From a roundtable discussion with the Friends of the Civic Center Library, May 21, 2000
Aaron Green first discovered Frank Lloyd Wright's work while a student at Cooper Union when he went to visit Wright's recently completed Rebhuhn House on Long Island. Later, when a friend requested that Green design him a house, Green suggested that they ask Frank Lloyd Wright to design it. Wright agreed, and that was the beginning of a close relationship between the two architects which spanned twenty years.
In the early 1940s, Green was invited to join Wright at Taliesin. He became an important member of the Taliesin community before enlisting in the Air Force during World War II.
After the War, Green went to Los Angeles to work with industrial designer, Raymond Loewy, where he perfected his skills in industrial and interior design. In 1951, at Frank Lloyd Wright's request, Green established a San Francisco office and became Wright's West Coast representative. During this time, he also developed his own independent practice. The scope of Mr. Green's work spans everything from custom residences to large-scale urban planning.
Green participated in over thirty Frank Lloyd Wright projects, including the Marin County Civic Center for which he served as Associate Architect. On Wright’s death in 1959, Aaron Green was instrumental in seeing the Civic Center through to completion. Green also designed the low-rent housing project for Marin City which Architectural Critic, Allan Temko, has deemed a “considerable achievement of social art”.
Aaron Green died in 2001 at the age of 84. A week before his death, he had been awarded the first Gold Medal of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
In the following excerpts Mr. Green discusses the genesis and design of the Marin County Civic Center.
Above: Aaron Green at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Civic Center, 1987.