The first part of 2015 has been very eventful at my work place. It began with the unveiling of a special model of Wright’s winter camp made of more than 200,000 Lego bricks created by one of the Danish toy company’s 12 certified professionals and the mastermind behind it’s architectural series—Chicago architect Adam Reed Tucker.
From now until the end of April I get to show off this grand model as part of our everyday tours. It brings wonder to most of my guests’ eyes when they see it for the first time. I personally like it because it shows people what they’ve experienced in the big picture. They get to see how all of what they’ve just toured works together and was designed together. Investigating the model really helps one understand the connection and flow of architecture at Taliesin West and how it was designed to integrate with the site it sits on.
Another exciting event just a few days after the unveiling of the model, was when some of Wright’s cars visited Taliesin West. Frank Lloyd Wright was a collector of cars, and not just your everyday run of the mill cars. The jewel of the three that visited as part of the post-show tour for entrants in Arizona Concours d’Elegance was the 1937 AC, one of only a few dozen ever made.
There are certain distinctions that mean more than others. When it comes to places of importance in the world, be it natural, historical or cultural, being included on the UNESCO World Heritage List is the top honor. It is akin to a building in the U.S listed on the National Register of Historic Places, of which there are more than 90,000, being designated a National Historic Landmark, only 2,500. It brings a new level of recognition of the place’s importance.
The same holds true for the World Heritage List. Nations around the world designate places as special that need to be preserved for various reasons. Many have national parks to protect their natural, historical and cultural treasures. However, there are just over 1,000 such places around the world that carry the honor of being a World Heritage Site.
Well, in addition to the Lego model, fantastic cars, having the Super Bowl bring even more people to town, and the general awesomeness of giving tours of a National Historic Landmark, Taliesin West was officially nominated with nine other Wright-designed buildings for the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is a big deal. If the UNESCO committee approves the selection, as soon as next year, The Master Works of Frank Lloyd Wright would be the United States’ 23rd site. It would join the ranks of the Grand Canyon, Statue of Liberty, and Independence Hall in the United States and Angkor Wat, the Great Wall of China and Pyramids of Giza around the world. It is very exciting! Read more about it here: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2015/02/01/taliesin-west-considered-world-heritage-list/22718219/.