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Scottsdale, Taliesin West join the Organization of World Heritage Cities

Photo of Taliesin West in Scottsdale
A view of Taliesin West in Scottsdale. (File Photos/

Taliesin West helps define Scottsdale as landmark destination

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Organization of World Heritage Cities recently granted the city of Scottsdale membership among an elite group of more than 200 cities from around the world home to UNESCO World Heritage sites.

With this acceptance, the organization recognizes Scottsdale as the location of Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert home and laboratory, Taliesin West, and welcomes the city as an active participant in international efforts to protect and preserve the heritage of mankind.

“Scottsdale is proud to join the Organization of World Heritage Cities in solidarity with communities from around the world,” Mayor David Ortega said in a prepared statement. “Taliesin West truly exemplifies where exceptional design intersects with our Sonoran Desert environment, here in Scottsdale.”

Established in 1937, Mr. Wright’s winter home in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains was forged from the natural elements of the desert, with most of the labor done by the architect and his apprentices, making it one of his most personal works and a premier example of organic architecture.

Taliesin West was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, alongside seven other Frank Lloyd Wright sites, in 2019. The list recognizes natural and cultural sites that demonstrate significance and influence on a global scale.

Taliesin West helps define Scottsdale as landmark destination

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s work was added to the World Heritage List because it changed the way people design, build and live throughout the world,” Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, said of the historic distinction. “Those of us who live and work in Scottsdale, and the visitors who come here, also know how his work shaped our community. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is pleased that the city now benefits as a World Heritage City because of Wright’s work at Taliesin West.”

The site has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1982 and was added to the Scottsdale Historic Register in 2006.

“Long ago, Frank Lloyd Wright saw the beauty and potential of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert, and his influence on the city remains clear to this day,” said Experience Scottsdale President & CEO Rachel Sacco. “Taliesin West draws travelers from around the world to Scottsdale, and this recognition will further elevate Scottsdale’s status as a renowned destination where art, architecture and design are not only experienced, but created and celebrated.”

Mayor Ortega will serve as the city’s communication liaison with the OWHC, with the help of Tourism and Events Director Karen Churchard.

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