The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy has announced that the anonymous buyer of the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, which was in danger of being demolished, plans to donate the property to a nonprofit organization.
Built in 1952 for the architect's son and daughter-in-law, the iconic residence was purchased for $2.38 million from local developer 8081 Meridian, which had planned to demolish it and build new homes on the site. The purchase was facilitated by the Chicago-based conservancy, which had gathered twenty-eight thousand signatures on a petition urging the City of Phoenix to designate the home as a historic landmark to protect it from demolition. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the city council likely would have faced a lawsuit if it had voted to do so without Meridian's permission. The new owner of the house will request that the city grant it landmark status and then transfer the property to a yet-to-be-formed nonprofit that will be responsible for the restoration, maintenance, and operation of the site for educational purposes.
Planning already has begun for the restoration of the building and grounds, with cost estimates ranging from $300,000 to $500,000, according to a study conducted by the city, the Business Journal reports.
"This purchase is a magnificent and generous action," said Larry Woodin, president of the conservancy. "It is a gift to the people of Phoenix, a gift to the worldwide architectural community, and to everyone that cares about the history of modern architecture. We are enormously grateful to this benefactor for making sure there will be a new chapter in the life of this important and unique Frank Lloyd Wright building."