Photos: Acclaimed Frank Lloyd Wright home could be demolished

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 18 at 11:41 PM

PHOENIX -- It is considered to be one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most innovative and significant buildings, but now an Arcadia home could be torn down if a new buyer does not step forward.

The home is tucked away in Arcadia at the foot of Camelback Mountain.

It was built for Wright's son David from 1950-1952. The inside is as unique as its circular, concrete facade.

The property, on Rubicon Avenue, was purchased earlier this year by 8081 Meridian.

Managing partner John Hoffman said his request to split the lot straight down the middle of where the David Wright house currently stands was approved by City of Phoenix officials before the sale even closed.

When Wright enthusiasts and his family caught wind of the plan, they quickly moved to try to stop the demolition.

"This house is a piece of history, it represents a piece of Arizona that Frank Lloyd Wright loved so much," said Anne Wright Levi, Wright's great-granddaughter.

She frequently visited and stayed in the house while growing up and said it is as much a piece of Arizona history as her family's history.

"This house was the community before the community was here, and it should be saved," Levi said. 

Levi and her two sisters sold the David Wright house for $2.8 million dollars four years ago because, she says, the family could not afford to maintain it.

They sold it to a buyer who they believed intended to restore and live in the house.

But that buyer re-sold the property to Hoffman and 8081 Meridian this year for $1.8 million.

After being approached by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and Phoenix Mayor Stanton, Hoffman agreed to put the demolition plans on hold for sixty days to try to strike a compromise. That was about a month ago.

He said he is willing to sell the entire 2.2 acre property or parcel the land and sell just the David Wright home if the City approves a variance to develop the remaining surrounding land.

If a buyer does not come forward in the next thirty days, Hoffman says he will move ahead with the original plans to demolish the home, although, he says deconstructing and relocating parts of the building is also an option.

As for people who say he would be destroying history , Hoffman said: "I hear you, I agree with you. However, we are giving you a fair chance to do something where the outcome is acceptable to you and to us."

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