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In December 2012, the entire Frank Lloyd Wright community breathed a collective sigh of relief as the Conservancy announced that the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, Arizona, had been purchased by a new owner intent on preservation rather than potential development. Local preservationists credited the Conservancy with igniting the enthusiasm and commitment of previously uncoordinated groups so that they are now more united in undertaking other important preservation projects in their community.

This is what the Conservancy does—educate, advocate, preserve.

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For every preservation success, however, there can also be tragedy. In the first week of April, the Conservancy regretfully informed the public that Wright’s Hoffman Auto Showroom, a Wright-designed interior space at 430 Park Avenue in Manhattan, had been gutted despite the Conservancy’s efforts to designate it as a city landmark. One of just three Wright works in
New York City, the Hoffman Auto Showroom was one of Wright’s few retail spaces and part of his ongoing design experimentation with the spiral, also seen in the Guggenheim Museum and David Wright House as well as the V.C. Morris Gift Shop in San Francisco.

The destruction of the Hoffman Auto Showroom highlights the continued need for advocacy and careful monitoring to ensure the preservation of all of Frank Lloyd Wright’s remaining structures. Threats to Wright buildings include intentional direct demolition (as in the case of the
David Wright House), slow deterioration leading to eventual claims that the building is unsalvageable or encirclement by inappropriate development that diminishes the building and its site (as is threatened at the Lamp House in Madison, Wisconsin). Amidst all these preservation challenges, we seek your help at year-end because you are one of the key ingredients in our capability to confront and deter these threats and to succeed in our educational programming.

Your special year-end gift to the Conservancy now helps ensure that Wright’s legacy will endure. In addition to your own gift, why not share your appreciation of Wright’s architecture with a friend or family member this holiday season?

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