If you listen closely, you can hear the faint sound: “Ka-CHING!” And suddenly you realize that it was a hell of a lot louder than you think it was:
A house linked to the most celebrated name in architecture is facing the wrecking ball.
Birdwing, a large modernist house built in 1965 in Minnetonka, is targeted for teardown; its parklike 12-acre estate, Birdsong, will be carved into lots for 13 single-family luxury homes.
The distinctive house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. Not the Frank Lloyd Wright of Prairie School fame, but his son, also an architect.
The younger Wright, known as Lloyd Wright, was a well regarded architect in his own right, particularly in California, according to Bobak Ha’Eri, member of Docomomo MN, a modernist preservation nonprofit.
“Lloyd Wright is considered a modern master,” said Ha’Eri. The architect designed the Wayfarers Chapel and a band shell at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as numerous houses in Los Angeles and three houses in the Twin Cities — two in Edina (one of which is still standing), in addition to Birdwing.
Birdwing covers 5578 square feet, with five bedrooms, three baths, and two half-baths. God only knows what the eventual McMansions will look like, but odds are they won’t be the slightest bit distinctive.
Especially if they’re going to crowd thirteen of them onto a twelve-acre parcel.