Marin Co. Civic Center

Marin Civic Ctr. inside atrium

Marin Civic Ctr. inside atrium

There’s a Frank Lloyd Wright building you can see from the freeway, about 18 miles (29 km) from the Golden Gate Bridge.  For 20 years I zoomed by it.

 

A national and state historic landmark, the Marin Co. Civic Center is a complex of buildings Wright designed–administrative county buildings.

 

An American architect, Wright (1867-1959) designed mostly residential or commercial buildings.  One of his last major designs, these are his only governmental buildings.  See the complete list of his 425 works below.

 

Marin Civic Center.jpg

The Marin Co. Civic Ctr. as seen from Hwy 101. Courtesy Wikipedia.

The main building includes the Hall of Justice, Administration Building, county library, and other departments. There are nearby additional buildings including a post office and auditorium he designed.

 

In the mid-1950s, Marin County moved forward on their project to consolidate their county services in one place. They were built in the 1960s, just after Mr. Wright had passed away.

 

Marin Co. Civic Center

Marin Co. Civic Center

More Civic Center information here.

 

On weekdays the complex is a busy county government seat where lawyers, judges, and jurors conduct civic duties.

 

Marin Co. Library front desk

Marin Co. Library front desk

The day I was there was a Saturday and much of the building was closed, but the library was open.

 

We were meeting friends nearby, so we looked around.  They also give docent-led tours.

 

Library stacks

Library stacks

I loved the library.  The rotunda is a white dome, and all the light fixtures, in perfect Wrightesque fashion, were also little white domes.

 

He envisioned his buildings in the rolling California hills providing a place of beauty dedicated to “a working public.”

 

Looking out from the library

Looking out from the library

An expression of his belief in government openness, the building is flooded with light from skylights and open atria.

 

Busy creating art until his final day, Frank Lloyd Wright drew stunning and innovative designs all over the country.

 

Frank Lloyd Wright, 1926. Courtesy Wikipedia

May we all live such long and successful lives, providing beauty and originality around us.

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander unless otherwise noted.

 

For more Marin Co. Civic Center building photos and plan drawings, click here.

 

Marinciviccenter01.JPG

Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Marin Civic Ctr, by FLW. Courtesy Wikipedia

List of over 425 works by Frank Lloyd Wright, click here.

Info about Frank Lloyd Wright, click here.

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Marin Co. Civic Center

  1. I have also driven past this building, but not been in it….next time I go to California, I will make a point of doing so. I love the work of Fran Lloyd Wright….his understanding of our need for light – is truly wonderful. Hope you enjoy a lovely weekend…janet:)

    • I so enjoy his work too, Janet. I have seen several of his works in IL & WI, but none in CA until this one. I saw on his list that he did a dog house in CA, and there was a photo too. That strikes me as so funny. I hope next time you are in the Bay Area you let me and FLW know. 😉

  2. I can see why you loved the library! The shape of the room and the windows – such interesting shapes. Unfortunately for the library I think I would end up admiring the building and forget to look at the books with architecture like this:)

    • It is so wonderful here, and I did end up admiring the spectacular architecture and artistry the most. They have a nice collection too and many people were engaged in it. Thanks for your great comment, Inger — my warm wishes for a happy weekend.

  3. T’is true you can miss that building if you’re driving up 101. We visited his house down in Scottsdale – apparently he believed anyone over 6’1″ was a waste of air!

    • The Marin bldg is stunning even as you drive by–I’m glad you have seen it, Jan. In the winter when it’s cold out a beguiling ribbon of steam languishes around the spire. I have not seen in person the AZ buildings he’s done, but I always aspire to see more whenever I travel. If I am ever in Scottsdale I will seek out his home…your comment gave me a chuckle, Jan. Thanks so much for your visit~~

  4. His designs are striking – and wasn’t his life, personal and professional, so colourful?! Our little FLW story is that we always stop and admire one of his buildings in Whitefish, Montana. Firstly, because it is a lovely structure, and secondly because it houses a law firm named Frampton – Mrs PC’s family name. We hope to inherit the building one day, haha!
    Thanks, Jet, and have a wonderful weekend!

    • PC, I LOVE this story about the FLW bldg in Whitefish, MT. It inspires me to look up FLW bldgs now whenever I am traveling to a new state, just in case I might be near one. Montana, who knew? Re FLW’s life, yes, a very colorful man. Just in researching this Marin bldg I know he was in his late 80s when he was hired, and designed three elaborate public buildings. Because it was gov’t, they wanted him to bid for the project, he declined, and they hired him anyway. In his late 80s! Thanks for your great comment, my friend, and I, too, hope you inherit the bldg. lol.

  5. Beautiful post, Jet. We have a few Frank Lloyd Wright homes here locally that are now open to the public. I did not know he worked worldwide. Fascinating information you gave here. Thank you!!! ❤

  6. It was nearly at the bottom of the list, but I did find one of his houses in Oregon. I’ve been to Silverton. It’s a cute little town and near the grandkids. I’ll have to look for it next time I’m in the neighborhood. Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. I love his amazing architectural designs. What a great man!

    • I am so happy you were able to find an Oregon house on the Frank Lloyd Wright list, Gunta. And I hope you do get to spot the house next time you’re in Silverton. I love his designs too, and am delighted you have a hunt on the horizon. Thanks Gunta~~

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