyd Wright World Heritage Council in order to ensure the appropriate coordinated management of the serial property,
    4. Elaborating upon and implementing management plans for those individual components where they do not exist, in order to encapsulate the existing conservation and management instruments in place, including risk and visitors management;
  5. Encourages the State Party to proceed to the extension of the series in the future, when the conditions for the additional components are established.
Decision Code
43 COM 8B.38
Themes
Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties 1
Year
2019
Documents
WHC/19/43.COM/18
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision
WHC-19/43.COM/8B.Add
WHC-19/43.COM/INF.8B1.Add
top