"The relationship between the School and the House is formally manifested in the David Wright House Collaborative Fund, a supporting organization of the Arizona Community Foundation. The principal focus of the David Wright House Collaborative Fund was to develop a vehicle to raise the $7 million endowment on which the pledge of the House for the benefit of the School was conditioned. Over the past year, we have learned that the fundraising timetables of both parties do not lend themselves to a joint campaign. With the School in its fledgling years, the prevailing thought was that the divergent donor interests would effectively divide its support base rather than enhance it. Uncertainty regarding future capital improvements at the House and the long-term cultural development of the site in Phoenix increased this concern. For this reason, by mutual agreement and out of mutual respect, the School and the David Wright House team have decided to proceed independent of one another going forward. The David Wright House Collaborative Fund, which was established primarily to benefit this partnership, will be dissolved, and the remaining proceeds will be donated to the School.
We have enjoyed working in partnership over the past year and will continue as friends, architectural enthusiasts, and supporters of the cultural community.
- Aaron Betsky and Zach Rawling [ click here to read the full statement ]
"The peace and tranquility of this neighborhood has been disrupted for long enough. We want this issue to come to an end. Mr. Rawlings, the developer, should accept the offers that have been presented to him by outside parties to purchase the real estate and live in the home as it was intended to be, solely a residential property." [click here to read the full letter]
"In the near term, beginning this Fall, we are planning small, invitation-only symposia, talks, and gatherings and lectures that further the mission of The School of Architecture at Taliesin. All parking for these events will be in the Camelback Church of Christ parking lot. The events will take place during the day and early evening and will not include amplified music or excess noise." read full letter here.
"Neighborhood turmoil: Will Frank Lloyd Wright House donation end Arcadia feud"
June 9, 2017 - AZ Central - Neighbors immediately had unanswered questions about the plans Thursday morning, said Craig Steblay, president of the Arcadia Camelback Mountain Neighborhood Association. They're extremely wary, he said, though the concept of a small educational venue gives him more optimism than before. "It's almost encouraging," Steblay said. .........Read the full article
"Wright House to become part of architecture school"
June 8, 2017 - Fox News US - Owner Zach Rawling announced that he is giving the David and Gladys Wright House to the School of Architecture at Taliesin, formerly known as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The announcement came on the iconic architect’s 150th birthday.
The home will be transformed into a place for architecture students to do hands-on restoration and renovation projects. The school’s students currently split their time between a Wright house in Wisconsin and another in the Scottsdale suburb of Phoenix. Those living at David and Gladys Wright House will work on projects like correcting leaks in the ceiling and corrosion in some metal work. Students will also restore an old pool. The school plans to have 24 students at the house starting in the fall. Visitors will be allowed when the school holds educational tours and lectures....... Read More
"Frank Lloyd Wright House, a Demolition Target, Is Now an Architecture School’s Lifeline"
June 8, 2017 - New York Times - Starting in 2010, the school and its nonprofit sponsoring organization, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, had to separate so that the school could continue to operate as an accredited institution of higher education. Without the separation, students could have lost access to government-backed loans and the school would have had to close, Mr. Betsky said.......Read More
RESOLUTION BY THE ACMNA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Concerning the David Wright House LLC
After reviewing all of the information presented by the David Wright House LLC over the past several months, The Arcadia Camelback Mountain Neighborhood Association, ACMNA, hereby adopts the following position statement which we feel best represents our Mission and the greater interests of Arcadia residents.
- We are in full support of HP (Historical Preservation) rezoning on the historically platted 2.4 acre David Wright House only.
- We are opposed to any rezoning, of any type, on the 2+ acres north, or the 1+ acres south, of the historically platted 2.4 acre Wright property.
- Furthermore, we are strongly opposed to any rezoning that includes "L" (Landmark) designation on any property, or portion of property that would potentially allow a Special Use Permit to conduct Commercial activities or operations within the Arcadia Neighborhood area.
Resolved by unanimous vote of the ACMNA Board of Directors, November 5, 2015
December 7, 2016 - City Council votes 8 to 1 to withdraw the City's 2.45 acre HP-L application.
"Until the developer presents a real plan with specifics, the item should be continued. The only "plan" so far is their claim to bring 150,000 people per year to a quiet neighborhood. This developer has cost the city thousands of dollars and the only ones making money are the high priced lobbyists and PR people he has hired. They are purposely stalling this to make more money. This is so obvious.”
Councilman Sal DiCiccio
December 5, 2016 - "Arizona Community Foundation CEO and President Steve Seleznow said the foundation has talked to the owner, but Rawling has not presented an offer. The foundation has no stake in the City Council process or historic status of the land, Seleznow said, but is aware of the sensitivity of the property."
See the full story at azcentral.com = Big Vote nears on David Wright House, by Brenna Goth
November 30, 2016 - Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy opposes the developers request to withdraw the City's application for Historic Preservation.
