I was so enthralled during my one-on-one tour of this Frank Lloyd Wright house in Phoenix that I walked away with way too few written notes and quotes for my liking. I’d showed up with a laptop, expecting to sit down for the interview with architect Victor Sidy and tap away the transcription, but instead I spent almost all of the 2½ hours on my feet, perusing the property and peppering him with questions about the site.
Wright designed the home in the 1950s for his son and daughter-in-law, David and Gladys Wright, who lived there until their deaths (at ages 102 and 104, respectively!). But only a few years after their deaths, the property had fallen into the hands of developers who planned to raze the grounds and construct luxury homes. Preservationists were outraged, but unless someone else purchased the property, it likely would have been demolished.
Luckily, someone did, and now the David & Gladys Wright House Foundation is performing historically accurate restorations with the goal of turning it into an educational and cultural facility. The foundation working with Wright experts and historians (including Sidy, who resuscitated the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in the early 2000s) to return the home and grounds to their original splendor.
My piece for the May/June 2017 issue of Dorado magazine (interactive issue here) takes a look at the original construction, what motivated the buyer to step in and save the house, and the current preservation efforts.
(This video offers a fascinating look at the design of the house, which Wright named “How to Live in the Southwest.”)