Phoenix and the surrounding cities have been tearing down their history for years. This time they have an opportunity to actually preserve a home and get it right. Last summer Steve Sells and John Hoffman bought the David and Gladys Wright house. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son David and wife Gladys in 1951 this 2500 sq.ft. home sits on just over 2 acres. The new owners plan to demolish it and subdivide the land (have you heard this before?). Claiming to be surprised by the strong reaction to their plans the two new owners unsuccessfully looked for someone to buy the home and get them out of this mess. Mayor Greg Stanton called them and asked them to work with the city on preserving it and it looked as that might happen. Phoenix initiated the historic preservation landmark process and the new owners threatened a lawsuit last week.
The David Wright Home isn’t Falling Water but it is significant architecturally especially in Phoenix. The fact that it was a home designed for his son and in fact never occupied by anyone but his son and wife makes it more significant historically. It is the only house that Wright used the a spiral plan as he did in the Guggenheim Museum. According to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation it is among the 20 most significant Wright buildings. If you pay attention you can find other Frank Lloyd Wright homes scattered around the valley. None as fine as this one.
I have to confess I am not a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright. He was a master of self promotion; was known for being difficult to work with; did not care about his clients needs: wants or budgets and most of all designed buildings he knew were flawed. Having said that I recognize he designed some significant projects with that have held their significance over the decades.
When I was in high school we used to have parties at the burned out ruins of another Frank Lloyd Wright house.
I would hate to see us lose another one.