Frank Lloyd Wright Home vs. Arcadia District


Controversy over Frank Lloyd Wright Home


In 1952, an 84 year-old Frank Lloyd Wright designed a home in the Arcadia District of Phoenix for one of his son's and daughter-in-law. Recently, the home was purchased by attorney Zach Rawling who grew up nearby. His purchase most likely saved the house from being bulldozed. Rawling subsequently set up The David and Gladys Wright Foundation to preserve the house and open it for tours as a museum. If plans are approved, Rawling intends to deed the house and property over to the foundaton.

After purchasing some adjacent properties in an effort to create an appropriate surrounding, Rawling also leased offsite parking from a nearby church. Additionally, he is proposing an event center, gift shop, and café. All are undergound, to help preserve the grounds.

Nevertheless, some of the neighbors are unhappy. In particular, Peter Sperling, the son of University of Phoenix founder, is conducting an active campaign opposing the project. Evidently, he's OK with preserving the house for the neighborhood, just not with letting the rest of us have an opportunity to visit. In a letter to the Arizona Republic. Sperling writes about Frank Lloyd Wright's desire to blend into the “natural beauty.” I don't know whether he's referring to all the native citrus trees or the sprawling homes of Phoenix's Arcadia District:

“His gorgeous works did more than just fit in with the existing land and environment — they exalted them. He did not construct buildings to stick out of nearby mountains like sore thumbs, but rather to blend into them and reflect the natural beauty that existed there already.”

Of course, perhaps Wright's most famous and loved building is The Guggenheim Museum in New York City which hardly blends into the “natural beauty” of Manhattan's Upper Eastside.


The Wright House in Arcadia is a stunning home, but it can hardly be claimed that this house blends into the neighborhood. Neighbors, while thankful that Rawling saved the house from destruction, are primarily concerned about what its commercialization will mean. It will be interesting to see if the community and Rawling and his foundation will find common ground. Utlimately, the city will determine whether they are going to issue the permits necessary to proceed with the project.

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Spring Cleaning Ideas – How To Get Rid Of Stuff Part 6

Part 6: Artwork

How exciting! If you are now ready to tackle the final segment of overhauling your child’s room, that means the project is nearly complete and you can see just how awesome it’s going to be. Let’s wrap it up!

Of all the things we’ve discussed in this series, artwork is perhaps the most difficult to let go of. However, if you’ve been a parent for any length of time, you know that children produce a LOT of artwork! From a sentimental perspective it’s tempting to keep every single doodle and scribble your little artist creates. Take it from experienced mothers though – you won’t actually want all of it down the road. There’s no need to waste effort and space just to keep something that won’t be meaningful in the long term. To determine how to get rid of anything that isn’t particularly compelling, ask yourself these questions:

  • Would I frame it? Then do! Don’t put it back in a drawer for later. If you’re going to display it, then get on with it.
  • Does it represent a milestone? Such as the first time she was able to write her full name? If yes, strongly consider keeping it.
  • Is the child particularly proud of it? If so, don’t just keep it. Hang it on the wall in a frame with good light. Just to show him that you are proud of it too!
  • Is it funny or anecdotal? Keep it because these are the things that help us remember wonderful stories years from now.

If the artwork doesn’t fall somewhere within these reasons for keeping it, take a picture of the artwork and then get rid of it! Just snap a photo, close your eyes, wish it well, and let it flutter into the recycle bin. We promise you won’t miss anything inconsequential.

Before we sign off on this series we have a final suggestion to round out your project to perfection: Once you’ve decided on everything you’re going to keep, store it in clear containers at the sight level of your child. Floor level for small children, standing level for young children, desk or higher for teens. If you’re going to hang on to all that stuff and go to the trouble to organize it, then make sure it’s as readily apparent as possible so they USE it! Happy spring cleaning!

Spring Cleaning Ideas – How To Get Rid Of Stuff Part 5

Part 5 – How to organize and get rid of your kid’s books and magazines 

We hope you’re enjoying this series about how to get rid of your kid’s stuff! We are almost done. Toys are now under control, and the clothes are back in sane formation. Let’s move on to books and magazines. These sure stack up fast and kids’ aren’t particularly inclined to get rid of them. Here’s how to go about it.

