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Museum plans for Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright home continue to bring debate

The exterior of the home is shown. (Photo: Robert E. Joffe)
LISTEN: Museum plans for Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright home continue to bring debate

PHOENIX — The excitement and controversy surrounding the restoration, and future museum plans for the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Arcadia continues.

“Frank Lloyd Wright had such an international influence and legacy,” said Sarah Levi, great-great granddaughter of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and on the board of the David and Gladys Foundation which is overseeing the restoration. “It’s really come first circle because being the first scholar in residence, I’m now living in the house and experiencing the house a whole different way than I did as a child.”

The Arcadia home just south of Camelback Mountain, now has paperwork filed with the city planning to soon be a museum, host weddings and other events. That has neighbors worried about traffic, noise and commercialization. Vanessa Hickman is an advisor to the project.

“We want to be a good neighbor, and we need to make sure that we’re incorporated within the fabric of Arcadia,” Hickman is a former state land commissioner, and now an ASU professor.

There are restrictions filed with the proposals in place to ensure the neighbors’ concerns are taken into consideration.

“We need to make sure that we meet people’s concerns with noise and traffic and mitigate those,” Hickman said, “because if that doesn’t happen and there’s an issue that is ongoing with the neighborhood, then there are processes that can shut the ultimate goal down and we don’t want to see that happen.”

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house for his son David and his wife Gladys, and some have said this is not what they would have wanted.

Sarah Levi disagrees.

“My grandpa David was one of the most remarkable men I ever met in my life, and he would so proud of this,” she said. “And I think that it’s unfair for others to speak what their wishes would have been.”

The home built in 1952, was one of the last homes built by Wright before his death in 1959.

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