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Arcadians Wrangle Over Wright House

Fight over Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house fires up wealthy Phoenix neighborhood

Photo credit: Wikipedia

By Mike Sunnucks for Phoenix Business Journal

Some of the Arcadia neighbors of a Phoenix house designed in 1952 by Frank Lloyd Wright are upset with plans to host events and develop a subterranean building to house archives, events, a bookstore and cafe.

They could fight city permits needed for expansions and renovations, and have some high-profile business executives in their camp as they battle new plans at the David Wright House near Camelback Mountain.

Attorney Zach Rawling bought the Wright House in 2012 after a previous owner thought about demolishing the midcentury Phoenix residence. His ownership group Wright House LLC also has bought two properties adjacent to the house. Rawling wants a special use permit from the city to host events, field trips and architects at the Arcadia property.

The Arcadia neighborhood is south of Camelback Road and the Royal Palms Resort. The area includes million-dollar homes.

Wright House LLC also has bought two homes adjacent to the concrete home. The latest purchase was for $1.8M.

Rawling, who calls the house Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright’s “last masterpiece,” wants to commission a property value report to show neighbors the benefits of being near a Wright-designed home.

But that’s not convincing some neighbors.

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio said he has concerns about Rawling’s plans.

“To be clear, I will do all that I am allowed to do to protect Arcadia from this commercialization,” he said.

Rawling also has prominent land-use attorney Paul Gilbert, lobbying firm HighGround Inc. and Scutari working in his camp.

Read more at Phoenix Business Journal

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