You’ve probably already heard about this Frank Lloyd Wright home, designed for his son, David, in 1950, that was scheduled for demolition. You likely know the current owner had plans to split the lot in half, effectively demolishing the house in the process. Odds are, you read about this at AZcentral.com last Thursday, June 14 or on the front page of the Arizona Republic on Friday, June 15th (Is Phoenix home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in peril?“).
It was the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy that came across an application to split the property and who immediately,
…sought landmark designation and historical-preservation status for the home with the Phoenix Planning Commission in an attempt to fend off any threat to the Gladys and David Wright House, which was originally sold in 2009 by Wright’s great-granddaughters,” reported the Republic’s Philip Haldiman.
The day the story was published, hundreds of people left comments below the article, protesting the demo plans. On Friday, June 15th, azcentral.com ran a brief story, “Outcry saves Frank Lloyd Wright house“:
[Frank Lloyd] Wright fans feared new owners planned to demolish the home. They packed a Phoenix Planning Commission meeting to protest. Hundreds more mailed or e-mailed their objections.
The new owners heard. Developers Steve Sells and John Hoffman had indeed planned to demolish the home, not realizing its significance. They told Arizona Republic reporter Philip Haldiman that they’ve since learned more about the house, including that its spiral design would later be used in one of Wright’s most famous works, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
After the loud community protest, the demolition plans were dropped.
And on Friday, June 15, the Republic declared, “Frank Lloyd Wright home buyers will work to preserve it“.
This is good news.
Of course, it is.
But there’s a Frank Lloyd Wright-like attention to detail at work here. Something I don’t want you to miss. Before the press revealed it. Before Wright fans promoted it. Before emails and voices protested it. It’s the reason this home was even capable of being saved.
Recall that the new owners of the two-acre lot had filed an application to split the property in two. And it was the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy that came across that application. Before they sprung into action and made a move to stop it, they had to discover it.
Unless I’ve got my facts wrong, looking through applications isn’t very sexy. Who knows how many applications this person looks through on any given day? Day after day after week after week, nothing to report. And then, one day, someone noticed. And it’s because of that one person that what followed, followed.