David Wright House Again in Danger of Demolition

Courtesy of Time, Inc. via the News Blog

Just when we thought the saga was over, a whole new chapter has begun.

The David Wright House, an unusual home in that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son, has been in danger since July, when the developer-owners announced their plans to tear it down and split the lot in two. After considerable hubbub caused by preservationists, and an online petition that received thousands of votes, enough pressure was put on the Pheonix City Council to delay demolition until they could vote on whether or not to confer Landmark Designation on the house (this would delay demolition for another three years, but not safeguard the house from demolition).

However, the point became moot when a preservation-minded buyer swooped in to save the day. Now, just two weeks later, the buyer has backed out.

Find out more on the fate of the David Wright House, after the break…

David Wright Home Sold, (Probably) Saved

The David S. Wright Home in Arcadia, Arizona. Photo via Curbd LA.

After months of following the David Wright House‘s brushes with demolition, we’re happy to report that an anonymous, preservation-friendly buyer has bought the house.

According to Real Estate Agent Robert Joffe, who represented the sellers (the developers who wished to split the Frank Lloyd Wright house down the middle), the new owner intends to preserve and restore the home. It sold for its asking price of $2.38 million dollars.

The Pheonix City Council was slated to vote on the house’s landmark designation tomorrow; however, the vote will probably be delayed in light of the sale. As  City Councilman Sal DiCiccio shared with The Pheonix Business Journal, “The next steps are for me and the Mayor to sit down and get some direction from the purchaser in regards to a long-term vision for the property.”

Which is no bad thing – in Pheonix, landmark designation only saves a building for three years. Assuming that the buyer is indeed preservation-minded, the house will be saved for generations to come: the best outcome we could have hoped for for this unusual Wright gem.

Story via The Pheonix Business Journal and The Seattle Times 

Perspectives: The David Wright House

‘Perspectives: The David Wright House’ will be hosted by on November 5, 2012

On November 5, the Design School at Arizona State University will be hosting a panel discussion centered around the David Wright House and the question of architectural preservation in the city of Phoenix. Speakers will include Burton Barr Central Library architect Will Bruder, The Design School’s director, and more. The conversation will touch on efforts have been underway over the last three months in Arizona to preserve the David Wright House, one of ’s “ most innovative, unusual and personal works of architecture,” from demolition by developers.

The Latest in the Wright House Demolition Saga: The Developers Tell Their Side

Courtesy of Curbd LA

The David Wright House, a hidden gem that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son, still stands, but its fate remains precarious.

On October 9th, the Arizona Planning Commission met to discuss the proposed landmark designation for the house, an event which attracted over 100 people. According to The New York Times, only 3 people voted against the designation, including the house’s current owners, the developers of 8081 Meridian, John Hoffman and Steve Sells.

When the pair bought the house back in June for only $1.8 million (from the pair the Wright’s granddaughters had sold the house to for $2.8 million), they thought it was “too good to be true.” The property alone could make up to $1.4 million; the pair hoped that by splitting the lot they could make even more.

Unfortunately however, Mr. Sells had no idea of the house’s architectural significance. As he told The New York Times, he didn’t know the difference “between Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wright brothers. ”

More on the Developers’ side of this demolition tale, after the break…

Non-Profit to Buy A Block of Frank Lloyd Wrights

by JOHN AMARANTIDES, 1955. ”The Foundation Archives” (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, , New York)

While in Arizona developers threaten to split a unique Frank Lloyd Wright Home in two, in Wisconsin, preservationists just can’t get enough Wright.

A non-profit by the name of The Frank Lloyd Wright® Wisconsin Heritage Tourism Program, Inc. has just bought their fourth Wright home on the same Milwaukee block. They’re hoping to buy all six and turn the block into an interpretive center so visitors can enter and experience the homes – all American System-Built Homes that Wright built between 1915 and 1916 as prototypes for his ideas on standardized home design.

While they wait for the necessary approvals from the City of Milwaukee to get restoring their newest acquisition, they’ll rent out the home and spend their time restoring the duplex at the other end of the block. No word yet on when their vision could become reality.

Story via The Wisconsin Gazette, the Journal Sentinel Online, a 

Will Developers Demolish the David Wright House Today?

The David S. Wright Home in Arcadia, Arizona. Image via User SDR on the Save Wright Chat page.

Last we updated you on the David Wright House, the Arizona home Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son, things were looking up – the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC) had gotten the unanimous decision of the Phoenix Historic Commission to recommend Landmark to the City Council.

Unfortunately, the developer, John Hoffmann of 8081 Meridian, says that really doesn’t matter to him.

According to yesterday’s New York Times article by Michael Kimmelman, Pheonix city policy requires owner consent before designating any building for historic preservation. Since “8081 Meridian never gave its consent, and has no intention of doing so, Mr. Hoffman says he rejects the landmark process outright.”

