My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Making it Wright

18 Comments

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.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

18 thoughts on “Making it Wright

  1. I love this. I too have a special place in my heart for extraordinary architecture and for my favorite architect, (a little bias) my son. It was my son who introduced me to several great architects such Frank L. Wright and Louis Kahn among others. Thanks for your post. And thanks for stopping by Poemattic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you I adore Frank Lloyd Wright and still fondly remember my first trip to Chicago in 1990 when I faithfully visited many of his properties which still look very contemporary. Sadly I don’t have a spare US$12.9 million so won’t be buying the above house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. it is a masterpiece but I really can’t even imagine living in it. I’m more of a Biltmore House girl. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder if it did not sell because of the 2007/2008 economic crash – which likely impacted shoppers in this price range in 2012 and even now.
    Or was it the “inspired” part – well
    Either way – when it does sell someone is going to have a unique prospect

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the way you casually put ‘… a helipad and other modern conveniences..’

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Making it Wright — My OBT | andrej w.

  7. Stunning! I wonder if it hasn’t sold because the music on the video makes it sound like Jack Bauer might be running around those woods with a military handgun? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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