“We believe the home is the embodiment of Arizona exceptionalism. It is part of what makes Phoenix a uniquely American experience.â€
– Former Phoenix Mayors Terry Goddard, Paul Johnson, Skip Rimsza, Phil Gordon
Sometimes it’s hard to look past the daily struggles and disagreements of modern discourse to recognize when bigger things are at work. And so it goes with the ongoing discussion regarding the future of the David and Gladys Wright House.
Through the meetings, the discussions, and the applications, one thing is clear“ at the heart of this issue is the protection of Phoenix’s history. This point is captured perfectly by the Arizona Republic yesterday as they opined, once again, in favor of the preservation of the David and Gladys Wright House.
In this case, the state’s largest newspaper has spoken out in support of granting the David and Gladys Wright House and its surrounding property a landmark status designation and lauding owner Zach Rawling’s efforts. The editorial explains, “In Frank Lloyd Wright’s vernacular, a house is never just a house. It is an organic part of its surroundings. With this house, that had been lost until Rawling restored it. Click here to read the editorial.
Therein lies the heart of the historic preservation application â€“ Over the past two years, the Foundation has taken steps to restore the original scale of the 10 acre site to preserve the environment that the home organically springs from. In fact, as depicted below, the citrus groves historically growing on the lot north of the property were hand-drawn by the famous architect into his schematic plan, indicating that the trees on the north lot were part of his original design concept. The concept was a “castle in the airâ€ floating above a sea of citrus tree’s which he referred to as “David’s lawn.”
While there are ongoing discussions and concerns from a handful of neighbors regarding the Foundation’s proposed uses of the property, there should be no doubt that the property meets the criteria for historic preservation. Like the Arizona Republic, we hope that these issues can be resolved to reach the same conclusion:
“The neighbors’ fear is the entirely human fear of the unknown. We hope they can get past it and see Rawling’s efforts for what they are: a celebration of the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright in one of the three greatest houses he designed. The landmark designation for all 6 acres is highly merited.â€