Frank Lloyd Wright House Donation

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The David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix has been pledged to the Frank Llloyd Wright School of Architecture. The donation by the Rawling family is contingent on a fund-raising effort. Victor Sidy, the former dean of the School of Architecture at Taliesin and the current architect for preservation and planning at the David Wright House, will tell us more.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," A WELL-KNOWN LOCAL FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSE IS DONATED TO THE FAMED ARCHITECT'S SCHOOL. AND HEAR ABOUT WAYS TO PREVENT THE "SUMMER SLIDE," WHEN STUDENTS LOSE GROUND ON LEARNING DURING SUMMER VACATION. THOSE STORIES NEXT, ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

NARRARATOR: ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON. I'M TED SIMONS. ANOTHER FEDERAL APPEALS COURT THIS MORNING UPHELD A DECISION BLOCKING PRESIDENT TRUMP'S REVISED TRAVEL BAN. THE RULING CAME FROM A UNANIMOUS THREE-JUDGE PANEL OF THE NINTH-CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS, WHICH RULED THAT THE PRESIDENT VIOLATED U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW BY DISCRIMINATING AGAINST PEOPLE BASED ON THEIR NATIONALITY. THE DECISION DEALS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION YET ANOTHER LEGAL DEFEAT AS THE SUPREME COURT CONSIDERS A SEPARATE CASE ON THE ISSUE. LAST THURSDAY MARKED THE BIRTH-DATE OF FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, WHO WAS BORN 150-YEARS AGO. THE FAMED ARCHITECT GOT A BIG BIRTHDAY PRESENT HERE IN PHOENIX, REPLETE WITH A CELEBRATION THAT INCLUDED THE GIFTING OF A HOUSE DESIGNED BY WRIGHT. PRODUCER MIKE SAUCEDA AND VIDEOGRAPHER JUAN MAGANA HAVE THE STORY.

MIKE SAUCEDA: IT'S A STYLE YOU MAY HAVE SEEN BEFORE, THE 1952 DAVID GLADIS WRIGHT HOUSE USES THE SAME CIRCULAR ARCHITECTURAL MOTIF AS ASU'S GAMMAGE. AND THAT HOME IS CIRCLING BACK TO THE FRANK LLOYED WRIGHT SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE. THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE BY AARON BETSKY, THE DEAN OF THE SCHOOL, ON WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN WRIGHT'S 150TH BIRTHDAY, WITH THE HOME COVERED IN BALLOONS TO MARK THE OCCASION.

AARON BETSKY: THIS HOUSE, SPIRALING OUT OF THIS BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBORHOOD AND REACHING OUT TO A PLACE YOU CAN LOOK AT THE MOUNTAINS AND VALLEY WILL BE A PLACE THAT WILL BE A LIVING LABORATORY WHERE GRADUATE STUDENTS AND FACULTY WILL LIVE AND WORK TOGETHER TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE THE PHOENIX VALLEY BETTER.

MIKE SAUCEDA: THE HOUSE WAS PLEDGED TO THE RAULING FAMILY IN 2012 TO SAVE IT FROM BEING DEMOLISHED.

ZACK RAWLING: WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE SCHOOL AND HOUSE. THE HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL, 85-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL AND FUTURE UNDER THEIR LEADERSHIP. THE CREATIVE IDEA MAKING THIS A THIRD HOME AND WELCOMING THE PHOENIX COMMUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT SPIRIT OF CREATIVITY AND FELLOWSHIP, GIVES THE PLACE VITALITY AND MEANING BEYOND ANYTHING WE HOPED FOR WHEN WE BEGAN IN 2012.

MIKE SAUCEDA: THE DONATION IS CONTINGENT ON A NONPROFIT RAISING $7 MILLION BY 2020 TO RESTORE THE HOME, WHICH WILL SERVE AS THE THIRD LOCATION FOR THE ARCHITECTURAL SCHOOL. THIS FOLLOWS YEARS OF CONTROVERSIAL PLANS THAT UPSET NEIGHBORS. THIS WILL HELP STUDENTS WORK OUT PROBLEMS WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH.

PHOENIX IS GROUND ZERO FOR SPRAWL. SOME THINK IT'S GOING TO GO AWAY. IT ISN'T. IT'S ALL AROUND US. IT'S NOT GOING TO GO AWAY. WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO IT BETTER. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT STARTED TO FIGURE IT OUT IN 1934. COMING UP WITH IDEAS ON HOW TO CREATE BETTER SUBURBS.

MIKE SAUCEDA: RAWLING SAYS HE WILL REMAIN CONNECTED TO THE HOME.

AARON BETSKY: WE'LL BE THE BIGGEST CHEERLEADERS FOR THE SCHOOL AND ALL OF ITS PROGRAMMING AT TALIESIN AND TALIESIN WEST.

