Crime at Olfelt

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peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Crime at Olfelt

Post by peterm »

A horrifying mutilation by overprivileged buyers and their unethical architect is occurring as we speak:

https://www.savewright.org/

All original except for the countertops. The lot is nearly four acres. Couldn’t they at least build their “dream house� separated from the original house? I’m sorry, buyers like this, and the realtors who represent them, (if knowing of their plot) disgust me.

“SUCCESS�! http://www.berglarsengroup.com/listing/ ... -mn-55416/

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

How sad.

Perhaps Agents Barry Berg and Chad Larsen can salvage their reputations by telling the Wright community that their buyer completely concealed
his/her intentions. If they are not able to do that, we are left to conclude that they sold an original and unaltered Wright home knowing that the new
owners were likely to commence, sooner or later, with modifications ?

The Conservancy seems to be doing all in its power to prevent outcomes like this one, and it is good to read their lengthy statement, with its report
of the history, the present circumstance, and advice to others that could prevent recurrences.


Earlier today I found myself reading, in Patrick J Meehan's "The Master Architect -- Conversations with Frank Lloyd Wright" (John Wiley & Sons,
1984), Wright's late interviews. On the last page of the book we have this:

". . .those of you who are not going to be architects are lucky. You are going to be walked on by those of us who are. All we ask of you is to know
architecture when you see it -- to know the good from the bad. It is up to you for our sakes -- the sake of the architect.

"I am an architect and the truth is that there is not much use in being an architect without you fellows. We are working for you. We want you to see
and feel the truth, the integrity, the beauty of what we do. We ask for it. Otherwise what are we ? After all, you are the boss of the situation -- you
fellows who aren't architects !"

S

peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

As true and beautiful as those sentiments are, I wish he would have continued and reminded architects that they have a huge responsibility. There are situations when an architect with any decency or integrity must say, “Hell no! Do it yourself! I will take no part in your depraved fantasy!�

Of course, for the mediocre mind, it’s a chance to say, I’ll show them how to do it! I can improve upon genius!� Pathetic.

jay
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

What a tragedy.

I remember when this house came on the market, thinking, "Geez, $1.5mil is a lot of money for Minnesota". I know it's a beautifully maintained house, on a large lot, in a nice neighborhood. But still, Minneapolis isn't exactly an area with a robustly inflated economy, like a West Coast city... Which led me to the question, how much higher was this house than the average in its community?

In St. Louis Park, Minn, the "Zillow Home Value Index" (median) is $287k. The Olfelt house was listed for over 5 times the area index (5.22:1), and the selling price (~$1.25m) was a 4.3 times the index (4.33:1).

Then I got even more curious.... Of the recently sold Wright homes that were a) well-maintained, b) in the ~$1m range, c) 3BR/2BR, d) in the suburbs of legitimate cities, and e) on very nice expansive lots�what were their ratios?

I started with the Sol Friedman house.... The Zillow Home Value Index for Pleasantville, NY is $608k, while the Friedman home was listed at $1.5mil and sold for $1.3m.... So the listing price ratio was 2.47:1, and the selling price was 2.14:1.

Next I looked at the Richardson house... The Index for Glen Ridge, NJ in 2016 was about $575k, when the house was listed and sold for $995k.... The ratio being 1.78:1.

Last I looked at the Brandes house... The Index in Sammamish during early 2013, when the home was listed and sold, was $550k. The home was listed at $1.4m and sold for ~$1.3m.... The ratio for the listing was 2.55:1, with the sold price ratio at 2.37:1.

We should keep in mind when comparing these four homes, that the Olfelt house has both the largest lot of the bunch, and also the most square footage. But I'd also argue, just in a completely subjective sense, that the Olfelt house would be my last choice of the four. (Luckily my finances don't put me in such a dilemma of having to choose between any of them...) And on top of aesthetic preference, I'd also suggest that the suburbs of New York and Seattle might give more value in and of themselves than the suburbs of Minneapolis.

With that in mind, compare the ratios (sold prices):

Sol Friedman�2.14:1
Richardson�1.78:1
Brandes�2.37:1
Olfelt�4.33:1

One does not look like the others.

If you put Olfelt more in line with, say, the ratio of Friedman, you'd be looking at a $615,000 price tag.

Not sure if this is sound science, but I found it interesting.... It might�or might not�help explain why the Olfelt house ended up in the hands that it did.

outside in
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Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

I think it would be a good idea to see what, exactly, their plans are before passing judgement. Additions are not necessarily a bad thing, depending how they are designed. It's the loss of cabinetry, fixtures, etc. that would be difficult to stomach.

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

2500 square feet is not enough? 4 acres of land? Build a second structure.

I would agree if this house wasn’t all original.

outside in
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Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

HI Peter, for all we know they may have 10 children and in laws! Merry Christmas!

SREcklund
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Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

outside in wrote:I think it would be a good idea to see what, exactly, their plans are before passing judgement. Additions are not necessarily a bad thing, depending how they are designed. It's the loss of cabinetry, fixtures, etc. that would be difficult to stomach.
You've participated in enough work on Wright structures to have a better feel for the process than practically anyone else, so I'll be interested in your thoughts on this description provided in the Conservancy's release:
... kitchen relocated, bedrooms removed and a new two story addition changing the relationship of the house to the land."
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

outside in
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:02 pm
Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

I know it "sounds" insensitive, and the relocation of the kitchen is not at all promising, or the 2 story addition. But there are other factors, such as the budget and the practicalities of building that sometimes determine the outcome. I'm not defending the proposal, but would like to know more before I get out the torches and pitchforks.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

In the future, more of this sort of thing will happen. There are a lot of FLW buildings that would, by today's standards, seem insufficient. If they are located in nice areas with plenty of space, they will be targeted. There's little to do about it. This is one reason documenting as much as possible is a good thing to do.

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »


SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

That last link includes a visit to the Russell Wright home, Manitoga; they call him "the other Wright." Maybe there's reason for hope ?

I'm with outside in: hold our breath, and wait. Supposedly there will be updates on that instagram page. I suppose it all comes down to whether the client actually cares about Frank Lloyd Wright -- or not . . .

S

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Why couldn’t these green architects convince them that they need a new environmentally pure new structure?

BTW- I’ve hired a great computer artist to add a spaceship to my Picasso. Don’t worry; he’ll be tasteful and paint it in the manner of Picasso. You’ll love it!

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Oddly, in April of 2016 the family architect said, of the New Jersey residence, that it was intended as an "aging-in place" home. It's clear from that project that the family is able to do whatever they fancy . . .

S

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

SDR wrote: I suppose it all comes down to whether the client actually cares about Frank Lloyd Wright -- or not . . .

S
If the client, and their bloody architect(s), actually cares about Frank Lloyd Wright they would leave it alone.

We care about Bach. That’s why I ask you all: Anyone up for rewriting (permanently!) the Brandenburg no. 5? It’s soooo out of date!

I’m game. Let’s do it!

Ideas? https://youtu.be/ZK6-x9sdEYo

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