The David Wright house has been called the most significant work within the City of Phoenix by the most significant architect in American history. Built in 1952 by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son David as a favor, the house has an exceptional rounded floor plan. It ascends in elevation using a ramp that wraps around the house to take advantage of stunning views of the nearby Camelback mountain. But after a real estate development company bought the property with the intent to demolish the home, a search began to find a buyer to save the iconic structure. Just such a buyer was found, but yesterday they withdrew their offer for "personal and business" reasons.
In June of this year 8081 Meridian, a real-estate development company, purchased the house with the intent to demolish it and build two large homes on it. Since then, there has been an outcry in the local, national and international community insisting that this iconic and unique architectural masterwork be protected and preserved.
Two weeks ago, global and local communities breathed a sigh of relief as an anonymous buyer stepped forth and agreed to buy the house for the asking price of $2.38 million. This owner was touted to be in favor of preserving the house and also supposedly in favor of the City of Phoenix putting a landmark designation on the house, which would protect it for the next 3 years from demolition.
But just yesterday, it was reported that this anonymous buyer backed out of the deal during the inspection period for “personal and business reasons”, according to the buyer’s representatives. This leaves the house vulnerable again. And because the Phoenix City Council has made it their practice to only put historic designations on buildings with the owner’s permission, though it is not legally required, landmark designation of the house is also in jeopardy.
The David Wright house is not by any means saved and preservationists far and wide still have their work cut out for them to protect the home.
Photos by Colin Slais