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posted: 11/2/2012 4:54 PM

Wright-designed Arizona home to be preserved

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Associated Press

PHOENIX -- A Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Phoenix home that had been slated for demolition will apparently survive under a new owner.

The current owners have reached an agreement to sell the early 1950s home to a buyer who wants to preserve and restore it, real estate broker Robert Joffe said last week.

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The property is being sold for the listing price of nearly $2.4 million to a buyer who wishes to remain anonymous, Joffe said.

"This is the seller's dream," he said, referring to the buyer's stated intention. "The seller wanted me to find a buyer that would do what everyone wants and what they want -- to preserve and restore the home."

Joffe listed the home for sale Oct. 22 on behalf of a development company whose representatives have said it wasn't aware of the home's providence when it bought the property.

The owners of the development company, John Hoffman and Steve Sells, planned to demolish the home in order to redevelop the 2-acre property, but that stirred controversy, particularly among architects and historical preservation advocates. City officials launched proceedings to consider a possible historic status designation.

The owners and the city reached an agreement to put any work on hold to allow time to find a buyer.

Wright designed the home for his son, David, and daughter-in-law, Gladys, who died in 1997 and 2008, respectively. Wright family members sold the property in 2008, and developer 8081 Meridian bought it for $1.8 million in June.

Wright designed the home to rise above the surrounding orange orchards, with a spiral ramp leading up to the main level of the concrete block home. It sits in an affluent neighborhood whose residents have close-up views of Camelback Mountain.

According to publicity material for the sale, the block home has a cantilevered overhanging roof, swimming pool, a guesthouse, a basement meat locker and built-in furniture and other fittings made with Philippine mahogany.

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