Lately discuss here on New York Design Agenda, Frank Lloyd Wright house designed for his son, in Phoenix, Arizona, finally got a solution to preserve the history of an architectural monument.
The house was sold on Thursday, guaranteeing its preservation after it had been threatened for months with demolition by its owners, who had planned to replace it with new homes.
The deal closed after at least one offer to buy the property had fallen through. Its former owners, Steve Sells and John Hoffman, principals at 8081 Meridian, a local development company, bought the property for $1.8 million in June and several times raised the price as the controversy over the potential demolition intensified.
The buyer’s identity has not been revealed; he requested anonymity as part of the transaction. He paid $2.387 million for the house, which Wright built in 1952 for his son and daughter-in-law.
A victory for preservationists around the country, the sale came about through the intercession of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, a group that works to preserve the architect’s legacy.
Mayor Greg Stanton, who was among the most vocal proponents of landmark designation for the home, called the sale “an early Christmas present for the people of Phoenix and for the world.”"This is a great piece of architecture, and we’re so proud and honored that it will be preserved for generations to come,” he added.
The house sits in the Arcadia neighborhood, in a lot overlooking Phoenix’s picturesque Camelback Mountains, which can be seen from most of its rooms. Its coiled design is similar to the one Wright used for the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Though little known before this, it is regarded among experts as one of the most significant of Wright’s later works.
Four years ago, Wright’s granddaughters sold the house for $2.8 million to a buyer they thought would keep it and preserve it. In June, though, the house was sold again to 8081 Meridian. An appraisal ordered by the city estimated the home needed about $300,000 worth of restoration work.
A petition started by the conservancy gathered more than 28,000 signatures from supporters around the world, calling for the house to be saved.
About one in five buildings designed by Wright have been lost to natural disasters, neglect or the pressures of development. Since its incorporation in 1989, the conservancy has helped rescue a number of them.Included are the Burton J. Westcott House in Springfield, Ohio, which Wright designed in 1906; the Goetsch-Winckler House, built in 1940 as part of an uncompleted cooperative community in Okemos, Mich.; and the Ennis House in Los Angeles, which Wright designed in 1923 and which was extensively damaged during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Cheers to this news in the moment the world is coming to an end! Happy Holidays!
via New York Times