Frank Lloyd Wright's work now on UNESCO World Heritage List

It's the first US modern architecture designated

By Michelle Lou, CNN
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(CNN) - The designs of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright are joining the ranks of revered UNESCO World Heritage sites such as The Great Wall of China, The Palace of Versailles and the Taj Mahal.

The World Heritage Committee inscribed eight of the Wright's famed sites into the list, marking the first modern architecture designation in the United States on the World Heritage roster. They include the Fallingwater house in Mill Run, Pennsylvania; the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, Wisconsin; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

"These buildings reflect the 'organic architecture' developed by Wright, which includes an open plan, a blurring of the boundaries between exterior and interior and the unprecedented use of materials such as steel and concrete," the UNESCO news release said.

"Each of these buildings offers innovative solutions to the needs for housing, worship, work or leisure. Wright's work from this period had a strong impact on the development of modern architecture in Europe."

The other properties added to the list are Unity Temple, the Frederick C. Robie House, Taliesin, Hollyhock House, and Taliesin West. They were all designed in the first half of the 20th century and are only a glimpse into the architectural mastermind's more than 500 projects around the globe.

The nomination process took more than 15 years, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation said.

The list currently includes 1,121 locations. To earn the World Heritage Site designation, a place must meet at least one of 10 selection criteria, such as representing a masterpiece of human creative genius or containing superlative natural phenomena, according to the UNESCO website.

The designation is mostly honorary, though World Heritage Sites typically receive increased tourism.

"To have this unique American legacy placed alongside these precious few sites around the globe is meaningful because it recognizes the profound influence of this American architect and his impact on the whole world," said Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the foundation.

"These sites are not simply World Heritage monuments because they are beautiful. It's so much more than that. These are places of profound influence, inspiration, and connection."

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