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Wright-Designed Arizona Home to Be Preserved

by PAUL DAVENPORT
Saturday Nov 10, 2012
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PHOENIX - A Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Phoenix home that had been slated for demolition will apparently survive under a new owner.

The current owners have reached an agreement to sell the early 1950s home to a buyer who wants to preserve and restore it, real estate broker Robert Joffe said Wednesday.

The property is being sold for the listing price of nearly $2.4 million to a buyer who wishes to remain anonymous, Joffe said.

"This is the seller’s dream," he said, referring to the buyer’s stated intention. "The seller wanted me to find a buyer that would do what everyone wants and what they want - to preserve and restore the home."

Joffe listed the home for sale Oct. 22 on behalf of a development company whose representatives have said it wasn’t aware of the home’s providence when it bought the property.

Wright designed the home to rise above the surrounding orange orchards, with a spiral ramp leading up to the main level of the concrete block home. It sits in an affluent neighborhood whose residents have close-up views of Camelback Mountain.

The owners of the development company, John Hoffman and Steve Sells, planned to demolish the home in order to redevelop the 2-acre property, but that stirred controversy, particularly among architects and historical preservation advocates. City officials launched proceedings to consider a possible historic status designation.

The owners and the city reached an agreement to put any work on hold to allow time to find a buyer.

Wright designed the home for his son, David, and daughter-in-law, Gladys, who died in 1997 and 2008, respectively. Wright family members sold the property in 2008, and developer 8081 Meridian bought it for $1.8 million in June.

Wright designed the home to rise above the surrounding orange orchards, with a spiral ramp leading up to the main level of the concrete block home. It sits in an affluent neighborhood whose residents have close-up views of Camelback Mountain.

According to publicity material for the sale, the block home has a cantilevered overhanging roof, swimming pool, a guest house, a basement meat locker and built-in furniture and other fittings made with Philippine mahogany.

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