December 20, 2012
By Alyssa Abkowitz
Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal
The Phoenix home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son, David, which faced demolition earlier this fall, has sold for $2.38 million.
Listed for $2.52 million, the 2,553-square-foot home with four bedrooms and four bathrooms was built in 1952. The circular home, made of concrete, has custom cabinetry, furniture made from mahogany from the Philippines and spiral-designed elements that Mr. Wright repeated in the Guggenheim Museum.
- KB Woods Public Relations
Local developer 8081 Meridian bought the home in June from David Wright’s granddaughters. According to local news reports, the city of Phoenix granted a demolition permit to the developer, which allowed the permit to expire after protests and instead decided to try to find a buyer for the property.
The buyer’s agent Robert Hassett says the buyer wishes to remain anonymous but called him a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast. Listing agent Robert Joffe says the buyer was the first person he showed the home to. Mr. Hassett says the buyer plans to spend about two years restoring the property and will work with the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy on the project. He estimated that the buyer will spend $2 million to $2.5 million on the restoration.
September 14, 2012
By Molly Williams.
Published in Wall Street Journal September 14, 2012
STATS: A 1,760-square-foot home with two bedrooms and two bathrooms on a lot that is just under 1 acre is asking $2.5 million. Property taxes in 2011 were $2,749, based on the original owners’ assessed value, but would go up to 1% of the assessed value of the home when it is sold, usually equal to the purchase price.
DETAILS: Known as the Berger home, this house was built in the 1950s from a design by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Robert Berger paid $15,000 for the design and then built the house himself, living in a rental down the street with his family while he built it in his spare time. One of his sons wrote to Mr. Wright and asked him to design a doghouse, which the architect did at no cost. Mr. Wright also designed furniture for the house. It is a classic Wright Usonian house, meant for middle-class families, with large stone walls, radiant heat and concrete floors, natural wood throughout and a large central fireplace. The house remained with the original owners, Robert and Gloria, who are deceased, and is now owned in a trust by their four children.
SELLERS: The house is being sold by the trust that Gloria Berger left her children when she died in 2011.
July 8, 2011
By Eve M. Kahn, Published in The New York Times on July 7, 2011
Darwin D. Martin, a soap-factory executive in Buffalo, was a serial client of Frank Lloyd Wright. Between 1903 and 1928, the charismatic architect designed a half-dozen buildings for Martin’s family, including a carriage house and a mausoleum. Wright referred to his shy, bookish patron as “my best friend,” borrowed $70,000 from him over the years and never repaid the loans.
By the 1930s the Martins were largely broke, and they had to abandon their sprawling main house on a leafy side street. About half of its 394 windows, with stained-glass squares and polygons in iridescent golds and greens, were removed; they have been scattered across private collections and museums or are presumed lost.
The property, now a museum called the Martin House Complex, has been undergoing tens of millions of dollars in restoration, including replication of missing windows. A few original panes have turned up: this spring William Clarkson, a retired printing-company executive in Buffalo, and his wife, Nan, gave back a grid-pattern window from the brick carriage house.