Hoffman’s demolition permit has been voided by city officials, but he maintains that the permit is legal – it just expires today.

More on the precarious fate of the , after the break…

UPDATE: Progress in Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Effort, Signatures Needed!

The David S. Wright Home in Arcadia, Arizona. Photo via Curbd LA

As we’ve reported over the last two months, efforts have been underway in Arizona to preserve the David Wright House, one of ’s “ most innovative, unusual and personal works of architecture,” from demolition by developers. No intact Wright building has ever been intentionally demolished, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC) has been hard at work to make sure this one isn’t the first.

Well, good news! Last month,the FLWBC posted an online petition to the City of  to bestow historic preservation/landmark designation upon the house. After gaining over 16,000 votes (many from you ArchDaily readers), the Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to recommend Landmark designation for the building last week.

But it’s not over yet! The recommendation still has to go to the City Council in November – if it is approved, an automatic three-year delay on any demolition will be granted to the house.

So what can you do in the meantime? The FLWBC has a new goal of 25,000 signatures  (as of now, they’re only 8,000 votes away), so sign the online petition and spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, etc. now!

For more information or to get involved, check out the SAVE WRIGHT page.

Video: Darwin Martin House / Frank Lloyd Wright

based artist and director Jonathan Turner highlights the details of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House (1903-05) in Buffalo, New York. Part of a multi-structure estate, the Martin House serves as a prime example of ’s Prairie House ideal, with strong horizontal lines and planes, deeply overhanging eaves, a central hearth, prominent foundation, and a sheltering, cantilevered roof. Although the complex suffered considerable damage over the decades, the Martine House Restoration Corporation (MHRC) has raised funds for a complete restoration of the complex, which began in 1997 and continues on today.

Frank Lloyd Wright Archives relocate to New York

Frank Lloyd Wright by JOHN AMARANTIDES, 1955. ”The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)”

The Museum of Modern Art, Columbia University and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation have announced that the vast archives of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) have been jointly acquired by the University and the Museum and will become part of their permanent collections. The archive, which includes some 23,000 architectural drawings, 44,000 historical photographs, large-scale models, manuscripts, extensive correspondence and other documents, has remained in storage at Wright’s former headquarters – Taliesin (Spring Green, WI) and Taliesin West (Scottsdale, AZ) – since his death. Moving the archives to New York will maximize the visibility and research value of the collection for generations of scholars, students and the public.

“The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation takes seriously its responsibility to serve the public good by ensuring the best possible conservation, accessibility, and impact of one of the most important and meaningful archives in the world,” said Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Given the individual strengths, resources and abilities of the Foundation, and Columbia, it became clear that this collaborative stewardship is far and away the best way to guarantee the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation and the best public access.”

Continue after the break for more images and an informative video. 

UPDATE: Save A Frank Lloyd Wright! Sign the Petition Now!

The David S. Wright Home in Arcadia, . Photo via Curbd LA.

As we reported last month, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s more unusual architectural specimens, the David Wright House (designed for his son), is in imminent risk of demolition by developers.

While any Frank Lloyd Wright deserves to be preserved in our opinion, this quirky house, which Neil Levine, architectural historian and Harvard professor, went so far as to describe as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most innovative, unusual and personal works of architecture” offers us an important glimpse into Wright’s development. Because of its circular spiral plan (completed six years before the Guggenheim), concrete-block detailing, and interior design, the house was (and still is) considered to be one of Wright’s most “remarkable and praiseworthy” efforts since Fallingwater.

Although the situation is dire, work done by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy has awarded a temporary demo delay while the City of Phoenix decides whether to bestow historic and landmark designation upon the house. This is where you come in. An online petition to the City of Phoenix has been set-up; as of right now, they’re 360 signatures short of their 1,000 person goal.

For almost 40 years no intact Wright building has been intentionally demolished. Let’s make sure we don’t start with this one. Sign the online petition (and then share it on Facebook, twitter, etc.), now!

For more information or to get involved, check out the SAVE WRIGHT page. For more images (including sketches) of the David Wright House, check out the gallery after the break…

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

The relationship between social dynamics and architecture has always been intimate.  It is a constant dialogue between social norms and politics, stylistic trends and aesthetic choices, individual preferences and the collective good.  The Modernist Period was a time when architecture took on the challenge of many social problems.  In all the arts –  architecture, design, music and film – the period was highly politicized and the choices often gave way to a utilitarian ideal that was a hybrid of efficiency, simplicity and comfort.  Jake Gorst’s new film Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island, supported by Design Onscreen, is a message of preservation that takes us through the history of the modernist housing boom that took place on Long Island, NY in the period between the Great Depression and the 1970s.

