Wright house in Phoenix to be offered for sale

October 19, 2012 - 7:33 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix home designed by noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright had been threatened with demolition but is now about to go on the market.

The 1952 home will be listed Monday for sale at $2,379,000, real estate broker Robert Joffe said Friday.

Joffe said there wouldn't be strings on the sale but that he doesn't foresee the house being bought for resale or as a residence for the purchaser. Instead, he said he expects a philanthropic buyer either would donate the property to a Wright foundation or use it for housing for students at a Wright-affiliated school.

"This is not going to be the normal buyer," he said.

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 two-acre property in 2008, and the property has been resold since. The current owners planned to demolish the home to redevelop the property.

The potential demolition set off a firestorm among architects, prompting the city to consider a possible historic status designation.

Any immediate threat to the home was averted at least temporarily earlier this month when the owners and the city reached an agreement to put any work on hold to allow time to find a buyer.

The home in Phoenix's Arcadia neighborhood was built to rise above the surrounding orange orchards, with a spiral ramp leading up to the main level of the concrete block home.

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.

Joffe, who said he lives 10 doors away from the home, said he didn't know its significance but now appreciates its cultural value.

"It's a piece of art," said Joffe, who said he's offered to work the sale for free. "I think it's the right thing to do."