Architecture and Design

Buyer for the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Phoenix Drops Bid

Just two weeks after realtor Robert Joffe found an anonymous buyer for the David and Gladys Wright house in Phoenix, he's back to the drawing board.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, Joffe recieved an email this morning from the buyer that the deal was off.

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"I don't know if I'll ever know the truth behind it," Joffe told the journal. "While the prospective buyer strongly supports efforts to preserve the David and Gladys Wright house, he has concluded that for personal and business reasons, this is not an opportunity he will pursue at this time. He has every confidence that a preservation minded buyer will be found, and that the house will be preserved."

The house is now back on the market for $2.38 million. Joffe says he's on a mission to find a buyer before the December 5, when Phoenix City Council will vote to designate the home as historic.

Speculation about the anonymous buyer's identity was high among preservationists and Wright fans, who were happy that the buyer promised to restore and preserve the home, but wanted to know who had the cash to back the deal.

The buyer had met with with Joffe and 8081 Meridian, the property's current owners in a "meeting of the minds." Joffe told New Times that the process should have taken only a few weeks, but now that the hunt to find a buyer is back to square one, the timeline is once again unknown.

The historic home at 5212 East Exeter was built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1950s for his son, David. The Wright family sold the house to JT Morning Glory Enterprises LP in 2009 (for $2.8 million) and was recently sold again to 8081 Meridian for $1.8 million.

Stay tuned for more information and check out photos of the house by local photographer Andrew Pielage right here. Read the column New Times architecture critic Robrt Pela wrote in October in the online arts section.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton