If you’re not one to get the Christmas shopping done early, Sotheby’s will have plenty of last-minute gifts for you to choose from come December 18, when the auction house hosts its sale of important 20th century design. Among the 136 lots featured in the show, an asymmetrical desk and matching armchair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the S.C. Johnson Company offices in 1937 fetch the highest estimates for $400,000-$600,000 and $80,000-$120,000, respectively. Almost as impressive as those high sums is the fact that this particular desk design appears at auction for the first time in 30 years.
OBJECT LESSONS: Architecture & Design News
Posts Tagged ‘Frank Lloyd Wright’
Florida Southern College, master planned by Frank Lloyd Wright to be the largest on-site collection of his buildings in the world, has erected another architectural gem on its campus. The Methodist school recently completed a 1939 design for a Wright Usonian home, according to Dezeen.
The school’s new Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, to be used as an exhibition space on Wright’s life and work, exemplifies the architect’s Usonian ideals; bereft of any overt ornamentation, it features clean geometries, an open floor plan, clerestory windows for ample natural lighting, and material basics of glass, wood, and concrete. On the interior, sunlight filters through blocks of colored glass embedded into the walls, bringing to mind Wright’s art nouveau windows. This center is the 13th Wright house on the school’s grounds. Wright had had designed 18 buildings for the campus, but only 12 were built during his life. [Dezeen]
— Janelle Zara
Image via Dezeen
The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, located at his famed Taliesin West studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, has striven to educate aspiring architects in the vision of its founder since its first class matriculated in 1932. However, the future of Wright’s educational establishment now appears uncertain, with the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission that issues school accreditation threatening to strip the school of its right to award architecture degrees.
The rare privilege of living in one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes is both a blessing and a curse: Despite their sheer beauty and the troves of architectural pilgrims that come just to ogle them, they’re next to impossible to sell.
Out of the 280 occupied Wright homes in the United States, CBS reports, 20 of them are for sale; half of those are in or around Chicago; nearly all of them are priced over $1 million; and almost none of them sell for the initial asking price. “We price [Wright’s designs] as art,” Laura Talaske, Better Homes and Gardens Gloor Realty agent and 1903 Prairie Style home resident, told Chicago Magazine. Unfortunately for her, “they sell as houses.”
“I would rather have built this little house than St. Peter’s in Rome,” Frank Lloyd Wright once said in reference to the 1923 Millard House in Pasadena, California. This little house is now up for sale for the not-so-little price of $4,495,000 according to The Wall Street Journal, and though we can’t say we’re surprised that Wright finds superior value in his own 4,230-square-foot creation than the pinnacle of Renaissance and Baroque design, we do admire the architect’s experimentation with textile concrete blocks, a material that Wright believed would help unify architecture and its natural environment.
The Millard House, lovingly referred to by its author as La Miniatura, recently underwent a multi-year restoration, according to realtors Crosby Doe Associates’s website. We’re going to guess you’re not sitting on $4.5 million, but Wright’s fling with brut concrete — for residential projects no less — doesn’t get as much play as his more conventional brick-and-mortar portfolio, so we revel in the opportunity to dissect these pioneering landmarks of modular construction. See more photos on the Millard House website.
And while you’re fantasy house-shopping, don’t forget this other modular concrete residence by Wright in Cincinnati, also for sale.
Photo via The Millard House.
- Kelly Chan
Last year, we retold the riveting tale of Joseph Catrambone, the diehard preservationist who purchased a cottage attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright for a ceremonious $1 and began meticulously disassembling the building to reassemble it later on a site that wasn’t about to be scooped up by indifferent developers. At the risk of devoting this blog to re-blogging interesting New York Times tidbits, we must bring your attention to another article today that tells a strikingly similar story: Wright aficionado and architect Paolo Bulletti has launched an effort to purchase the 1954 Bachman Wilson House, one of Wright’s Usonian Houses in New Jersey, and transport the structure to the town of Fiesole outside Florence. (more…)
After a dramatic series of events more harrowing than a Broadway production of “Annie,” an anonymous benefactor has swooped in to save the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, purchasing the architectural marvel for an undisclosed price. In case you haven’t been following our coverage of this rollercoaster of emotion, this little orphan was a gift from Frank Lloyd Wright to son David and his wife Gladys in 1950, the spiral of which is considered by many as the precursor to the Guggenheim. After it fell into the hands of developers this summer, there was much nail-biting among preservationists awaiting the building’s designation of landmark status, the only sure protection against its destruction and redevelopment. While a would-be Daddy Warbucks offered to buy the home in November, he or she suddenly and inexplicably dropped out of the deal.
The owner has already confirmed plans that the house will ultimately be used for educational purposes, following its restoration with the help of additional public donations. We can now breathe a sigh of relief, although it’s a shame that the end of the drama has to coincide with the end of the world.
— Janelle Zara