Thursday, June 8 marked what would have been the 150th birthday of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Born in Wisconsin, Wright went on to redefine American architecture in towns and cities all across America.
In the Phoenix area, he left his mark in the form of The David and Gladys Wright House, which he designed for his son and daughter-in-law in the Arcadia neighborhood. Built in 1952, the 2,500-square-foot concrete house is notable for its spiral design that acts to cool the home by capturing wind.
David and Gladys called it home until their deaths. Their granddaughters sold the iconic residence to developers who planned to demolish it, which was met with strong pushback from preservationists. Another new owner then declared plans to turn it into an event space complete with a visitor’s center, which only sounded only slightly less disturbing than the other plan.
The legacy of the home was officially preserved on June 8 when it was announced that owner Zach Rawling pledged to donate the home to the School of Architecture at Taliesin West. Meanwhile, The Arizona Community Foundation will be creating a non-profit to own the residence and property as well as a $7 million endowment to maintain it.
It’s good news for those interested in preserving important American architecture and means the home will remain a valuable part of the Arcadia community.