A Kansas City house built by one of the nation’s most iconic architects just sold at auction for $920,000.
Known as the Sondern-Adler House, the Frank Lloyd Wright property has been on the market for 11 months, the Kansas City Star reports. After failing to sell with an asking price of $1.65 million, owner Jim Blair put it up for auction with a starting price of $450,000.
After a bidding process that took only 40 minutes, the buyer from Nebraska had agreed to pay $920,000, plus a 10 percent fee to the auction house, for the property. Competition was steep — according to the Star, at least 10 buyers had preregistered to see the property and many made serious offers.
The current owner, who has chosen to remain anonymous, squared off with higher and higher bids over the phone with a bidder who was inside the house during the auction.
Wright designed the property, located at 3600 Belleview Avenue, in 1939 for Clarence Sondern and his wife. It is built in Wright’s classic Usonian style, which incorporates elements of nature and the surrounding environment, into the architecture of the home.
The house gives off a woodsy, natural style — it is made of brick on the outside, cypress on the interior. To get to it, visitors have to go through the end of a long road along a road surrounded by fir and maple trees in Kansas City’s Roanoke neighborhood. It sits on a 1.3-acre lot and has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
The house has switched hands numerous times over the years. The second owner, Arnold Adler, expanded it to nearly 3,000 square feet. (Wright also designed the added spaces.) In 1963, arts patron Richard J. Stern bought the house for $30,000. A local arts museum acquired it from him in 1983 and sold it to Blair in 2003.
Although the latest owner chose not to release any other details about the purchase, he told the heritage house that he plans to honor the home’s connection to Wright and perhaps keep it as a destination for future architecture fan.
“I can say the winning bidder realizes the gem he just purchased, and I think the residents of Kansas City are going to be very pleased with what the bidder plans to do with the home,” Eric Bradley, a spokesperson for Heritage Auction, told the Star. “He plans to keep it a national or regional destination, and, like Frank Lloyd Wright said himself, he intends to keep it as a gem for Kansas City.”