 First, toss anything that’s no longer age appropriate. If your child is eight years old and still has books from when he was four, then it’s time to give them away. They may be cute but they aren’t really serving a purpose. Unless they are collectable or keepsakes, in which case you can keep them.

Next, sort more thoroughly through the books you’re considering keeping and let your kiddo help you decide which ones to keep. Yes, let them decide! Even if you love a particular book, don’t be afraid to let it go if you can’t convince your child to enjoy it. They will be much more likely to return to their bookshelf consistently if they know it only holds books they like and are thus easy to find.

To clean up any stacks of magazines, simply limit the number of issues per subscription that they’re allowed to keep. Let them pick their top 5 favorite issues and toss the rest. With the exception of periodicals that make reference to important historical events. They will likely enjoy these when they are adults. To ensure your child actually gets around to enjoying the magazines make them easily accessible on an open shelf.  Stacked in a drawer won’t do much. You can also place them next to the desk to teach the idea of reference material, or next to the bed encourage nightly reading.

Next read Part 6 – How to organize and get rid of your kids artwork

Spring Cleaning Ideas – How To Get Rid Of Stuff Part 4

Part 4: How to organize and/or get rid of your kids clothes

Okay, now that you’ve got the toys under control you will actually have enough space in your child’s room to work on the other stuff. Up next: clothes! Between overzealous grandparents and growth spurts, there’s a good chance the drawers are overflowing with items that are no longer of use. Here’s what to do…

First, only items that can be laundered back to good use should be kept. You should obviously get rid of things that are deeply stained. But we propose that you also go ahead and part ways with items that need mending. Why? If you haven’t taken the time yet to repair it you’re not going to! So get rid of it. Make 2-3 piles for castoffs. Toss Out (stuff that’s beyond repair), Donate (clothes that still have life,) and Sell (items that still have value and could help you finance the next round of clothes you’ll soon need to buy.)

Next, sort the clothes you’re keeping by function. School clothes, dress clothes, play clothes, etc. Then, thin the piles by considering if things match or can be easily coordinated. If there’s nothing to wear with an item and you don’t want to make a special purchase to make it usable, get rid of it.

Check also for too many of one item. Perhaps your family goes bonkers with jammies during the holidays, or swimsuits in the summer. If either of these could be its own huge pile, this is a good example of items to get rid of because your child will never possibly wear them all.

Regarding school clothes, the best thing to check for is fit. If it doesn’t fit this school year, and won’t fit by the time school starts again next year, toss it. Especially if your child’s school has a dress code. Same goes for special occasion apparel. Party dresses and mini-suits aren’t worth storing if there’s no chance they’ll get worn again, no matter how darling they are!

Once you’ve narrowed things down based on these ideas, it’s time to bring in the expert – your kiddo! Even if you love a particular shirt or dress, there’s no good reason to keep it if you know that your child will flat out refuse to wear it. This part can be a lot of fun. Set up a couple of new laundry baskets and as you both decide on what to keep let your kiddo deliver it to the appropriate basket. Or allow her to help hang things in the closet and put them in drawers. She will appreciate feeling included, and it will do her self esteem some good knowing that you care about his or her insight on the matter.

Next read – Part 5 How to organize and get rid of your kids books, magazine, and artwork

Spring Cleaning Ideas – How To Get Rid Of Stuff Part 3

Part 3: How to organize and/or get rid of toys

This next suggestion is going to sound a bit crazy, but stick with us. You are now going to empty the containers in which you placed the toys. Put the small toys in a pile on the floor next to the pile of large toys you already created. You will need a few to several clear containers for this part of the reorganization so set up empty ones near you.

Now, start filling the containers with toys by type. So, outdoor toys go together, dolls go together, trucks and cars go together, etc. This also applies to toys that are parts of a collection. For instance, ponies or dolls. If you’re child has a large enough collection of these, they should also go in their own separate container.

By organizing the toys this way you accomplish several things. One, it’s easier for playtime to be fun, which ensures that all of the toys get used because they are together. After all, what good is a pretend frying pan if you can’t find the stove it goes with? Two, as you work to separate and organize you’ll likely find duplicates and can get rid of them. It’s doubtful your kiddo needs two of the same toy car. Three, it’s your opportunity to bring your child into the decision of what to keep and what to get rid of. Often times, kids are more willing to let go of stuff if it feels like their idea. When they see a lot of their toys piled together, they are more likely to let go of things that are not very entertaining.

