Article: David Wright owner buys adjacent properties

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Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

SDR wrote:What is meant by "independence of the school" ? What changed, and what is the school now independent of ? Pardon my ignorance.
SDR
The school is now financially independent of the FLW Foundation's future funding. This was required to maintain accreditation.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks. I had forgotten that . . .

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Though not likely, the Wright House going onto the market and being bought by a private homeowner may be the best thing for everyone, preservationists and neighbors alike. I imagine the cost of doing that has escalated beyond reason.

DRN
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Post by DRN »

https://www.russlyon.com/homes-for-sale ... 833cfb328f

Given the issues the current owner has had with the neighbors relative to any use but a single family residence, this was inevitable. The sale is $12.95M for the house and all of the lots the current owner acquired, cleared, irrigated, and consolidated into a large developable whole. Unfortunately, the assemblage is not being offered as the house on a manageable lot, with the other parcels that were acquired offered separately. This assemblage and it’s high cost will greatly reduce the pool of potential buyers, and will likely exclude most preservation oriented buyers. Investors will probably be the majority of the interested parties.
The house is still not landmarked 6 years after this saga began. We are back where we started, only now there is more land available and it has been cleared of houses and large vegetation making it all the more desirable for redevelopment.

m.perrino
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Post by m.perrino »

So many twists and turns, since David and Gladys passed away. Still not a protected property, again subject to erasure. I consider myself fortunate to have toured it in both its unrestored state and after Rawlings upgrades, although I was never in favor of the landscaping or ultimate 'grand plans' for site development. $12.9 is beyond my mental comprehension.

Matt
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Post by Matt »

I would expect, given the current owner's investment in the property, that covenants be included in any deal that prohibits the alteration of the house.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

DRN has once again usefully summed up the present state of affairs for a specific property and has offered a credible analysis of the possibilities going forward.

Is it only the local authorities -- in this case, according to the Sotheby's page, the city of Phoenix -- who would grant recognition of the property as historically
significant, or is there a national entity who should be approached or appealed to, for the relevant awarding or proclaiming of protected historic status ?

SDR

DRN
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Post by DRN »

I would expect, given the current owner's investment in the property, that covenants be included in any deal that prohibits the alteration of the house.
That would be ideal, but it is not noted in the listing, and we do not know that to be the case.
Until and unless we learn otherwise, the house should not be considered “safe�. It could well be threatened with the possibility of demolition by potential buyers/investors just as it was 5 or 6 years ago.

It should also be noted that landmarking by the City of Phoenix, is not a bulletproof protective...it can hold off a demolition permit for only 3 years. That provision allows preservationists time to work through a resolution with the owner of a threatened property, but if the owner is unwilling to consider an alternative....

SREcklund
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Post by SREcklund »

Matt wrote:I would expect, given the current owner's investment in the property, that covenants be included in any deal that prohibits the alteration of the house.
Unfortunately, most of the current owner's investments have been in the property, not the house, and the sale price is based on the property value, not necessarily the historic value.

Allison King of Modern Phoenix is leading the charge to keep this situation on everyone's radar, but as noted elsewhere in this string, there's scant little that can be done legally.

This topic has been very active over on my "Wright Attitude" Facebook group, albeit with a lesser level of intelligent discourse. I'll quote myself from the discussion over there ...
I think we need to prepare ourselves for a certain reality on this property. Recall that once already, it was at death's door due to the value of the land, and with the additional footage added to the lot by the current owner, it will only be worse. This is not a $13M house, but it _is_ 13M of dirt ... once it's been properly divided. Yes, it's possible another Joel Silver or Ron Burkle will step up, but the reality is that the only people likely to spend that kind of money on this site will see the house as an interference with their plans. I want very much to see a positive outcome, but were I an influencer in the process, I'd have some smart people at the Foundation and the Conservancy poring over a topo map of Taliesin West, looking for the proper place to resite the house when the inevitable happens ...
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

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Ho-ho. Well, that raises the issue of relocation of the house. The typical Wright house move involves rescue of the non-masonry elements, and recreation of the masonry
at the new site.

Here, the house is the masonry, isn't it. Could the house be cut up into structurally coherent pieces, and reassembled at a new location ? Or would the typical scenario be
followed: decorative masonry elements saved, along with roof and interior woodwork, windows, etc, and the masonry recreated ?

I don't see that happening, for obvious reasons -- but stranger things have occurred . . . and all options have to be considered, surely.


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SREcklund
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Post by SREcklund »

SDR wrote:Ho-ho. Well, that raises the issue of relocation of the house.

*snip*

I don't see that happening, for obvious reasons -- but stranger things have occurred . . . and all options have to be considered, surely.
Your reaction was no less incredulous than those I got at my FB group, including one from the president of the FLWF.

I agree it might well be impossible, and hideously costly if doable, but the time to have those conversations is now, not later. As we learned in Whitefish, once the dozer fires up, all the conversation and hand-wringing in the world means nothing.
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

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The former foes of the house could become the new champions. The reason the non-residential use of the house was opposed was the residential nature of the neighborhood. Unless everyone in the area is waiting for property values to rise until they can max out their profit without a care about what is built in its place, they have a vested interest in seeing that the house remains and the rest of the property be sold off for residential development in a sympathetic style and scale. They should be made part of the conversation to help find a reasonable path forward (moving the house not one of them) and to avoid roadblocks that they might set up.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Controversial Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright house for sale: $12.95M

(from the article - and, for what it's worth):

"The listing says an application for historic preservation of the house is pending with the City of Phoenix."


David

SREcklund
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Post by SREcklund »

Roderick Grant wrote:The former foes of the house could become the new champions. The reason the non-residential use of the house was opposed was the residential nature of the neighborhood. Unless everyone in the area is waiting for property values to rise until they can max out their profit without a care about what is built in its place, they have a vested interest in seeing that the house remains and the rest of the property be sold off for residential development in a sympathetic style and scale. They should be made part of the conversation to help find a reasonable path forward (moving the house not one of them) and to avoid roadblocks that they might set up.
I'll confess to my own ignorance, but there must be some way to divide the existing parcel up in a way that allows the house to remain on a reasonable piece of land (original lot be damned), divide and develop the remainder in a fashion acceptable to the neighbors, and donate the house to the school or Foundation so that it can be maintained similar to the manner in which Laurent and Christian, both houses embedded in neighborhoods that exercise reasonable touring plans, do.
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

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Building on that, it appears that whoever might wish for the house to be preserved can thank the current owner for assembling neighboring properties, if only so that they can now be sold by a new owner, generating funds that would enable the house to be donated . . .

David pointed out that the house is currently under application for historic preservation, to the City of Phoenix -- to which I added
is there a NATIONAL (i.e., a federal) entity which should be approached or appealed to, for the relevant awarding of protected historic status ?
Or would such designation be redundant, once the City of Phoenix has protected the property ?

SDR

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