The David and Gladys Wright House

The David and Gladys Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (image via

While most of us don’t believe in Christmas miracles, this story may come close. Two and a half months after a story about the potential destruction of a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Phoenix, Arizona, appeared on the front page of the New York Times, a deal has gone through to buy the building from its current owners and preserve it.

The sale of the house, which Wright designed for his son, David, and David’s wife, Gladys, was facilitated by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy “in virtual secret,” according to the Times. The conservancy had been working since June to find a buyer for the property, whose current owners continually upped the asking price as the battle over preservation and landmark status played out. The anonymous benefactor who saved the day paid $2.387 million, the Times reports, in a deal that closed yesterday. The new owner will request that the city grant the building landmark status, and a nonprofit organization will be set up to oversee the restoration of the house and maintain it.

The David and Gladys Wright House was built in 1950–52, and is the only building that Wright designed with a spiral structure similar to the form of the Guggenheim Museum. The Conservancy writes in its press release that “the goal after restoration is to make the house available for educational purposes,” which hopefully means an opportunity for visitors to explore what looks like a beautiful structure.

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art and politics but has also been known to write at length about cats. She won the 2014 Best...