Article: David Wright owner buys adjacent properties

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Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Here is the article for those who could not get it:

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,� Jacalyn Lynn, chair of the school’s Board of Governors, said in a statement asking for pledges. “This campaign is the only opportunity to save the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture as we know it — 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 school’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.

Doug MacEachern

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.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks, Paul . . .

SDR

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


KevinW
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Post by KevinW »

Iowegian63....While the NAAB extended accredidation for another 8 years, it is the HRC who now requires the school to be a separate entity from the foundation. If the HRC accredidation can not be achieved, the NAAB accredidation gets taken away...is the way I understand it.
KevinW

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


DRN
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Post by DRN »

From the Comments section of the article:
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?
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.

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.

SREcklund
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Post by SREcklund »

This is just one guy's opinion, but I think it's a question of scale. Everyone agrees preserving the house is a good thing, and we _all_ want it open for tours. Had they done that and converted the guest structure into a visitor's center/tour start/gift shop, no one would have had any reason to complain. But the idea of a 25,000 sq-ft underground cafe and 30-ft tall shade structure covering 4 times the footprint of the house can easily lead someone to believe the owners have a lot more in mind. The owners bou ght all that extra property and erected the sound barriers for a reason - and it's not because of the tours. I don't see it as unreasonable to be concerned at that level of increased activity.
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

DRN
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Post by DRN »

I believe I share your position SREcklund. What I saw last Fall had me delighted that the house will be restored and maintained, but the site work completed to that point and the plans for future improvements had me less so. While I understand the acquisition of the house, and all of the conservation work are very costly and the finished result will need to carry its own financial weight, I'm concerned that the grandiose plans for the development of the site are a Disneyfication of the place that will make the house an ornament, or worse a relic, in the midst of a commercial events venue. I'm not convinced that all of this infrastructure is necessary to conduct a historic site with tours and some limited use for events, which will be needed to offset operating costs....maybe I'm wrong. I do believe the high cost of the infrastructure (25,000 SF visitor center, underground!, an amphitheater?), if properly invested would establish a good portion of an endowment to maintain the site. I also don't believe these constructions will draw more visitors, they may over time just increase operating costs.

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.

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

From what I have read it appears that the next move is up the City Council to decide what is going to fly and what isn't.

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?
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The Google street view is a couple of years old. Does Google satellite keep us up to date ?

SDR

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Go here:
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.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks, Paul. Another dumb question: where did the north-south-east-west navigation go on Google Earth ? No more on-screen icons; last month my keyboard arrows did the trick -- now that's out. What am I missing ?

Images are © 2015. How often are they refreshed -- anybody know ?

SDR

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Everytime I see this house I like it more than the last time. Great house.

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