December 20, 2012

"If ever there was a case to balance private property rights versus the public good..."

"... to save something historically important to the cultural legacy of the city, this was it."

20 comments:

Chip Ahoy said...

5212 E Exiter, Phoenix, AZ

Google Earth will zoop you right there. Hover above the place and see how it fits in there. Have a look around. See the plants around the place. See the views it has. See what the fuss is about.

edutcher said...

Looks like the home of the sheik in a bad Foreign Legion movie.

Sam L. said...

But at what cost? Who will pay it?

(I like me some markos de qustione.)

Michael K said...

There are a number of nice Wright homes in my old neighborhood in Chicago. That neighborhood, which was fashionable when I was growing up, is now the murder capitol of Chicago, which is...

Nobody seems interested in those houses or preserving them.

As long as someone is willing to pay for it, and assuming that, unlike "Falling Water" it's in good shape, I have no problem. Historic houses and buildings should be preserved as long as the owner doesn't have to pay for someone else's landmark.

Skookum John said...

My grandfather once owned a FLW house on a horse ranch in Scottsdale, just down the road from Taliesin West. It had odd angles at corners, bancos and built-ins placed with no thought to the flow of foot traffic, and walls deliberately out of plumb. It made him feel drunk and disoriented. It was also a bitch to heat and cool, with a leaky flat roof. He ended up living in the foreman's modest bungalow and renting out the main house. He always found it puzzling that the man was considered a genius architect, and naintained he wouldn't have hired him to build a chicken coop.

Chip Ahoy said...

I was using Google Earth to zip from the Wright house to a friend's house back and forth, they're near, just around a big hill, and I'm struck that everybody has half a block to themselves. Everybody all around the whole place. It's like two, three houses per block. And every tree counts.

Craig Howard said...

I'm glad they've figured out a solution, though Wright's Phoenix works are among my least favorites -- excepting, perhaps, the dratted textile-block period.

Give me that old Prairie style with a big dollop of USonian. Yeah, that's Wright.

David said...

Interesting.

Too bad the public schools are substandard, but that nice house will be a good place to visit.

virgil xenophon said...

I grew up in a 1951 FLW ranch-style design put out by his Taliesin design team after his death in my little east-central hometown in Illinois. Years later the financial planning firm I was assoc. with in Louisville had their offices in the Wright designed Kaden Tower in Louisville, so I've had a long association (and appreciation of--along with their foibles) with Wright designed structures. Preservation efforts can be a mixed-bag, however. Our pre-Civil war home in Louisville was/is listed on the National Trust, but that meant we had to renovate with leaky storm windows over the originals, rather than use custom double/tripple-pane argon-filled "low-e" historically-correct replacement windows.

And our home in the Lower Garden Dist in New Orleans is needlessly restricted renovation-wise by being in a Preservation designated area, while similar (in fact identical) historically undistinguished homes nearby (as ours is, even tho it's a nice craftsman representative) are capable of much being renovated much more
creatively because they are not in a Historically designated neighborhood. Area-wide Preservation Districts often lock in stone (relatively speaking, as creative options are fewer) much undistinguished architecture amongst the few jewels that could otherwise be developed much more creatively while still paying homage to the period they represent.

EMD said...

zoop

Zoop there it is!


Zoom + swoop! Nice portmanteau.

McTriumph said...

There's never been a reason to tear down Frank Loyd Wright projects. His projects were so shoddily built and designed they usually fall down by themselves without major reconstruction. he was the P.T. Barnum of architecture, "The bigger the humbug, the better people will like it."

KenK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hawkeyedjb said...

I live a couple of blocks from the house; I don't find it particularly warm or interesting. I'm struck by the number of people who want the house preserved at someone else's expense - they basically want to take the owners' rights from them in return for nothing. Most of them will never walk by the place, but they're pretty sure it needs to be preserved (at no expense to them).

KenK said...

Here in Ann Arbor we have a Historical District zone near downtown. You MUST BY LAW adhere to the original architecture and design of your home or building as it was built if you are within it. It is nice to look at or walk through but a pain in the ass if you're the homeowner who has to maintain it that way. The law even comes with a committee of artsy-fartsies that will sic the city on you if you build a "historically incorrect" fence around your home.

cubanbob said...

If ever a case of eminent domain. Too bad the culture nazi's aren't obligated to fully compensate the private owner the price of maintaining it for alleged public good. Or the market value if choose to sell it. They have the taking power down pat. It's the compensation they choose to ignore.

Roux said...

His creations are overrated and many are very ugly.

IMO Architects are pretty much a joke.

tim maguire said...

Stong words when what is at stake is no more than a house with a designer most people have heard of.

tim maguire said...

More commenters should click through before commenting. The developers turned a nice profit by leveraging the preservation efforts against the purchasing foundation. They did not lose anything for someone else's notion of what is worth preserving.

hawkeyedjb said...

@tim maguire, this has been an interesting controversy in the Phx area. The owners who sold to the developers avoided historic designation, probably because they feared loss of value. After they had sold, they became fierce advocates for preservation - since their money was no longer at issue. The developers were also facing probable loss of value, and I think they were lucky to sell the place at a profit. They weren't the ones seeking to restrict the use of someone else's property.

The whole eminent domain/preservation racket is ripe for corruption. Benefits go to "the public" but the costs are on some third party. I think a better system would be: you want to preserve it, you buy it.

Methadras said...

Hey at least we aren't taking the muslim tract of blowing up or bulldozing any and all history pertaining to the Middle East prior to the advent of islam. They are the best at wiping out any vestige of any history whatsoever if it doesn't comport to the prophets wishes. Who knows what they've destroyed in their great historical purge in the process.