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Troubles facing Wright school could harm Arcadia house
The propaganda campaign against turning the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Arcadia into a public attraction -- you know, the campaign featuring sweaty crowds of Glendale-like residents replete with screaming brats and rolling beer coolers flooding the verdant gardens of Arcadia -- just lost an argument.
Opponents of the plan to open up the David and Gladys Wright to the public have argued that the Valley's most famous FLW property -- Taliesen West in Scottsdale -- hasn't really fashioned itself as a public attraction, so why should the exotic David & Gladys home?
Well, maybe because even the greatest institutions and landmarks can fall into disrepair, or even disappear entirely, without a dependable source of revenue.
That is what is happening right now with the 83-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The design school bearing the most prestigious name in architecture needs to raise $500,000 in the next 30 days or face losing its accreditation -- and, in turn, its future.
"Without significant and immediate support, there will no longer be a stand-alone accredited Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture,â€� Jacalyn Lynn, chair of the schoolâ€™s Board of Governors, said in a statement asking for pledges. â€œThis campaign is the only opportunity to save the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture as we know it â€” and to ensure its success and impact for decades to come."
In all, the school's board must raise $2 million by the end of the year. Failure would be a tragedy for the world of architecture.
As reported by The Republic's Sonja Haller, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation says it would "continue to subsidize the schoolâ€™s costs if it could demonstrate an ability to pay for its annual expenses by the deadlines agreed upon by both the school and foundation."
Even world-renowned institutions, in other words, have to be able to pay their own bills.
The Valley may be on the brink of losing a precious Frank Lloyd Wright institution. It can't afford to lose another.
The owner of the David & Gladys Wright house, Zach Rawlings, is saving the property from the destructive effects of time. He's taken down the chain link fences and has mended the grounds. But the money to keep a precious community asset viable doesn't flow forever.
The Wright house has to sustain itself. Or it will disappear, too.
Editorial Writer/Columnist: Doug MacEachern is an editorial writer and columnist. Virtual Arizona native; daughter is fifth generation. Figure that one out. With the board since 1999.
I suspect the neighbors in Arcadia might have preferred a McMansion, as they seem to have their financial blinders firmly in place allowing them to see the world only in relation to their perceived property values. They fear an unknown which may or may not negatively change how a potential buyer might value their house. There may also be a fear of the "have nots" having reason to be in their "enclave" which the residents may believe will lead to increased property crime.Why in the world would the residents of Arcadia object to someone spending their own money to preserve what some see as a historical landmark? What was the alternative? Have it demolished and Bristol Palin (or insert whoever here) build a McMansion?
Mr. Rawling has purchased lots to create a buffer, the property is walled/fenced...I couldn't see the neighbors when I visited. Parking is via an existing adjacent church lot fronting an arterial street to prevent traffic and passersby issues...short of a Johnson Glass House-esque remote visitor center at a storefront with parking a mile or more away, using shuttle vans to access the property, I can't see how this this could be any more low impact. If weddings or other outdoor events are planned, noise issues, limiting amplification, quiet hours, etc. will need to be addressed of course. These issues occur commonly in cities, there are solutions.
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
If the neighbors succeed in their actions against the opening of the property to the public, the house will have to become a residence again, or if no one with the bucks to restore it wants to live in such a "small" house, possibly a B&B rental similar to other Rent-a-Wright houses around the country. I have my suspicions that the neighbors would not approve of a B&B either.
I think since the mayor and the city were in favor of saving the house that there may a better than even chance the Mr. Rawlings will prevail in at least a limited way.
The neighbors are crying NAMBYs.
I hope Mr. Rawlins buys up all the houses south of him (4517 N Rubicon Ave and 5226-5302 E Exeter Blvd) and tears them down. He already owns the homes north of him. That leaves only three houses directly east of him to deal with and there is a masonry wall between his property and theirs.
What is the address of the guy who is making the most noise (from Phoenix Univ.)?
BTW: Look at Google Earth at 5226 E Exeter and someone in Phoenix tell us what is going on there. Looks like a lot of construction. Does Mr. Rawlings already own that one?
https://www.google.com/maps/place/5226+ ... ee!6m1!1e1
Click on EARTH lower left corner (not Street View) and zoom in. There appears to be a lot of construction going on there.