Archi-Crime of the year: Lloyd Wright’s Moore House Destroyed

West
Thursday, April 26, 2012
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Moore House before demolition (Stephen Russo)

Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, was one of California’s most talented modernist architects, but he was overshadowed by his father’s fame and notoriety. Wright’s lack of press largely led to the destruction yesterday of his Moore House (1958) in Palos Verdes, a ritzy beach town near Los Angeles. Apparently, when the owners of the property planned the demolition they had never heard of the architect. The city council denied an appeal from the Los Angeles Conservancy, and now the winged, x-shaped house is gone. According to Curbed, the owner wants to build a Mediterranean McMansion in its place. 

Moore House after demolition (Sarah Farris-Gilbert)

Like so many cities, Palos Verdes has no preservation ordinance. The city’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the demolition concluded that the house couldn’t be “feasibly renovated to meet the owners’ needs for updated living space.” This despite LA Conservancy testimony that the house was “extraordinarily unique,” and that the EIR failed to list a “range of reasonable alternatives” to destroying the house. Also despite hundreds of letters from locals opposing the demolition.

4 Responses to “Archi-Crime of the year: Lloyd Wright’s Moore House Destroyed”

  1. Well spoken Sam. I was shocked the city did
    not respond to the unique beauty and heritage
    of a Wright heir. I believe the only tile roof-less
    home in Verdes, now be replaced with all that
    is mediocre, mundane, knit right into the bore
    of what will be an elementary level replacement.
    jb/2012.

  2. Steve Lamb says:

    The year is still young. A Bart Prince house in Malibu, less than a decade old, is also about to meet the bulldozer to become a taco bell house and a Richard Neutra is to be torn down to make 4 mini mansions, Its a year of criminality.

    The Moore house was a great house. I’m still sick over this.

  3. Scott Dolik says:

    I am horrified. Mid Century Modern in Southern California is a heritage. I saw this home when I was 9 years old in the 1960s and it was magnificent. As a kid, I thought it looked like a flyilng saucer. After that, I became addicted to mid century modern architecture. After that we moved into a neighborhood of Eichler homes in Orange County. I loved that place with homes with atriums, outdoor rooms, glass walls and colorful accents. To live in one of these homes is to experience California Dreaming. What a shame the pinnacle of mid century modern is lost.

  4. Lawri Williamson says:

    That house was gorgeous. Wish I could have seen inside. I don’t understand why anyone would want to destroy something so amazing. And to then put something completely ordinary in its place — why? Build your crap on some open land somewhere! Or knock down a different house with a Spanish-tile roof and build there. The way this was done . . . whoever built there is either exceptionally narcissistic or just plain selfish. I would bet money, though, that it’s the former.

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