Monday, December 3, 2012

Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, CA

Capacity 1960

The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center is a national- and state-designated historic landmark. Wright's 770th commission, the Civic Center is the last and one of the most important works by this internationally acclaimed architect who has been described as "one of the most creative architectural geniuses of all time" and "the most original architect the United States has ever produced." Frank Lloyd Wright died on April 9, 1959, at the age of 92, and did not see his vision completed. Taliesin Senior Architect Wesley Peters and San Francisco Bay Area Taliesin Architect Aaron Green directed the completion.

Groundbreaking for the Civic Center Administration Building took place in 1960, after Wright's death and under the watch of Wright's protégé, Aaron Green, and was completed in 1962. The Hall of Justice was begun in 1966 and completed in 1969.

Veterans Memorial Auditorium opened in 1971, and the Exhibit Hall opened in 1976.

A battle between factions of the Marin County Board of Supervisors played out through the selection of the site and the architect, the financing of the project and its eventual completion. The Marin County Civic Center is a state and National Historic Landmark. The main Civic Center building has been nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage List[3] as a part of ten properties by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The selection of Frank Lloyd Wright in 1957 to design the Civic Center was controversial. The Civic Center project was Wright's largest public project, and encompassed an entire campus of civic structures. The post office was the only federal government project of Wright's career. Wright's design borrowed ideas and forms from Wright's Broadacre City concept, first published in 1932.[4]

The nearby Veterans Auditorium was designed by the Taliesin Associated Architects and was completed in 1971 in a manner compatible with the main complex.[4] The auditorium was designed for use by the county fair with a combination of flat-floor exhibition space and tiered seating spaces, using a compromise plan devised by Wesley Peters, George Izenour and Aaron Green.[7] The main hall seats 1960[8] in an amphitheater arrangement. A separate Showcase Theater seats 300, and the exhibition hall can accommodate up 2000 patrons.[9]


Jerry performed here on
6/2/73 Merl Saunders (Marin Civic Auditorium)
2/18/78 Jerry Garcia Band
10/30/83 Grateful Dead
10/31/83 Grateful Dead
3/28/84 Grateful Dead
3/29/84 Grateful Dead
3/31/84 Grateful Dead
4/1/84 Grateful Dead
9/29/84 John Kahn
2/28/86 John Kahn
11/14/86 John Kahn
2/20/87 Jerry Garcia Band
4/26/88 Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band

3.)^"Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings". World Heritage Center: Tentative Lists. UNESCO.
4.)^Woodbridge, Sally B.. "National Historic Landmark Nomination Form: Marin County Civic Center". National Park Service.
7.)^Green, Aaron G. and de Nevi, Donald P. An Architecture for Democracy: The Marin County Civic Center, Grendon Publishing, 1990. , pp. 104-105
8.)^"Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium". San Rafael Patch
9.)^Rapaport, Richard (February 1, 2011). "Frank Lloyd Wright’s Civic Center Flip Side". San Rafael Patch

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