Wright’s Haynes House Retains Historic Designation

The City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, sustained the historic designation protections for the Haynes House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950. The owner had applied for designation of the Usonian house as a local historic district in 2008, which was granted by the city. In 2010 he requested removal of the designation, but the city took no action because there was no established process for removal until 2013, when the State of Indiana established enabling legislation for procedures to remove a local historic preservation designation. Earlier this year the owner again petitioned that the historic designation for the house be removed.

The Conservancy was in discussion with city staff and local preservationists throughout the process and sent strong letters to both the Fort Wayne Historic Preservation Commission and to each member of the city council urging retention of the designation, which protects the exterior facade of the house and reduces the possibility of demolition in the future.

The commission recommended retention of the designation and the council, in its meeting on April 12, agreed with that recommendation by a vote of 6 to 3. The council vote was preceded by a public comment meeting the prior week. Indiana Landmarks, ARCH (Architecture & Community Heritage) and the prior owner of the house joined with the Conservancy in efforts to ensure that the house remains protected.

The Haynes House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. That designation would have remained unaffected by the city’s decision.

Fort Wayne news outlets have more on the story.

Posted on April 13, 2016

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