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David & Gladys Wright House Donated to Benefit School of Architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Jun 15, 2017

On the 150th birthday of Frank Lloyd Wright, June 8, 2017, the owners of the David & Gladys Wright House announced the donation of the building to benefit the School of Architecture at Taliesin.

The donation to the School of Architecture at Taliesin by the Rawling Family establishes a relationship that will further the School’s mission of educating students to build a more sustainable, open, and beautiful world while fulfilling the potential of the David & Gladys Wright House to have a perpetual life as a world-class center for design.

“We are thrilled by this generous act of philanthropy, which represents an unprecedented opportunity to expand the school’s mission as a research and development laboratory for the future of Phoenix and the human-made environment,” said Aaron Betsky, Dean of the School of Architecture at Taliesin. “Wright designed this residential masterpiece at the base of Camelback Mountain as his vision for ‘How to Live in the Southwest.’ This pledge allows the school to further its legacy of finding innovative solutions to living with the desert, not just in it.”

The David and Gladys Wright House is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last masterpieces, commissioned by his son David and daughter-in-law Gladys in 1950. Completed in 1952 at the base of Camelback Mountain, the residence remained a family home until 2008. After sitting vacant for years, the home was threatened with demolition by local developers in 2012. That threat galvanized an unprecedented community effort to preserve and celebrate what the City of Phoenix’s preservation office recognizes as the greatest building in Phoenix by the greatest architect in American history.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to preserve a Frank Lloyd Wright gem in the heart of Phoenix while aiding the school as it embarks on its next chapter,” said Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation President and CEO Stuart Graff. “We are immensely grateful to the Rawling family for making this possible.”

The School will take over planning for the preservation of the house and citrus groves immediately, with future restoration acts to be undertaken by the faculty and students of the School. Used as a learning center for graduate architectural students and for philanthropy, academic lectures, and community gatherings, the School will realize Wright’s vision for the house as a place of community, celebration, inspiration, education, collective experimentation, and active exploration into organic architecture and place-making.

The David Wright House will be formally gifted to a new supporting organization of the Arizona Community Foundation for the benefit of the School of Architecture at Taliesin, whose purpose is to sustain the educational mission of the school by raising the funds needed to achieve the School’s purpose and vision. The pledge is contingent upon meeting a $7 million endowment by December 31, 2020.

The new organization will own the House and manage the endowment for the benefit of the School, while the School will operate the property, educational curriculum, and all community and cultural activities.

“My family and I could not be more enthusiastic about the future of the School and the David & Gladys Wright House, as well as the opportunity of expanding its cultural and educational footprint into the heart of Phoenix,” said Zach Rawling, President of the David & Gladys Wright House Foundation. “We look forward to the learning opportunities this gift presents for future generations of architecture students, architects, artists and the cultural community at large.

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