MIKE SAUCEDA: BESIDES SERVING AS A SCHOOL FOR FUTURE ARCHITECTS, THE HOUSE WILL ALSO HOST PUBLIC TOURS. HERE NOW WITH MORE IS VICTOR SIDY, THE FORMER DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AT TALIESIN AND THE CURRENT ARCHITECT FOR PRESERVATION AND PLANNING AT THE DAVID AND GLADYS WRIGHT HOUSE. GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN. THANKS FOR JOINING US. THIS HOUSE, WHERE IS IT LOCATED?

VICTOR SIDY: DUE SOUTH IN CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN IN ARCADIA OFF CAMELBACK ROAD

TED SIMONS: THE IDEA IS TO PLEDGE IT TO THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE IN TALIESIN.

VICTOR SIDY: IT'S TO BE BENEFIT TO THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE.

MIKE SAUCEDA: HOW WILL THIS BE USED BY THE SCHOOL?

VICTOR SIDY: SURE. THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE IS AN 85-YEAR-OLD ORGANIZATION, HAS EDUCATED GENERATIONS OF ARCHITECTS. THE ARCHITECTURE PHILOSOPHY IS LEARNING BY DOING. HOW CAN YOU BETTER LEARN ABOUT PRESERVATION, FOR EXAMPLE, THAN THROUGH HANDS ON LEARNING. WE INTEND TO WORK WITH THE STUDENTS AND FACULTY ON PLANS FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE HOUSE. WE ARE LOOKING FOR ROTATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS AND FACULTY AND SCHOLARS TO TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN THIS LOCATION.

TED SIMONS: WHY WAS THE DECISION MADE TO TRANSFER OPERATIONS OF WHAT WAS A HOME AND TURN IT INTO A SCHOOL?

VICTOR SIDY: SURE. THE HOME, IN THE MINDS OF MANY IS TOO VALUABLE TO LOCK UP IN THE HANDS OF ONE SINGLE RESIDENT. IT'S ONE OF WRIGHT'S MOST REMARKABLE, LATE-CAREER HOUSES. IT'S AN EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM. WRIGHT, BECAUSE IT WAS DESIGNED FOR HIS SON WAS ABLE TO TAKE LATITUDE AND EXPERIMENT WITH MATERIAL HE WOULDN'T HAVE WITH OTHER CLIENT. HE GOES TO GREATER LENGTHS ON THE EXPERIMENTATION SIDE. HE USES GEOMETRY THAT THEN WAS SCENE FOR EXAMPLE AT THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM IN NEW YORK. HE USES CONCRETE BLOCKS IN AN EXPERIMENTAL WAY, USING UNIQUE CONCRETE FORMS FOR THE BLOCKS. THIS TYPE OF EXPERIMENTATION IS UNDERLYING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND THE HOUSE. IT'S THAT TYPE OF EXPERIMENTATION FOR STUDENTS AND FACULTY WE WANT TO SEE FURTHERED.

TED SIMONS: THE FUNDRAISING, $7 MILLION ENDOWMENT BY 2020. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

VICTOR SIDY: SOME OF IT IS TO GO TO PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION OF THE HOUSE ITSELF. WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT PLANS TO RESTORE A NUMBER OF CITRUS TREES ON THE PROPERTY AS YOU LIKELY KNOW, ARCADIAN WAS KNOWN FOR MANY YEARS AS THE PLACE CITRUS WAS GROWN IN PHOENIX. TO BRING THAT FEELING BACK OF STARTING OUT IN THE GROVE OF THE TREES AND RISING UP IN A SPIRAL GESTURE OVER THE TOP OF THE TREES AND SEEING LANDSCAPES ALL AROUND YOU, THOSE IDEAS WOULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE RESTORATION. WE ARE LOOKING AT A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF THAT $7 MILLION BASE AMOUNT AS GOING TOWARD THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AS AN ENDOWMENT.

TED SIMONS: I WAS WONDERING, I KNOW THE MONEY IS TO BE USED TO RESTORE AND RUN THE SITE. WHAT KIND OF CONDITION IS THE HOUSE IN?

VICTOR SIDY: IT'S IN REMARKABLY GOOD CONDITION FOR A FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOUSE. HIS WORK IS OFTEN PLAGUED WITH ROOF LEAKS OR FOUNDATION ISSUES. NOT HERE. THIS HOUSE WAS BUILT IN 1952 AND HAS FEW LEAKS. WE ARE REPLACING CONCRETE SLABS, SOME OF THE MASONRY HAS DETERIORATED AND THE WOODWORK. WE ARE NOT LOOKING TO BRING IT TO A PERFECT CONDITION BUT THE DETERIORATED FABRIC OF THE HOUSE IS KNITTED BACK TOGETHER FOR THE PROJECT.

TED SIMONS: STUDENTS AND FACULTY WILL LIVE THERE, WORK THERE, LEARN THERE? WILL THEY RESIDE IN THE HOUSE?

