Be part of the conversation: azarchitecture/Jarson & Jarson Architecture blog covers architecture and civic topics that comment on what’s happening in the Valley’s diverse design community. Here’s what’s happening now:
As you may know, Jarson & Jarson has been working diligently to help save this incredible home. We are completely committed to being part of a solution to get this home into a protected status that saves it for generations to come. Here’s an important update as to what’s being done, and how you can help:
We have created a stand alone website to host images, history and news that we will post as we get it. You’ll find a link below (and soon on our home page at azarchitecture.com): http://savethewrighthouse.org.
We have been deeply involved with the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and others to bring about a positive resolution to the fate of the home, As part of that, we want to share the latest release from the FLLWBC (Below-For an online version of the July press release with video and photos use this link: www.savewright.org/index.php?t=news_focus&story_id=82 ).
STRATEGIES – We are moving ahead on several fronts:
Strategy No. 1: Search for a new buyer or buyers to purchase the property intact from the developers.
Asking price is approximately $2.7 million. Developers bought it at $1.8 million in June 2012. We have contacted a number of possibilities and asked them to use their networks as well. This is a tall order but not impossible to find a new owner who will respect and restore the building and its site.
What you can do: Let people know who may have an interest and be in a position to buy the house or be part of a consortium to own it transitionally or long-term.
We also are exploring a consortium approach either for temporary ownership or as a 501(c)3 partnership among museums and institutions in Phoenix.
Strategy No. 2: Though a lot split is not the best solution, some split plans would be much better and respectful than others for the house and the site.
Early interaction with the developers indicated plans to build large inappropriate structures that tower over the David Wright House (hence Strategy No. 1 above), however a group of local Phoenix architects is working on more palatable designs which have been shared with the developers. All of these approaches will involve zoning/variance issues and/or neighborhood questions.
Strategy No. 3:Historic Preservation/Landmark Designation – work for approval by the city.
We continue to work with the City’s Historic Preservation officer and the mayor’s office to make the strongest possible case for Landmark status.
The first commission hearing on the matter will be September 17 at 4:30 pm: Historic Preservation Commission Hearing City Hall, 1st Floor Assembly Room, 200 W Washington St. Phoenix and Arizona residents are encouraged to attend.
Now that the matter is formally on the agenda we encourage letters to be sent as soon as possible to all the commissions/committees that will review the matter. As many of you know while historic preservation designation is under consideration no demolition permit will be approved. Approval of Historic Preservation designation provides an automatic delay of one year for granting any demolition permit; Landmark status provides a three-year delay. The unknown at this point is whether the city will require owner consent and at what point in the process.
What you can do: Write in support of Historic Preservation and Landmark designation for the David Wright House.
Please indicate the following in a subject line: David Wright House Historic Preservation Landmark Designation (Rezoning Application Z-24-12-6)
One letter may be addressed to the following 3 recommending bodies:
Chairman Parisella and the Historic Preservation Commission, City of Phoenix Chairman Awai and the Planning Commission, City of Phoenix Chairman Swart and the Camelback East Village Planning Committee.
c/o Ms. Michelle Dodds, AICP Acting Historic Preservation Officer Planning and Development Department
City of Phoenix
200 West Washington St., Third Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Letter to the Mayor and to the City Council The Honorable Greg Stanton Mayor of Phoenix
200 West Washington St., Eleventh floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
If you are a resident of the City of Phoenix you may also wish to send a letter to your individual councilman.
Strategy No. 4: Keep the story in the media — We are encouraging national coverage for this story to help spread the word for a buyer, increase the geographic spread of public concern (not just Phoenix) and let the developers know that the media is interested and their actions will be reported.
What you can do: Suggest newspapers, blogs and professional organizations run stories if they have not already.
Here is sample press coverage:
http://www.azfamily.com/video/featured-videos/Photos-Acclaimed-Frank-Lloyd-Wright-home-could-be-demolished-162988296.html (includes comments from Anne Wright Levi, great granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright)