Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) —A 60-year-old Phoenix house designed
by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son is pegged for demolition by a
developer if a new owner isn’t found.

The company that owns the David and Gladys Wright House,
built in 1952 in the city’s Arcadia neighborhood with views of
nearby Camelback Mountain, agreed yesterday not to raze the
house for 25 days as the city and preservationists look for a
buyer, said Michelle Dodds, Phoenix’s acting historic
preservation officer.

“We hope in that time we will have an agreement with
someone interested in buying the house, someone agreeable to
have historic preservation landmark status,” Dodds said.

Dodds said the property’s owner, 8081 Meridian LLC, whose
partners live in the Phoenix area, is objecting to efforts to
designate the property as a historic landmark, which would
prohibit demolition for three years. The company told the city
it planned to divide the property in half and build two new
homes in its place, Dodds said.

Melissa Banuchi, a spokeswoman for 8081 Meridian, referred
questions to partner Steve Sells and said he wasn’t immediately
available for comment.

Landmark Status

The city’s Historic Preservation Commission voted Sept. 17
to give the home landmark status and a neighborhood planning
committee also approved the designation yesterday, Dodds said.
Another panel will review that status before the City Council
takes up the matter Nov. 7.

The developer obtained the 2,500-square foot home in June
for $1.8 million. It rejected an offer by a preservationist
willing to pay $2,050,000 million, said Janet Halstead,
executive director of the Chicago-based Frank Lloyd Wright
Building Conservancy, which has been among the groups looking
for a buyer to save the structure. It is currently seeking an
offer of at least $2.2 million, Halstead said in a telephone
interview.

“It is an important piece in Wright’s career,” Halstead
said, noting the spiral ramp in the home — a similar theme to
Wright’s design for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York
— and his attempts to make the house fit into its Southwestern
desert surroundings. “It is very unique and it is critical that
this building be preserved.”

Wright, whose works also include Fallingwater in
Pennsylvania, died in 1959.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Amanda J. Crawford in Phoenix at
acrawford24@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Stephen Merelman at
smerelman@bloomberg.net

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