The future of the David Wright House in Scottsdale is looking grim.
The historic home, built by Frank Lloyd Wright at 5212 East Exeter in the early 1950s, was recently purchased by Nevada-based 8081 Meridian LLC for $1.8 million (the prior owner, JT Morning Glory Enterprises LP, purchased it from the Wright family for $2.8 million in 2009).
And when 8081 Meridian expressed plans to redevelop the land, split the property and "relocate" of all existing structures on the site, fur began to fly in the architecture, historic preservation, and development communities.
The house is absolutely unique, says Scott Jarson, a local artist, writer and real estate agent whose firm specializes in architecturally unique homes. It was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1950s, the home is the only residence in which the architect used a spiral plan (the same plan he used for the Guggenheim Museum in New York, which was built six years later). Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation members say that several architectural historians and architecture critics consider it to be among the 20 most significant Wright buildings.
And they have less than 60 days to save it.
After the Historic Preservation Foundation, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy of Chicago, and local Frank Lloyd Wright advocates filed for a historic preservation overlay and Landmark Designation, 8081 Meridian postponed their redevelopment plans are are now in the middle of a 60-day wait period (ending August 21) to see if they can find a new buyer willing to preserve it (a listing price was not provided).
"[8081 Meridian] will most likely bulldoze this unique example of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture unless some way is found to preserve the house," write members of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy of Chicago. "Time is running out ..."
No offers have been made on the 2,553 sq ft house -- though we think it'd make for a nice Guggenheim satellite museum -- that Wright built for his son, David Wright on more than 2 acres with views of Camelback Mountain.
It's one of six residences designed by Wright in Phoenix. Other local Frank Lloyd Wright properties include Taliesin West Sun Cottage, Pieper House, Price, Harold Sr. House, Lykes House, Adelman, Benjamin Residence, Pauson House, Boomer House, Pauson House, Carlson House, Gammage Memorial Auditorium, and Ocatillo Desert Camp. And while none of the above are up for sale, we found a few noteworthy residences you might want to snatch up around the country before they also become endangered.
7. Andrew B. & Maude Cooke House YEAR BUILT: 1953 CONTACT: Jane and Daniel Duhl, owners 757.491.2083 Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house in 1953 as a vacation home on Crystal Lake outside of New York. The home features a gym, sauna, swim spa/hot tub, deep water boat dock with access to the Atlantic Ocean.
6. Robert Emmond House YEAR BUILT: 1892 CONTACT: Margaret McSheehy Historic Homes Realty 708.848.0190, 708.288.9957 PRICE: $1,275,000
The Robert Emmond house is on a one third of an acre within walking distance of downtown La Grange, Illinois. The home has one of the earliest examples of Wright-designed furniture in the living room and has more than 38 leaded art-glass windows.
5. Maynard and Katherine Buehler House YEAR BUILT: 1948 CONTACT: Gretchen Scheid Alain Pinel Realtors 925.791.2521 PRICE: $3,990,000
The Buehler home is more than 4,300 sq ft, and is on a two-acre property in Orinda, California with Japanese gardens designed by Henry Matsutani (who designed the Japanese Gardens at Golden Gate Park). The main house has two bedrooms, three baths, a recreation room and a wine tasting room as well as a multipurpose basement. All of the original Wright-designed furniture and documentary information is included in the purchase.
4. Thomas H. Gale House YEAR BUILT: 1892 CONTACT: Rick Easty 312.933.2755 PRICE: $1,295,000
Wright designed the Thomas H. Gale House in Oak Park, Illinois based on the nearby Robert Emmond house. It's known for its irregular composition -- octagonal bays, a rectangular core, high-pitched roofs, and octagonal dormers -- which were inspired by Wright's first teacher Joseph Silsbee.
3. The Millard House ('La Miniatura') YEAR BUILT: 1923 CONTACT: Crosby Doe Crosby Doe Associates (310) 275-2222 x579 PRICE: $4,995,000
La Miniatura is the first home to feature Wright's textile block building system. According to the Wright Foundation, it's internationally recognized as one of the world's most important works of architecture. The home, in the Prospect Historic District of Pasadena, California, features four bedrooms, four baths, two kitchens, a living room, a formal dining room, and semi-attached garages.
2. Tracy Residence YEAR BUILT: 1955 CONTACT: Larry Woodin, Executor 206.794.5276 PRICE: $1,024,500 Built on a bank facing the waterfront lot on Puget Sound in Washington, the 1,150 sq ft house includes three bedrooms, one bathroom, a dining room, living room, and kitchen facing the water. Principle materials include concrete, redwood plywood panels and glass.
1. Brandes House YEAR BUILT: 1952 CONTACT: Jane Powers Ewing & Clark, Inc. 206.322.2840 PRICE: $1,450,000 The Brandes House is just outside Seattle on a 3.25 acre lot on Pine Lake Plateau. With 1,780 sq ft, the home has three bedrooms, 1.75 bath, a living room, dining room, kitchen, den/office, and family room in an open floor plan, with floor to ceiling windows, cantilevered overhangs, redwood millwork, and concrete floors.
For more information on any of the above residences or more Frank Lloyd Wright homes on the market, visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy website. And for more information on the David Wright House, contact the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.
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