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Lloyd Wright’s futuristic city-building or NorCal spaceship?

When Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Marin civic center in the 1950s, he was so ahead of his time that it was still being used to depict the future in a 1990s movie (Gattaca by Andrew Nicol, with Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke; it was also a location for George Lucas’ THX 1138).

Back in 1957, it took a determined supervisor, Vera Schultz, to recruit a 90-year-old architectural legend to design his first, and only, public building.

The county was also considering Richard Neutra who was willing to work for less than Wright. Wright was also refusing to level the three promontories on the site, knowing they could work for the building if left in place.

“There was one supervisor who was kind of a good old boy old school he wanted to get a local architect somebody who’d come up with a more traditional design,” explains Benjamin Berto who works in the building as a planner for the county of Marin.

The rest of the board saw the beauty in Wright’s design and this small Northern California County gained a world-renowned piece of architecture that fits into the land around it (Wright refused to level the site’s 3 promontories and instead made them work for the whole).