County of Marin - News Releases - World Heritage Nomination

For Immediate Release
January 30, 2015

Civic Center Nominated as World Heritage Site

Inclusion pending for list of most significant cultural and natural places

San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Civic Center is one of 10 structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright nominated today for inclusion on the World Heritage List of the most significant cultural and natural sites on the planet.

A view of the Civic Center with Lagoon Pond in the foregroundThe U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, announced the nomination of the Wright-designed buildings on Friday, and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will consider all nominations in the summer of 2016. If approved, the Marin County Civic Center would join 31 other American locations and more than 1,000 locations worldwide on the list, including the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, the Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, Monticello, the Grand Canyon, and Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks.

Sandra Fawn, Vice Chair of the Marin County Civic Center Conservancy Commission, called it a “monumental achievement and honor” for the Civic Center and the other 10 sites to be nominated. “The recognition of the creative genius and vision of Frank Lloyd Wright is so well-deserved,” Fawn said. “We are extremely fortunate to have this architectural masterpiece, our Marin County Civic Center, which illuminates the brilliance of Mr. Wright.”

The Wright group included in the nomination consists of the Marin County Civic Center; Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois; Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago; Taliesin in Spring Green, Wis.; Hollyhock House in Los Angeles; Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pa.; Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, Wis.; Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City; Price Tower in Bartlesville, Okla. All were built between 1906-1969 and chosen for their significance in the development of modern architecture. They are considered the most iconic and innovative of more than 400 existing Wright works.

The nomination will be submitted through the U.S. Department of State to the offices of the World Heritage Centre in Paris, then be reviewed by World Heritage Centre staff and by the International Council for Monuments and Sites. The Wright group would be the first World Heritage listing for the United States in the field of modern architecture.

Wright is widely considered to be the greatest American architect of the 20th century. He died before he could see completion of the Marin County Civic Center, the only municipal building he ever designed (along with the nearby post office on Civic Center Drive). The design work began in 1957 and was completed by Wright disciples William Wesley Peters and Aaron Green in 1962. The County of Marin celebrated the golden anniversary of the building in 2012-13 with a year’s worth of special events.

See the nomination document and find more information on the U.S. nomination to the World Heritage List from the U.S. Department of the Interior.


David Speer
Facilities Planning & Development Manager
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6016
Email: David Speer
County Administrator website