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Guggenheim Museum to become UNESCO World Heritage site

In addition to the Guggenheim, seven other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings were added to the World Heritage List on Sunday.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum building opened in

Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum building opened in 1959. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/STAN HONDA

The Guggenheim Museum has joined the ranks of world-renowned locations such as  Vatican City and the Grand Canyon with its addition to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage List of culturally and historically significant locations.

UNESCO announced Sunday that the Fifth Avenue museum and seven other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings will be added to the list. The nonprofit said Wright's buildings "reflect organic architecture” by blending exterior and interior boundaries and finding new uses for steel, concrete and other materials.

"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," UNESCO said in a statement.

The Upper East Side building that now houses the museum opened in 1959, after Wright spent years planning and designing it. The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission designated it a landmark in 1990, and the building was named a National Historic Landmark in 2008.

 Other Wright works that will be on the World Heritage List include Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, and the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, Wisconsin. Locations on the list are given several protections and UNESCO said being included helps raise awareness of preservation needs.

The only other New York City location on the list is the Statue of Liberty, which was added in 1984. 

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