Despite receiving "a thousand inquiries," a Frank Lloyd Wright home put on the auction block yesterday in Los Angeles didn't find a qualified bidder and was withdrawn, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. The George D. Sturges House, a cantilevered redwood-and-brick residence completed in 1939, was being auctioned by Los Angeles Modern Auctions to benefit the nonprofit Bridges/Larson Foundation, which was established by the house's last owner, actor Jack Larson, and honoring his late partner, director James Bridges. Furniture and dishes both found buyers, including a pair of Origami lounge chairs made by John Lautner (who was hired to renovate the home in the '60s) that sold for $16,000 apiece. But no qualified buyer was found. We're reaching out to Los Angeles Modern Auction to find out what criteria must be met to be considered a qualified buyer.
Update: For additional context, we highly suggest hitting up Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne's Twitter feed, where he's opining on the various issues around the non-sale.
Also wanted to underscore (as I pointed out earlier) that nearly all FLW and Lautner furniture sold today was not original to the house— ChristopherHawthorne (@HawthorneLAT) February 22, 2016
Wildcard for me is that house is on dbl lot. Unbuilt parcel is apparently smaller than lot with house and irregularly shaped.
— ChristopherHawthorne (@HawthorneLAT) February 22, 2016
Update: Los Angeles Modern Auctions has issues a statement about the Sturges House auction:
Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA) withdrew the Frank Lloyd Wright designed George D. Sturges Residence from their February 21, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction. The auction house announced Sunday that no qualified bidder had been registered by the time the auction started. Due to the home’s unique historical and cultural significance, it has become apparent that more time is needed for prospective buyers to assess what can and should be done to preserve this historical gem.
Peter Loughrey, founder and co-owner of LAMA, said "Presenting the Sturges Residence has been a career highlight and we are honored to have been selected to publicize this property on behalf of The Bridges/Larson Foundation. Since we announced the sale earlier this year, this extraordinary residence has received worldwide attention and over the last few weeks nearly a thousand people have viewed the property. We are excited that this process has generated so much exposure and awareness. LAMA remains dedicated to the search for an appropriate buyer that will respect the property and commit to restoring it, and we firmly believe the ideal buyer is out there and don't want to rush the process."
The house will continue to be represented by Barry Sloane of Sotheby's International Realty in Beverly Hills, California. Interested parties should now contact Mr. Sloane's office.