VICTOR SIDY: ON A ROTATING BASIS MEETING CERTAIN CRITERIA. THIS IS A HOUSE OF ARCHITECTURE. THESE ARE NOT UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS THAT WILL DO ANYTHING BUT TAKE IN THE ARCHITECTURE IN A REMARKABLE WAY. FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT TALKED ABOUT LIVING. IT WAS MEANT TO BE LIVED IN NOT PRESERVED IN AMBER AND HIDDEN BEHIND VELVET ROPES. YOU NEED TO HEAR THE BREEZE AND THE BIRDS THROUGH THE OPEN WINDOWS. IT'S ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION.

TED SIMONS: THERE ARE PUBLIC TOURS, CORRECT?

VICTOR SIDY: THE IDEA, ONCE THE DONATION TO THE SCHOOL TO BENEFIT THE SCHOOL IS COMPLETE, TOURS WILL BE -- WE ARE CONSIDERING THAT. WE ARE NOT SURE ABOUT THE TIMING ON THAT AND WON'T BE DOING ANY PUBLIC TOURS UNTIL WE GO THROUGH THE STANDARD PROCESS WITH THE CITY OF PHOENIX INCLUDING NEIGHBORHOOD INPUT AND INPUT FROM THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMITTEES.

TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS OTHER PLANS, WHAT IS THOUGHT OR PLANNED OR PROPOSED OF AS OF NOW?

VICTOR SIDY: THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE WILL USE THE CAMPUS AS IT SEES FIT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES IN THE COMING MONTHS AND YEARS. THAT MIGHT INCLUDE LECTURES FOR AN INVITED PUBLIC. THE IDEA IS TO FIND WAYS TO ELEVATE THE DISCOURSE ABOUT ARCHITECTURE IN THE CITY.

TED SIMONS: WITH THAT IN MIND, REACTION FROM THE NEIGHBORS?

VICTOR SIDY: WE ANTICIPATE THE NEIGHBORS WILL BE PLEASED THAT THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF THE HOUSE WILL BE FOR CULTURE OPPOSED TO THEIR WORST FEARS THAT IN THE PAST HAD INCLUDED SOME ELEMENT OF COMMERCIALIZATION. THIS IS NOT THAT. THIS IS EXPLICITLY FOR THE BENEFIT OF GENERATIONS OF ARCHITECTS.

TED SIMONS: WHAT ARE YOU HEARING?



VICTOR SIDY: WE HAVE OPENED A GOOD LINE OF COMMUNICATION WITH THE NEIGHBORS THROUGH THEIR REPRESENTATIVES. WE HOPE TO EXPAND THAT MOVING FORWARD. THIS IS AGAIN ABOUT THE CITY OF PHOENIX AND OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS, BUT THOSE LIVING AROUND IT ARE GOING TO BE IMPACTED.

TED SIMONS: OBVIOUSLY. IT WAS SUCH A FIGHT BEFOREHAND. HAS THE TENOR OF THE CONVERSATION BEEN LOWERED OR YOU HAVEN'T HEARD ANYTHING YET?

WE FEEL HAVING HAD A BETTER INTERACTION, AT LEAST WE ARE LISTENING AND WE HAVE BEEN LISTENING OTHER THE PAST SIX OR SEVEN MONTHS TO THE NEIGHBORS. THAT'S HELPED A LOT. I THINK IT'S ALLAYED THE WORST FEARS AND OUR PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE IS GOING TO TAKE CONCERNS OF THE NEIGHBORS INTO THE ISSUE.

TED SIMONS: REACTION FROM THE CITY?

VICTOR SIDY: IT'S BEEN VERY POSITIVE. IT'S A PATH FORWARD THAT I THINK IS PROBABLY THE MOST VIABLE OF MANY. IT'S ALSO, I THINK, A SUBSTANTIAL ACT OF GENEROSITY. IT'S THE LARGEST GIFT TO THE SCHOOL IN ITS 85 YEAR HISTORY AS WELL AS ONE OF THE PHILANTHROPIC GIFTS OF THE CITY.

TED SIMONS: TIMELINE, 2020. WHAT OTHER BENCHMARKS ARE OUT THERE?

VICTOR SIDY: WE ARE LOOKING AT $15 MILLION TO DO THE PROJECT RIGHT. $7 MILLION WILL PULL THE TRIGGER OF THE TRANSFER OF THE HOUSE TO THE FOUNDATION THAT WILL SUPPORT THE SCHOOL. WE ARE GOING TO START WITH INITIAL, VERY MUCH NEEDED PRESERVATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. ONCE WE WORK WITH THE PRESERVATION STAFF WITH THE CITY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

TED SIMONS: THE RENOVATION BEGINS NOW?

VICTOR SIDY: IN A SMALL WAY FOR THE MOST CRITICAL ELEMENTS OF THE PROJECT.

TED SIMONS: GOOD TO SEE YOU. THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

VICTOR SIDY: YOU BET.

Victor Sidy: Preservation Architect, David Wright House

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