La Miniatura to Move to Japan?

The Los Angeles Times has an article on the inability to sell the two Wright homes in LA that are on the market.

The agent listing La Miniatura claims that disassembling the house and moving it to Japan is at least a possibility (note it’s the listing agent, not the owner making that statement, and the possibility that he’s saying that simply to draw attention is not inconceivable).

After slashing the listing price over the last two years from $7,733,000 to $4,995,000 and not finding a buyer, Doe says he’s “talking to an international art dealer with Japanese art-collector clients who might be interested in buying the house.”

“With my position in the preservation community, I will probably be crucified for saying this,” says Doe. “But we have to consider all options. We moved the London Bridge to the Colorado River. Why couldn’t we move this house to Japan?”

The Ennis House is the other Wright currently for sale — its price has been lowered from $15 million to $7.5 million. Currently owned by a private foundation, the house has already had several million dollars of emergency restoration work done (partially due to the 1994 earthquake and torrential rains). The new owner will need to commit millions more to the house.

La Miniatura is in good shape having recently undergone a multi-million dollar restoration. The possibility of of one or both houses being acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has been explored, but absent a donor with monumentally deep pockets,that isn’t going to happen.

One bit of good news is buried in the article. The Freeman House, though owned by the University of Southern California, has not been open to the public. USC is exploring the possibility of opening it to the public on a limited schedule.

As always, there is a gallery of photos with the article, with images of both La Miniatura and the Ennis House.

Later Update: The Chicago Tribune today has a related article on the inability of homes by famous designers in LA to sell. Homes by Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler have also gone unsold. Even in Chicago, the famous Ferris-Bueller-plummeting-Ferrari house, on the market for over a year, has had its price reduced.