Dallas isn’t the only city where historic preservation is tested, as a Frank Lloyd Wright homeowner seeks demolition.
It’s been a bad couple of years for Wright fans, as a medical clinic in Montana was demolished last year and now a progenitor of Wright’s Usonian homes is on the same path. These are pretty rare events. Prior to these two, the last Wright structure torn down was a beach house in Grand Beach, Michigan, back in 2004 and that was the first since 1973.
The cottage at 239 Franklin Road in suburban Glencoe was built in 1913 as a temporary home for Sherman Booth and his wife while Wright built their larger home. Booth was Wright’s lawyer. The home is a modest 1,755-square-foot, three-bedroom with two full and one-half bathroom. Originally, the cottage was just 1,100 square feet, but later owners added a garage and bedrooms. After the main home was built in 1915, the cottage was moved to its current location.
The cottage had been the home of the Rudoff family since 1956 and was listed for sale in 2017 for $1 million with subsequent drops until it hit $599,900 in January 2019 – essentially lot value. After 63 years with the same owner, the home was well lived-in with a lot of updating required. While the sellers had hoped for a conservation-minded buyer, instead they got Jean Jingnan Yang and Justin Jun Lu who quickly filed for a demolition permit after the May 9 closing.