Places that inspire: Exploring Frank Lloyd Wright in Marin, Part 1

If you’ve ever crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on your way north, chances are you’ve passed by. On a good traffic day it’s less than half an hour away on Highway 101.

It’s the Marin County Civic Center, a sprawling, low-slung building with it’s blue roof and golden spire, set deep into the hills of Marin.

It was Frank Lloyd Wright’s last commission and his only civic building—and it’s celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year. I’d passed by a number of times, but this time I had the presence of mind and a little extra time to stop and explore.

This post is part one. It hints at the original models and historical documents on display at the civic center that describe how the project got off the ground—and how it nearly met a terrible demise.

Watch for Part 2, a photo essay that explores more of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last commission.

Marin civic leader Vera Shultz and Frank Lloyd Wright.

An early drawing of Wright's plan for the Marin County Civic Center.

Full page campaign ad announcing the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Civic Center.

Frank Lloyd Wright project in trouble at Marin.

Newspaper clipping, 1961: "Marin Center Foes Throw in Towel".

 

An early model from Frank Lloyd Wright's design in Marin, CA.An early model from Frank Lloyd Wright's design in Marin, CA.

A late model of the Marin Center with blue roof.

A late model of the Marin Center with blue roof.

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