Wright Houses on the Market and in the News

Last December the Conservancy proudly announced that after a seven-month advocacy campaign the David and Gladys Wright House in Arizona had been purchased by a new owner intent on preservation rather than potential development. With coast to coast as well as international media coverage—New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, The Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais—and a petition on that reached almost 30,000 signatures from over 150 different countries, the David Wright House was the highest-profile sale of any Wright property since the Conservancy’s founding.

Transitions in ownership can present exciting new opportunities as well as significant threats to Wright properties. Finding new stewards who understand and appreciate these structures is crucial to the buildings’ longevity. Although the David Wright House was highly publicized because of the very real danger of the house being demolished, other Wright on the Market properties have also made headlines this year.

  • Gerald B. Tonkens House (1955) in Cincinnati, Ohio – For the first time ever the Tonkens house is being listed on the market. A Usonian Automatic, the Tonkens House is comprised of 11 different modular block patterns, and features Philippine mahogany, 18k gold leaf gilded ceilings in the bedroom wing and over four full acres of land surrounding the house. The original Frank Lloyd Wright-designed furniture, built specifically for the house, is also available for purchase.
    >>Read more about the Gerald B. Tonkens House
  • Bachman-Wilson House (1954) in Millstone, New Jersey – While Frank Lloyd Wright was working on the Guggenheim and Usonian Exhibition House, he was also designing the Bachman Wilson House in nearby New Jersey. An open two-story pavilion, the Bachman-Wilson House is in peril due to increased frequency and severity of flooding in its location. With the support of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy as an exception to save the house, the owners have put the house on the market, contingent on relocation to a new site. This attracted media attention when a possible move to Italy was suggested as first reported by the New York Times.

There are currently Wright properties for sale across the country in California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, Montana Washington and Wisconsin. New listings in 2013 include the V.C. Morris Gift Shop (1948) in San Francisco, Ray Brandes House (1952) in Sammamish, Washington, and the George W. Furbeck House (1897) in Oak Park, Illinois. In addition to new properties, Wright on the Market is also the most up-to-date source for changes to Wright listings, such as the recent price adjustments for the Buehler House (1948) in Orinda, California; the Emmond House (1892) in LaGrange, Illinois; the Heller House (1897) in Chicago, Illinois; and the Lindholm House (1952) in Cloquet, Minnesota.


The Conservancy’s Wright on the Market provides sellers an international audience for Wright properties, encouraging a smooth transition in preservation-minded ownership. In 2012, several Wright properties found new stewards.


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