Don’t be afraid to also get rid of entire collections if you’re child has clearly outgrown them. Rather than asking about them piece by piece, first ask “Do you still like playing with cars?” If the answer is no, then you can skip the rest of the work and just get rid of the whole set. Make sure as well that you aren’t hanging on to stuff that your child no longer needs because you think it’s cute. If you want a clutter free home, you have to accept that our babies grow up and we have to get rid of stuff along the way!

Next read Part 4 – How to organize and/or get rid of your kids clothes

Spring Cleaning Ideas – How To Get Rid Of Stuff Part 2

Part 2: How to group and pile

Think of this part of the project as a “sweep.” It is a broad and general activity with just one goal – get everything in the room into a pile or clear container filled with related items. The beauty of this is that it requires very little thought, because you aren’t yet making any “keep or toss” decisions. The challenge of it is that you are working in a space that is likely hard to navigate. We’re operating on the premise that you’re functioning in the typical disaster mode found in kids’ rooms. Just start somewhere and begin making those piles and filling those containers. What goes together?

  • Large toys – stacked on top of or next to each other in one area
  • Small toys – in a container
  • Stuffed animals – one big pile
  • Clothing – one big pile
  • Artwork – in a container
  • Books and magazines – stacked or in a container
  • Bedding, blankies, pillows – one big pile

That should just about cover everything in a typical child’s room. If you encounter items that will not remain in the room because they belong elsewhere, send them away immediately. But don’t waste time finding the perfect new place for them. Just get rid of them and deal with it later. Stay focused, you are on a mission!

If there are any items about which you are undecided, don’t ponder it at this phase – they go in a pile for now. One huge benefit of initially creating the large piles and containers is that if you are called away from the project or need to take a break, it will be easy to start again because you’re not returning to an only “slightly managed mess.” Also, if, as you work you encounter stuff that you know without a doubt will not be kept, do one of two things. Throw it away if it’s ready to be dumped, or put it in a separate container or pile that includes things that you will want to sell or give away.

Now that you have all of your mini-mountains of things segregated, it’s time to move onto learning specific tactics for each type of stuff!

Next read Part 3: How to organize and/or get rid of toys

Spring Cleaning Ideas – How To Get Rid Of Stuff

Part 1: Intro to how to organize the clean up

You may be of the opinion that you’ve already witnessed a few rather large collections of arbitrary items in your lifetime. Sure, we’ve all been to at least one garage sale. But when it comes to accumulating things, you haven’t seen anything yet unless you are a parent. Kids are seemingly surrounded by stuff on all sides the moment they are born. It’s crazy! As their interests and activity levels grow, so does their collection of stuff. At some point you look around the house and think, “No more stuff until some of this stuff is gone!!!”

But, how to go about it? Within minutes of starting the project you might feel overwhelmed and uncertain. What you need is a plan and a method! We are here to help you out.

Our method isn’t necessarily rocket science, but it’s hugely valuable because it was created by an actual mom with 15 years experience in spring-cleaning her daughter’s room. It is especially useful because she created it based on a room that is a veritable disaster. This advice isn’t necessarily for perfect moms who will be purging just a few items from an already clean room. This is for reality…children’s rooms that verge on apocalyptic at times! Let’s get started.

The most important thing to consider is the idea of grouping and piling. Both of these are the necessary first steps if you want the sorting phase to be easy later. It is highly likely that this part of the project will stretch down the hall and even into another room, until you are finally able to see some floor space in your child’s room. So make sure any spaces adjacent to your kiddo’s room have free space available.

To accomplish a manageable form of sorting you are going to use large, plastic storage containers for the grouping and piling phase. Purchase the clear ones so you and your child can see what’s inside. Opt for containers with lids because they can be stacked after the room is under control. Buy medium size containers. If they’re too small, you won’t be able to use them for large groupings of items, and if they are too big it will be a nightmare to try and move them around efficiently.

Next read Part 2 – How to group and pile