Board Adopts Resolution Kicking Off 50th Anniversary Celebration Year
On October 2nd, the Board of Supervisors adopted a Resolution Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the official dedication of the administration building at the Civic Center campus master planned by Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW), and proclaiming the next 12 months as a celebration of the Civic Center's past heritage and present uses, and honoring the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center Conservancy for their stewardship of his legacy. See the Board letter for more information.
Below are noteworthy events:
Call for Youth Photographers!
All Marin students are invited to participate in the New Youth Photography Competition for the 2013 Marin County Fair, entitled
“Photographs of the Marin County Civic Center.” The competition is in partnership with the Marin County Fair and
Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center Conservancy and it celebrates the architectural and cultural legacy of the Civic Center during its 50th Anniversary.
Entry forms are due at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 16, in the Fair Office. Visit Marin County Fair website for more details.
Farmers Market Marin Civic Center Sundays
Photo: Farmer's Market Sunday, April 28th, Frank Lloyd Wright Marin Civic Center Conservancy members engage with the community.
Call for artists! Join us for a Plein-Air Paint Out at the Frank Lloyd Wright Marin Civic Center Farmer's Market on Sunday, June 9th. Pick your favorite spot to paint the Civic Center and surrounding grounds. Celebrate the imagination of Frank Lloyd Wright (born June 8, 1867) and enjoy the beauty of our Marin Civic Center grounds. Members of the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy will be on hand at the information booth to share interesting facts and information about the history of the Marin Civic Center. For more information, visit
Marin Open Studios Artists Newsletter.
Happy Birthday Marin Civic Center!
Our final Civic Center Sunday at the Farmer's Market will be held October 13th, the official Dedication Day of the Marin Civic Center. Our community celebration and birthday party will be the culmination of our 50th Anniversary Year Celebration of the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center. The entire Marin community is encouraged to come out to the Farmer's Market, dress-up in your finest late 50s early 60s era outfits, meet some of the Civic Center Commissioners, learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright and the Marin Civic Center, have some healthy food and birthday cake. Enjoy the bountiful harvest, sun, fun, music -- all within the grounds of the most amazing Civic Center of them all!
50th Anniversary Postmark
From January 17th to October 13th, 2013 a special commemorative postmark will be available at the Civic Center Post Office at 2 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael. There will be a special location in the Post Office for customers to drop letters for the 50th Anniversary Postmark.
Originally created for the 1990 "In the Realm of Ideas" exhibit, a large red banner is hung in the Administration Building to highlight our 50th Anniversary celebration and to invite the public to re-visit our historical exhibits on the first and second floors of the building and in the new exhibit space in Room 233 of the Civic Center Cafe.
To highlight these displays and commemorate important dates in the history of the Civic Center, the building's iconic 200-foot golden spire will be illuminated on special nights. The spire will be visible according to Wright's original plans, from all over central Marin County and beyond.
The lighting days are tentatively scheduled for:
January 17: Postmark and banner release; February 15: Administration building's ground breaking (1960); March 25: FLW's preliminary plan presentation to the Board of Supervisors (1958); April 28: Supervisors voted to accept Wrights plans and authorized the acceptance of bids for construction (1958); May 1: Supervisors voted to move forward with building the Hall of Justice (1963); June 8: FLW's birthday; July 3-7: Marin County Fair; August 1: FLW's first visit to Civic Center site (1957), September 3: Master plan model displayed (1958); October 12-13: Dedication Day - Sound & Light show
Below are completed events:
Growing Up in a Frank Lloyd Wright House
From 1977 to 1994, Kim Bixler and her family lived in the Boynton House in Rochester, New York, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1908. On Tuesday, March 26, Kim did an engaging mulit-media presentation through the joys and pitfalls of owning a Wright-designed home. She shared family photographs, personal anecdotes and explained the tumultuous history of the house. Event sponsored by the Anne T. Kent California Room & the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center Conservancy.
Commendations from the National Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (Taliesin)
"The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy - the only organization dedicated solely to the preservation of the extant work of Frank Lloyd Wright, the most important architect of the 20th century - is very pleased to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Marin County Civic Center. Your community expressed the vision to seek Wright to design the centerpiece for your community, the courage to see Wright's unique design through to completion and the integrity to preserve the fabric of the building and its setting for posterity. The Marin County Civic Center will stand for all time as one of the most important examples of Wright's work and as testament to your civic pride."
