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Historic Frank Lloyd Wright home escapes demolition

October 05, 2012|By Deborah Vankin
  • A 1952 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Phoenix came close to being demolished.
A 1952 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Phoenix came close to being demolished. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)

A historic Frank Lloyd Wright home in Phoenix has narrowly escaped being demolished.  

The 1952 concrete structure -- which features a sweeping spiral staircase and is set amid orange orchards in the city's Arcadia neighborhood -- was originally designed for Wright's son and daughter-in-law, David and Gladys Wright. Developer 8081 Meridian bought the home in June for $1.8 million, with plans to divide the two-acre plot and destroy the home.

The developer says it had been issued a valid demolition permit; the city of Phoenix says whoever issued the permit made a mistake.

A deal was signed on Monday between the developer and the city of Phoenix that delays demolition of the home for one month.

When the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in Chicago found out about the building's potential destruction, it began the process of getting the home designated a historic landmark.   

"It is probably the most important residential design of the last decade of his career," Janet Halstead, the conservancy's executive director, told the Associated Press. "Many architecture experts consider it among the 20 most important Frank Lloyd Wright designs ever built."

A search continues for a buyer who will preserve the home.

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