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January 24, 2013

David Wright House in Phoenix – SAVED!!!

By Sara In AZ

I was not sure if everyone has heard the news yet or not…………..but the Frank Lloyd Wright designed David Wright house here in Phoenix that WAS slated for demolition has been saved!

Here is the press release from the Save Wright website.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy has facilitated the purchase of the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, Arizona, through an LLC owned by an anonymous benefactor. The transaction closed on December 20 for an undisclosed price. The property will be transferred to an Arizona not-for-profit organization responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the David Wright House.

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Planning has begun for the restoration of the house and grounds, and additional donations from the public will be sought for the costs of restoration at the appropriate time. The new owner will request that the City of Phoenix grant landmark designation to the house. The goal after restoration is to make the house available for educational purposes.

“This purchase is a magnificent and generous action,” said Larry Woodin, president of the Chicago-based Conservancy. “It is a gift to the people of Phoenix, a gift to the worldwide architectural community and to everyone that cares about the history of modern architecture. We are enormously grateful to this benefactor for making sure there will be a new chapter in the life of this important and unique Frank Lloyd Wright building.”

Built in 1950-52 for Frank Lloyd Wright’s son David and his wife Gladys, it is the only residence by the world-famous architect that utilizes a circular spiral plan similar to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, whose construction followed it by six years. Several architectural historians and architecture critics consider the David Wright House to be among the most significant Wright buildings.

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When the Conservancy learned of the sale of the David Wright House to developers in June it asked the city to provide temporary protection from demolition by landmarking the property. Various city commissions and committees have recommended that landmark designation be approved but final action has not yet been taken by the city council.

“This is what we have been working toward over the last six months – landmark status and a new preservation-minded owner,” commented Janet Halstead, Executive Director of the Conservancy. “Immediately our Conservancy working group was joined last June by local preservationists and concerned Phoenix residents. Their active and sustained commitment has been remarkable. We worked as a team to explore options, often behind-the-scenes, as well as rallying community support.” Throughout the process, Mayor Greg Stanton and his staff and Michelle Dodds, acting historic preservation officer for the city, also worked continuously for the preservation of this important piece of Phoenix’s architectural legacy.

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The Conservancy gathered more than 28,000 signatures worldwide through an on-line petition urging the city to take all available steps to save the house, and a few thousand more supporters were gathered from visitors to Taliesin West and various local efforts. “All of those efforts have been vital in reaching this point,” said Halstead, “and more donor participation and community support will be needed to restore the house and to fully launch its new parent organization.”

 

Further details will be announced in January, including how to support the new organization and the restoration of the David Wright House. Details also will be posted on the Conservancy website http://www.savewright.org/.

Pictures from http://www.savewright.org/

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13 Responses to David Wright House in Phoenix – SAVED!!!

  1. RetroRuth Reply

    January 24, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Hooray!!!

  2. Tasha Reply

    January 24, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Fantastic!! What a gorgeous piece of architecture!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      January 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      SO very happy Tasha, this house is exceedingly beautiful!

  3. John Bachman Reply

    January 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Good news. Read today the Historic Preservation Commission is being proactive in reaching out to other Wright owners in Arizona.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      January 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for letting me know about the HPC John, I had not heard that yet. I surely do hope that by the HPC reaching out to other Wright owners here it helps this debacle from ever happening again.

  4. Charlotte Reply

    January 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Yay! I’m glad to hear this good news.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      January 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      I know !YAY! Charlotte, I am super thrilled!!!

  5. Andrea Reply

    January 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Oh yay! That’s fantastic!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      January 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Yippee Andrea!!! It’s saved!!!

  6. Maureen Reply

    January 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I’m so happy! I signed the petition and hoped for a good outcome-yippeee!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      January 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      It’s so awesome it was saved Maureen, I am SO happy about it….and thanks SO much for signing the petition I really do appreciate that!

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