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By: Peter O'Dowd on 10/04/2012
There’s new hope for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home that was facing demolition in the Phoenix neighborhood of Arcadia. As KJZZ’s Peter O’Dowd reports, the developer and the city of Phoenix have reached a deal to put work on hold while a search continues for a buyer.
The David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix. (Photo courtesy of Scott Jarson)
PETER O’DOWD: Steve Sells and his business partner bought the property for just under $2 million early this year. It’s a 1950’s gray block house in Arcadia that Frank Lloyd Wright built for his son. But Sells hasn’t been shy about his plans to split the lot, demolish the building, and put up two more luxury homes in its place. As a result, the architectural community worldwide has complained. The City of Phoenix has tried to delay any work by initiating a designation that would make the building an historical landmark. And now Sells says he’s agreed to wait 30 days -- to wait for a buyer interested in preservation.
STEVE SELLS: Do I think that’s a landmark historical building? I do. It’s very unique and this one should be singled out, but not at my expense.
O’DOWD: Sells says he’s confident a buyer will come forward for the right price. But neighbors and those interested in preserving the home are still nervous. A group of activists have kept vigil over the property, which has similar spiral characteristics as the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Claire Aton grew up in the neighborhood and was on site Wednesday night, even after the 30-day agreement was announced.
CLAIRE ATON: Ultimately, I feel like it’s my home. I feel like it’s the heritage I was blessed to grow up with and it would be such a sad moment to see it go.
O’DOWD: The Phoenix City Council would vote on the landmark designation early next month.
Updated on 10/5/2012 at 9:50 a.m.