Clipped From The Kerrville Times

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 - Enthusiasts trying to save Frank Lloyd Wright...
Enthusiasts trying to save Frank Lloyd Wright house BUNKER HILL VILLAGE, Texas (AP)—It's trendy here to buy a lot with an old house on it, tear down the house and build your own massive brick manse. But what if the old house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright? Tear it down anyway, says the home's current owner, to the horror of Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts as far away as Detroit or Chicago who want to save the house. The house, an 1,800-square foot parallelogram, sits on a 1.2-acre, heavily wooded lot in Bunker Hill Village, a well-to-do incorporated city within Houston. It's been sold and resold three times since one of America's most famous architects built it for retired insurance man William L. Thaxton in 1955, four years before Wright's death. It's now owned by Brian Nevins, who owns a Houston import-export firm and never has lived in the house. The original house had redwood paneling, a swimming pool that shares the back wall of the house and no right angles, so the walls slope into smaller ceilings. The angled rooms required built-in furniture, including including a parallelogram-shaped bed, which needed custom-made sheets. "I started out trying to build a house for $25,000 to $35,000," Thaxton said in an interview from his pecan and peach farm near Hempstead. "It ended up costing $125,000—that was a lot of money in 1955." ' Despite its original design and famous designer, land values have skyrocketed well past the value of the house, real estate agents say. Nevins, Nevins, who was unavailable for comment, comment, is asking $535,000 for the land the house is sitting on, said listing agent E.J. McCoy. Although Thaxton spent a small fortune on the house and claims the fame of building Houston's only Frank Lloyd Wright house, he says the prospect of demolition doesn't bother him. To Thaxton, the house was destroyed destroyed by subsequent owners. '' I couldn't imagine anyone doing to that house what these people did," Thaxton said. "They had no taste and no idea what theories or ideas Mr. Wright stood for." Thaxton said the owners painted white over the redwood paneling, added ionic columns in the front — creating the only right angles in the building — and covered over small parallelogram engravings in the outside outside front walls. "The house has been cannibalized," cannibalized," he said. "Just destroyed inside inside and out so that it's almost not like the original house. If that thing is torn down, they won't be tearing down a Frank Lloyd Wright house." Wright purists, however, say whatever the architect designed rausj be preserved Carla Lind, executive executive director of the Frank Uoyd Wright Building Conservancy in Oak Park, ill., said 414 of the original original 500 Wright-designed buildings are left in Uie world. Texas now claims four two in Dallas, including the Dallas Center theater, AmariUo has one private home; and Houston has, at least for now, the Thaxton house. In the few months the land has been on the market, individuals and preservation groups have tried to come up with ways to save the house. But so far, only developers who want to tear it down nave half a million dollars to spend. McCoy says he's had "all kinds of calls from Frank Lloyd Wright nuts." Other cities have designated homes designed by Wright as historic historic buildings, preventing a similar fate, but Bunker Hill Village has no preservation ordinance. Salvation is... A FREE GIFT!! This Sunday, join us. EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH 10QB Guadalupe Plaza Stan Goldberg IU...... Francla M. Rollins Floranc* I R«y W. TrawMk I.,, Virginia THE SOUNDS

Clipped from
  1. The Kerrville Times,
  2. 14 Apr 1991, Sun,
  3. Page 3

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