As demonstrated in last year's preservation saga with the much battled-over David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, Ariz., when Frank Lloyd Wright's work is in peril, architecture and history buffs will do a whole lot to step in and save it. But how about moving an entire home to another country? Absurd? Probably, but it's an option being seriously considered for New Jersey's Bachman-Wilson House, a 1954 creation—the windows! the concrete walls! the low-slung furnishings! the slices of horizontal plank!—that's in danger of flood damage by the nearby Millstone River. To save it, Italian architect Paolo Bulletti wants to move it all to the hills of Fiesole, Italy, a Tuscan town with an unexpected relevant connection: Wright moved there with his mistress in 1910 to flee the scandal surrounding their affair.
The Tarantinos reached out to Bulletti, an architecture professor at Texas A&M University's College of Architecture program near Florence, after reading about the Wright exhibition Bulletti curated some three years ago. "The flooding has become worse over the past few years, and we realized that the only alternative to save the house was to move it," homeowner Sharon Tarantino, an architect herself, told the New York Times. "We are pursuing various options, but Italy attracts us the most. My husband and I studied in Genoa 40 years ago, so it is the romantic solution." Moving the Bachman-Wilson House would cost $1.5M, including dismantling the place and shipping the pieces to the coastal city of Genoa. From there, the costs depend on whether or not Bulletti can get someone to sponsor the move: the house doesn't meet Italian residence regulations, so it would be a piece of public art—an American sculpture nestled among the olive trees. More info, right this way.
· To Move Wright House to Italy, All It Takes Is a Buyer [NYT via Architizer]
· All Frank Lloyd Wright coverage [Curbed National]