Two WI Wright buildings nominated to UNESCO World Heritage List

Taliesin - Frank Lloyd Wright's home near Spring Green, WI

Taliesin - Frank Lloyd Wright's home near Spring Green, WI

Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House, Madison, WI - Prototype of Wright's Usonian design concepts.

Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House, Madison, WI - Prototype of Wright's Usonian design concepts.

Two buildings in Wisconsin are included in a nomination of Frank Lloyd Wright's work to the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List.  The nomination, titled "Key Works of Modern Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright," includes a total of ten of Wright's designs. The Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, and Wright's own home at Taliesin in Spring Green are among the ten.

The Jacobs House (1936-37) was the first execution of Wright's Usonian concepts - his model for low-cost, well-designed homes for middle-class suburbia, developed during the Great Depression.    The Jacobs introduced new design concepts to American residential architecture that resonated into the post-war decades, including an open interior plan, and rear-orientation of the living space and bedrooms.

Taliesin was Wright's own home near Spring Green from 1911 until his death in 1959. It's a sprawling complex that includes the main house, a theater, a school, Wright's studio, farm buildings, and The complex served as a laboratory where Wright developed his concepts and methods, and where he taught his ideas to apprentices. 

The World Heritage nomination is currently under a review that includes visits to each of the ten sites by UNESCO representatives before it is formally submitted to UNESCO by the US Department of the Interior. Designation as a World Heritage site provides no protection for listed sites, but it raises their profile among travelers who want to visit sites of cultural importance, and draws international attention to their historical significance.

UNESCO's World Heritage List currently includes 1031 sites, of which 802 relate to cultural history (as opposed to natural history). Twenty-three of those are located in the United States.  The 10 Wright sites could be added to the list in 2016. 

The ten buildings under consideration are: 

  1.  Unity Temple - Oak Park, IL

  2.  Robie House - Chicago, IL

  3.  Taliesin - Spring Green, WI

  4.  Hollyhock House - Los Angeles, CA

  5.  Fallingwater - Bear Run, PA

  6.  Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House - Madison, WI

  7.  Taliesin West - Scottsdale, AZ

  8.  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - New York, NY

  9.  Price Tower - Bartlesville, OK

  10.  Marin County Civic Center - San Rafael, CA

2015 Local History and Historic Preservation Conference, Oct. 9-10


The Wisconsin Historical Society will host the 9th annual Local History and Historic Preservation Conference in Middleton on October 9 and 10.  Featured presenters include Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett and prize-winning journalist and Frank Lloyd Wright scholar Ron McCrea.

The conference offers sessions and workshops for history and preservation organizations,  professionals and volunteers, history buffs, museum collection curators, even development directors.  There are also opportunities for unique tours on Saturday, including the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, Frank Lloyd Wright's Unitarian Meeting House, and Taliesin.

The Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation and other local organizations support the conference financially

More information is available at

Taliesin Full Tour Season Underway

Spring Green, WI, - The 600-acre Taliesin Estate, which contains Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic home, is once again awakening from hibernation to welcome tourists. Wright is considered one of the most influential architects of the 20thcentury, and his personal estate attracts fans the world over eager to explore the root of his genius. The full tour season begins May 1st and the National Historic site will be open every day through October 31st. Taliesin (tal-ee-EH-sin) was built in 1911 in a rural valley originally inhabited by Wright’s maternal ancestors. Wright spent much of his youth there and would later leave Chicago, return to the area and devote nearly fifty years of his life to developing a community infused with beauty, art, vitality and architecture. Today, these attributes are still intact and efforts to preserve and restore the estate, while educating the public about the life and work of the architect, are ongoing.

The Taliesin estate features five Wright-designed structures spanning many decades of Wright’s career. The size and historical scope of the Taliesin Estate are such that Taliesin Preservation, Inc. (TPI) offers eight different tour options to the public during the regular season. Tours are offered every day and include the Hillside School Tour (1 hour), House Tour (2 hours), Highlights Tour (2 hours) and Estate Tour (4 hours). Specialty tours are scheduled one Friday per month for those Wright enthusiasts eager to dig deeper into the multi-faceted layers of Taliesin - the Landscape Tour, Preservation Tour, Exploring Taliesin Tour and Loving Frank Tour.

For tour descriptions, pricing and reservations, call 877-588-7900 or visit www.taliesinpreservation.orgTPI also offers a wide range of art and architectural outreach programs for youth and adults throughout the regular season. Call or visit our website for details.

Advance reservations are strongly recommended for all tours. Walk-ins are welcome as space permits. Children under the age of 12 are only permitted on the Hillside School Tour. Group rates of 21 or more are available by advance reservation for the House and Hillside Tours. Accessible tours can be arranged with three weeks’ notice by special arrangement. Call for details. All tours begin at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center, located two miles south of Spring Green, Wisconsin, at the intersection of Hwy. 23 and Cty. Rd. C. Taliesin is one hour west of Madison, 2.5 hours west of Milwaukee, 3.5 hours from Chicago, and 5 hours from Minneapolis.

About Taliesin Preservation, Inc.: Founded in 1992, TPI operates the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center at Taliesin, which offers public access to the site and grounds, serves as an educational resource on Frank Lloyd Wright and his work, and conducts the preservation program to maintain, restore and nurture the physical environment of the Taliesin Estate in Spring Green, Wisconsin. In partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Inc., based in Scottsdale, Ariz., it is the mission of Taliesin Preservation, Inc. to conserve the masterful buildings and landscape of the Taliesin Estate, and to educate the public on the man, the architect, the architecture, and his ideas.