August 16, 2016 - The owner of the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix’s Arcadia area has offered to donate the property to the Arizona Community Foundation.
May 11, 2016 - ASU won’t take over Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright House
March 2, 2016 - Wright House Owners request a ten month delay;
"This continuance would permit our representatives sufficient time to identify and collaborate with potential educational, cultural and community partners to develop mutually agreeable preservation plans.."
December 27, 2015
Arcadia Osborn Neighborhood Association unanimously supports the ACMNA position on the David Wright House. (click to read more)
David Wright House zoning cases background
There are two separate and distinctly different issues relating to the David Wright House issue. First, is the change in zoning designation and second, the uses that will be allowed under the new zoning. Both issues require formal applications to the City and both applications must go through the public hearing process all the way through to a final vote(s) by the City Council.
On June 12, 2012, the City of Phoenix filed zoning request Z-24-12-6 for Historic Preservation – Landmark (HP-L) designation of the 2.45 parcel that includes the Wright House This new HP-L zoning designation was designed to encourage historical preservation of very significant, “Landmark” properties. The ACMNA fully endorsed and supported this HP-L rezoning application as filed by the City.
In September, 2012, the City of Phoenix Planning Department stated the criteria for the historic boundaries should be carefully established. In the case of the David Wright Property, these boundaries include only the 2.45 acre Wright House parcel and none of the adjoining lots. Since that time, the David Wright Foundation has requested seven (7) times that the City Council delay the final zoning approval and has now requested that the original application be withdrawn. On October 21, 2015, over three years later, City Council will hear the 2012 HP-L application issue. In all likelihood, Council will consider only two of their three options:
- Grant the David Wright Foundation’s request to withdraw the City’s re-zoning application Z-24-12-6.
- Continue the case again, thereby keeping the original 2.45 acre application on the table.
- The third option would be to approve the pending application, but that is extremely unlikely.
(UPDATE, December 7, 2016, the City Council voted 8 to 1 to withdraw the Planning Department's 2012 HP-L application)
On September 14, 2015 The Wright House Foundation filed a new application for HP-Landmark designation. By filing this new application (Z-53-15-6), The David Wright Foundation has effectively rejected the City’s offer for HP-L zoning designation on the 2.45 acres. Furthermore, by requesting that City Council withdraw the initial HP-L application, the David Wright Foundation has effectively rejected ACMNA’s support for the historical zoning designation.
During the last three years of delays the David Wright Foundation has purchased three additional lots which have been combined with the original David Wright Property. The final assemblage of property was completed early this year and just recently re-platted into one 6.1 acre lot. The re-plat combines two of the original Wright Estate lots along with two lots from the Garote Estates on the North and one southeastern lot.
Having done this, the developer is now requesting:
- Expansion from the original 2.45 acres to 6.1 acres (148% increase) which includes land that was never part of the original DWF property.
- Re-zoning of the entire 6.1 acres as Historic Preservation Landmark (HP-L) status, which would allow them to apply for a Special Permit giving them the ability to conduct commercial activities, and build an Amphitheater.
SPECIAL USE PERMIT APPLICATION
On July 31, 2015 David Wright Foundation submitted a pre-application for a “Special Uses Permit” with the City for the entire 6.1 acre site. If granted, this “Special Permit” would effectively allow commercial types of activities. According to the Foundation’s permit application, these activities and uses would include:
- Unlimited paid tours
- Regular weddings limited to 12 a year
- Café and gift shop
- Series 7 liquor license (sale of beer and wine)
- 25,000 SF education center
- Amphitheater (almost twice the size of the education center)
- Hours of operations until till 10:00 pm M-Sat and 8 pm on Sunday
- All truck deliveries to the Rubicon gate
- “Performances” (concerts) and other events of up to 500 attendees at any one time (no limit on how many shows or concerts per day)
In addition, a viable parking solution has not been shared with the neighbors or ACMNA board, causing concern for increased event-driven traffic in the neighborhood.
Based on the information available to date, the ACMNA Board does not support the 148% expansion ofthe HP-L area, nor the uses outlined in the Special Permit per-application. Most intended uses are in direct conflict with the Arcadia Camelback Special Planning District Plan which was adapted into City Ordinance in 1997. (See section 668 of the Phoenix Zoning Code)
ACMNA Mission Statement
Since its founding in 1987, the mission of the Arcadia Camelback Mountain Neighborhood Association has been to preserve the appealing ambiance and qualities that make our neighborhood such an enviable place in which to live.
These qualities include: the non-commercial, family friendly, and single family residential character of this place; our generous setbacks, wide side yards, and understated homes; and for the portion south of Camelback Road, a green desert oasis with broad lawns and the historic citrus trees that shade us from the summer heat and stand as a symbol of our unique area.