Last Friday my husband and I had the pleasure of taking a private tour of The David Wright House located at the base of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona. This fantastic home was recently saved from demolition. Thank goodness! As we entered the grounds of this 6 arce compound (originally 10 acres) we were immediately struck by the beautiful organic architecture of the 1950's gem. Completed in 1952 in the middle of citrus groves, the design elevated the home in the form of a spiral rising from the desert floor, converting the tree tops into the lawn and revealing panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Interesting! The original landscaping was desert, not the current grassy lawn.
David & Gladys Wright
David Wright was a sales rep for a concrete block company, hence the use of block materials. His father Frank envisioned that the home be built out of wood. Notice all the curves. Quite a feat to accomplish! Originally, there was a small swimming pool in the courtyard area seen below.
Love seeing the original house
True to all of Frank Lloyd Wright's design, the furniture was simple and built-in where ever possible. Note the semi-circle windows and the amazing curved fireplace. Keep in mind that this house is in the desert so cross ventilation is very important! The ceiling is fabulous. Philipine Mahogany was used on the ceilings, woodwork, cabinets and furniture. The carpeting was in disrepair and is being replaced. It will be a replica of the exact carpeting originally in the home which will be breathtaking!
Photo of the original interior. Note the details in the carpeting
Music was very important to all the Wright family. Imagine the sound bouncing off the walls and ceiling when the piano as well as other musical instruments were played.
The kitchen has a large circular window which is enhanced by the curved walls. If you look very closely you'll see that the window is propped open with a wooden spoon. It's the same spoon Gladys Wright used. I wonder if she cooked with the spoon as well! If so, it served double duty. I love the clean open shelves!
Here's another photo of the kitchen. This is the original stove. The whole room is circular.
This is the back of the living room fireplace. What a great place to enjoy meals.
The master bedroom has it's own fireplace and of course Wright's signiture built-in furniture. The windows were designed so that when laying in bed views of Camelback Mountain were perfectly framed. Remember this home is raised above the tree tops.
The master bedroom cantilevers and the bank of windows to the right are in a hallway leading to the three bedrooms and guest bathroom. Although this home is only about 2200 square feet, it feels expansive and open. David and Gladys lived in this home for 60 years. They were the only owners. David died in 1997 at the age of 102 and his wife Gladys passed away in 2008 at the age of 104. If only the walls could talk!
I must say that touring this architectual masterpiece was an honor and a highlight.
For more information on this gem visit www.DavidWrightHouse.org
Wishing you blessings and joy,