Developer to delay demolition of home in Phoenix designed by Frank Lloyd Wright while buyer is sought
PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix and a developer who was poised to demolish a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home have reached an agreement that will put any work on hold while a search continues for a buyer, a city official confirmed Wednesday.
The agreement with the developers who bought the 1952 home in the city's Arcadia neighborhood delays for nearly a month any demolition of the house, said Brendan Mahoney, a senior adviser for Mayor Greg Stanton.
The deal signed Monday allows time for a potential sale to buyers who will preserve the house, and also protects the developers, who contend they were issued a valid demolition permit that the city claimed was issued in error.
The potential demolition of the sweeping home on more than 2 acres set off a firestorm in the architectural community. The Chicago-based Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy hurried to get historic status designation for the home when it learned a developer was planning to buy it, split the parcel of more than two acres and tear down the existing home.
The conservancy got the city to begin the process of having the house designated as a historical landmark before it was purchased by the developer in June. That put on hold any effort to get a demolition permit, but the developers managed to get one anyway.
“It's a unique design by Frank Lloyd Wright,” said Janet Halstead, the conservancy's executive director. “It is probably the most important residential design of the last decade of his career. Many architecture experts consider it among the 20 most important Frank Lloyd Wright designs ever built.” The home was built to rise above the surrounding orange orchards, with a spiral ramp leading up to the main level of the concrete block home.
“It's also particularly interesting for Phoenix in that when (Wright) designed it, it was something he designed as a response to “how to live in the Southwest,” Halstead said.
The home was designed for Wright's son and daughter-in-law, David and Gladys Wright, who lived there until their deaths. The home was sold by the family in 2009, then acquired by developer 8081 Meridian for $1.8 million in June.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mountaineer workers fear smoking ban will harm ‘livelihood’
- To fight crime, Chicago tries wiping away arrests
- VA nominee to demand ‘urgent action,’ he tells panel
- Defiant Vietnam POW honored
- Supreme Court justices’ cellphone privacy ruling likely to have broad impact
- HGH use on the rise in teens, survey finds
- U.S. intel believes civilian plane might have been mistaken for Ukraine military aircraft
- Perdue defeats Kingston in Ga. GOP Senate runoff
- Special prosecutor pushed for IRS probe
- War hero who held off Taliban attack gets Medal of Honor
- Autistic twin men locked up in Maryland home