Larry Woodin, President
Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy
"Congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the Marin County Civic Center – the last major work of Frank Lloyd Wright, an extraordinary example of Wright's principles and integrity of design, a testament to the wonderful community it serves and represents, and a true personal favorite among Wright's powerful body of work."
Sean Malone, President & CEO
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Civic Center Blog Series
Brought to you by the Anne T. Kent California Room, (Marin County Free Library)
May: 47 Years Ago This Month
The Groundbreaking ceremony for the Hall of Justice, the second phase of Marin’s new government center, took place on May 25, 1966. In this photograph, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Byron W. Leydecker stands at the podium while California Governor Edmund G. Brown stands to his right. The Hall of Justice was completed and officially accepted by the Board of Supervisors on December 9, 1969. It is 880 feet long and the bays on both sides of the building are over 40 feet wide.
April: 55 Years Ago This Month
On April 28, 1958, the Board of Supervisors voted to accept Wrights plans and authorized the acceptance for bids for construction. Before his death on April 9, 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright completed concept drawings for all of the structures on the Civic Center campus, including the fairgrounds. The Marin County Civic Center was not only his last major design project but also the only government facility of his design that was ever built. Taliesin Senior Architect, William Wesley Peters and Bay Area architect, Aaron Green, both close associates of Frank Lloyd Wright, carried Wright’s vision for the Marin County Civic Center to completion after his death. Our National Historic Landmark, the Marin County Civic Center, is a testament to Wright's vision, as, in his words, “a good building was one that makes the landscape more beautiful than before that building was even built.”
March: 55 Years Ago This Month
On July 31, 1957, Frank Lloyd Wright spoke at a public meeting at San Rafael High School to impart his philosophy of architecture and particularly, organic architecture. Following that meeting, he signed the contract that made him the official architect for the Marin County Civic Center and fairgrounds complex. The next day, he was driven to the Scettrini Ranch, site of the new Civic Center, and announced that he had come up with his design.
A year later, on March 25, 1958, after Wright had presented a complete set of drawings for Marin’s new Civic Center to the Board of Supervisors, he returned to San Rafael High School to present these same plans to the public and to participate in a Q & A session.
During the meeting Wright commented that his design showed “a great concordance with the nature of the beautiful setting of the hills of Marin.” He also assured the public that he would not raze the hills on the site but instead “bridge” them with his buildings.
February: 53 Years Ago This Month
“Ground was broken for Marin County’s new civic center and fairgrounds today on a sun-drenched knoll of the 140-acre site along Highway 101 at Santa Venetia.”
“A crowd of about 350 heard the widow of Frank Lloyd Wright, architect of the civic center, say her husband was pleased with the project….
She declared Marin County will ‘go into the record as the most illuminated county in America for inviting her husband to design the center.’ ‘He was inspired by the beauty of the site,’ she declared. ‘He never violated nature and he put this building here to beautify it.’”
Source: Marin Independent Journal, Feb. 16, 1960.
January: 56 Years Ago This Month
On New Year’s Day 1957, Supervisor Vera Schultz, who was helping plan a new civic center for Marin, was relaxing at home reading the latest issue of House Beautiful devoted entirely to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. She thought, “Why don’t we reach for the top?” and dialed her friend, County Planning Director Mary Summers, who happened to be reading the same article. They agreed that Wright would be ideal for Marin’s project and Schultz wrote him a letter.
We invite you to visit our new exhibit "Marin and the Realm of Frank Lloyd Wright" in the Civic Center Cafeteria to see the issue of House Beautiful, which inspired Schultz and Summers to contact Wright.
Marin County Parks, Cultural Services and Board holding special events
Other County departments including Parks, Cultural Services, and the Board of Supervisors will be holding events and special programs in recognition over the upcoming year. More details will be published here as events are scheduled.
Exhibit at the Civic Center Cafe
In the Civic Center Cafe, there is the Exhibit Space showing a range of material about the Civic Center including the Dedication Program.
Civic Center 50th Anniversary in the News
KRCB: Creating the Marin Civic Center
Marinscope: Inspired Light
San Francisco Chronicle: At 50, Marin Civic Center comes of age
Marin Independent Journal: Marin Voice: The shared vision for our Civic Center
Marin Independent Journal: Special postmark celebrates Marin Civic Center
Marin Independent Journal: Newspaper Poll that Saved Civic Center
Marin Independent Journal: Marin Civic Center Celebrates its 50th Anniversary
KQED: Marin Civic Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Slideshow of 50th Anniversary celebrations and events
Audio and Video Tours
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