Affordable Housing May Come to a Frank Lloyd Wright Building

Proposed renovations suggested for Bartlesville, Oklahoma’s Price Tower

Price Tower
Oklahoma's Price Tower, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Einar Einarsson Kvaran/Creative Commons

In 2019, the idea of living affordably in a Frank Lloyd Wright building can come off like a pipe dream. Wright’s buildings tend to sell for relatively large sums of money: the Sherman M. Booth House in Glencoe, IL  is currently on the market for $1,150,000, while the Christie House in Bernardsville, NJ will set you back $1,450,000. 

Now, the prospect of living in a residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright might be an attainable goal for people with more modest income. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is exploring the idea of renovating the Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, which opened in 1956. It was the first skyscraper that Wright designed. As part of this renovation, some of the existing apartments would be set aside for affordable housing. Curbed’s article summarizes the proposal neatly:

…the Bartlesville Redevelopment Trust Authority (BRTA) plans to use a $500,000 Hope VI Main Street grant to rehabilitate four apartments in the building to create affordable housing, and the organization recently submitted plans for the conversion to HUD.

The distinctive designs of the building and the apartments within provide some challenges when renovating, but the opportunity to restore several residences to Wright’s original plans has a definite appeal. 

As per Curbed’s article, the timeframe of these renovations and the estimated monthly rent of the apartments has yet to be announced.

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