It could be a very sad day for many Frank Lloyd Wright lovers and architecture enthusiasts, come November 7th if the Phoenix City Council does not vote in favor of designating the 1950’s home built by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, David, as a historical landmark. The House was bought earlier this year by 8081 Meridian LLC with possible plans to demolish the house, split the lot, and build two new luxury homes.
So far things seem to be moving in the right direction for those who are in favor of preserving this historic building. The house qualifies for landmark designation under three of the five categories listed in the city’s zoning ordinance. Change.org established a petition to save the house requiring 25,000 signatures and as of today (9/20/12) 16,758 people have signed, leaving only 8,242 more to go. On September 17, the Historic Preservation Commission of the city of Phoenix unanimously voted to recommend landmark designation for the Wright house. The Historic Preservation Commission is the first of three very important bodies that will provide recommendations before the City Council makes the decision in November.
It has been almost 40 years since a fully functional and intact Wright building has been demolished intentionally, with that said this particular Wright home is one of his most famous and unique. The house was designed around the circular spiral plan of the Guggenheim museum in New York and there is no other house like it. Wright is best known for designing homes with and for the environment, this spiral design allows natural breeze, ideal for desert living.
This design has had a long history of praise. After it was published in 1953, it was noted that no other Wright house had been as praiseworthy and remarkable since Fallingwater, Wrights most renowned home built in rural southwestern Pennsylvania in 1935. Since then, architectural historians and architecture critics consider this Phoenix home to be among the 20 most significant Wright buildings.
For years now, Phoenix seems as if they have no historical pride as they choose to destroy its architectural heritages in the name of progress. The Fox Theatre built in 1931, was knocked down in 1975 and is now a parking lot. Could you imagine if Europe had the same mind set? What if Rome was filled with modern buildings or they knocked down every European statue because it was in the way. Let’s start preserving Phoenix’s history one landmark at a time!