Just when we thought we were going to see a happy ending, someone pulls the Mexican blanket right from under us! Last week we reported that a home built by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son in Phoenix escaped demolition when a mystery bidder decided to buy the home for $2.4 million. But according to an article in yesterday's Phoenix Business Journal, our anonymous hero has reneged on his plan. Now, the real estate broker needs to scramble to find another buyer by December 4 in order to get city council's approval for "historic monument" status, which will prevent any further development scuffles.
Built in 1952, the 2,500 square foot house is pure Wright. Its circular shape recalls the architect’s famous Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the fortress-like outer shell, spiral ramp, and cool concrete interior embody his iconic desert aesthetic with a personal touch.
The home's troubles began about two months ago, when a greedy developer threatened to knock the uninhabited house down to make room for a new condo development. Thanks to a scathing front-page New York Times article, and the surrounding national outrage, demolition was pushed back. Hope was restored when the anonymous buyer decided to preserve and restore the home last week, which would not have only saved the home from destruction, but also help move it toward "historic monument" status. The bidder's representative told real estate broker Robert Joffe, “While the prospective buyer strongly supports efforts to preserve the David and Gladys Wright house, he has concluded that for personal and business reasons, this is not an opportunity he will pursue at this time."
The house now has a little less than a month for another miracle to save it. Let's cross our fingers!