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

West

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.

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