If you, like me, have a deep and abiding love for the architecture and design of Frank Lloyd Wright, and if you, unlike me, have $12.9 million* burning a hole in your pocket, this pair of houses on a private island may be for you. Though they were designed by the visionary architect in 1950, only the smaller cottage was ever built. Until now.
*Plus $145,268 annual property tax…
In 1950, an engineer named Ahmed “A.K.” Chahroudi bought the 10-acre Petre island, located in Lake Mahopac, 1 hour north of New York City. He then commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a grand house for the island. However, the first design, a $50K 5,000 square foot house, would have exceeded Chahroudi’s budget by quite a bit. Wright went back to the drawing board, and returned with a design for a modest 1,200 square foot cottage instead. The cottage was built and used for years as a summer house for the Chahroudi family.
In 1996, the island was bought by contractor John Massaro for $770K (!). Massaro learned of the island’s history, and decided to bring Wright’s original plans to life. The plans were never finished, so the enterprising contractor hired Thomas A. Heinz, a Frank Lloyd Wright scholar, to complete the design, which was built in 2007. Per Massaro’s instructions, Heinz included updated details like HVAC, a helipad, and other modern conveniences. These updates proved hugely controversial with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, who refused to certify the structure. Massaro filed a lawsuit, which was eventually settled with him agreeing to characterize the house as merely being “inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright.”
In November 2012 the property was listed for sale for $20 million, but it didn’t sell. The asking price has been lowered repeatedly over the last 7 years, and was further reduced to $12.9 million this year. It will be interesting to see what happens to this fascinating property.
You can check out all the property details on the Douglas Elliman listing page.