On August 14th, Cook+Fox Architects hosted a private film screening at their office on 641 Ave of the Americas, presenting the treasures along the island’s shore that have fallen between the cracks of history.  The film looks at works from Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Frank Lloyd Wright, , Philip Johnson, , Barbara and Julian Neski and many others.

Follow us after the break to catch up on the history of the development of these houses on Long Island.

‘A Long-Awaited Tribute: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian House and Pavilion’ Exhibition

Courtesy of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF)

In 1953, six years before the -designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened to the public, two of his structures—a pavilion and model Usonian house—were built on the future site of the museum to house a temporary exhibition displaying the architect’s lifelong work. From July 27, 2012, to February 13, 2013, the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the will present A Long-Awaited Tribute: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian House and Pavilion, an exhibition comprised of selected materials from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, highlighting the first Wright buildings erected in New York City. Text Courtesy of: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF). More information on the exhibition after the break.

Looking for a Frank Lloyd Wright? You Have 30 Days…

The David S. Wright Home in Arcadia, . Photo via Curbd LA.

According to a local Arizona news channel, a home designed for his son, David S. Wright, is on the chopping block.

The house, located in Arcadia, Arizona, was purchased earlier this year by developers who plan to demolish the site – unless a buyer steps forth within the next 30 days.

The circular house is rather unique for Wright as an architect, and holds special significance for the Wright family. As Frank’s great-granddaughter, Anne Wright Levi, who often visited the house growing up, shared with 3TV: “This house is a piece of history, it represents a piece of Arizona that Frank Lloyd Wright loved so much. [...] This house was the community before the community was here, and it should be saved.”

So, how much will this piece of history cost you? Well, the developers bought the property for $1.8 million, so you can expect to dish out at least the same. But what’s a couple million when it comes to preserving a piece of architectural history?

Story via Yahoo News

Films & Architecture: “The International”

Not that many films can have the amount of high-end architecture as location for their scenes. In “The International” the characters goes to a secondary position – through architects’ eyes - since the movie is a showroom of well known buildings and cities.

The mythic Guggenheim Museum in New York by Frank Lloyd Wright serves as the space for one of the main scenes, jumping to the Phaeno Science Center by Zaha Hadid in Wolfsburg, Germany. Cities where the movie was filmed include Istanbul, Berlin, Lyon, Milan, and New York, showing us an impressive catalogue of “international” architecture.

Let us know your thoughts about the movie and international architecture. What does this concept mean today? Or was it only an utopian modern movement?

Happy 145th Birthday Frank Lloyd Wright

© Robert Ruschak - Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

In 1991, the American Institute of Architects called him, quite simply,“the greatest American architect of all time.”

Frank Lloyd Wright, born today, June 8th, 1867, would have turned 145 years old today. Despite the years, Wright’s relevance hasn’t diminished.

Perhaps best known for his Fallingwater House and ’s iconic Guggenheim Museum (see our original doodle below), Wright was a prolific architect, interior designer, and writer who spent his life advocating an “organic” architecture at harmony with its surroundings.

On the occasion of Wright’s birth, we invite you to look back on his truly impressive oeuvre. And what better place to start, than his classics:

Films & Architecture: “Gattaca”

Two weeks ago we started proposing films relevant to our field for you to primarily enjoy and also to encourage its discussion. First with “The Belly of an Architect”, and then “Blade Runner”, this week is the turn for a slightly more contemporary movie written and directed by Andrew Niccol, Gattaca. The film presents a future were the human condition is already defined in DNA, therefore human’s opportunities for life development are pre-established. Beyond the interesting ethical issue, the architecture where this story occurs is carefully selected in order to fit the director’s image of the future. Locations include the Marin County Civic Center by and the CLA Building by .

PBS lists Top Ten Buildings that Changed America

Vanna Venturi House / Robert Venturi © Maria Buszek

PBS has released their selections of the top ten buildings that have changed the way Americans live, work and play. From ’s 224-year-0ld Virginia State Capitol to Robert Ventui’s postmodern masterpiece the Vanna Venturi House, each building on the list will be featured in a new TV and web production coming to in 2013. Continue after the break to view the top ten influential buildings and let us know your thoughts!

Frank Lloyd Wright appears on “What’s My Line?” in 1956

This June 3, 1956 clip of the Long-running CBS game show What’s My Line? has been making its rounds on the internet for quite sometime now. As it just recently popped up on Dwell’s twitter feed, we knew it must be featured on ArchDaily for our readers who may have not seen it yet, as it is a classic and features the 89-year-old “World Famous Architect” . Just as any good architect would do, Wright critiques the poor acoustical qualities of the space as a blindfolded all-star panel (such as Arlene Francis and Peter Lawford) attempts to guess his professional title.

Reference: Mediabistro