A round house in Phoenix, Arizona, built by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, sold for $2.38 million in late December 2012, saving it from demolition. One of the architect’s later works, the historic 1952 structure prefigures the circular design of the Guggenheim Museum.
The house was almost lost. A development company, 8081 Meridien, bought the property for $1.8 million in June 2012, planning to subdivide the land, demolish the house, and replace it with two luxury homes. Interviewed by the New York Times a few months later, one of the firm’s two principals admitted that he had no idea of the structure’s significance, or even of the difference “between Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wright brothers.”
Wright designed not only the house itself but all of its interior details. As the New York Times described, “The house dances. The glass of its windows is mounted on frames that curve, following the flow of its spiraling walls. The furniture inside, all of it designed by Wright, is a study in symmetry. The kitchen table’s round edges match the round edges of the fireplace, which match the round edges of the ramp that leads from ground to second level like an inverted U.”
While the buyer’s name is not known, he is said to be a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast who plans to spend millions of dollars to restore the property. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, which lauded the sale, will be working with the new owner to “develop a vision for the house and the site, a comprehensive restoration plan and a more detailed use and operating plan.” And a landmark of American architecture is saved.