Saturday, December 28, 2013

No word from the City on our Historic Designation Application so we forge forward and do what we can with what we got...

A few images as we reseal the south side of the house.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Funny Details

He had his stove burners inset into the formica counter top. There are still burn marks on the wood. As much as I would like a brand new kitchen, somehow I would hate to part with these characteristics and clues of the past. (We keep a giant cutting board on the counter to cover these holes)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Details!

I was researching like a mad woman this weekend and found out there has been another owner of our home. I was completely floored that I could've missed that!

Fred Griffin 1959-1962

H.S. and Barbara Lauer: March 9, 1962 – January 27th, 1966

L Edward Eisele Jr: January 27th, 1966 – April 26th, 1993

Harmona Conradine Ugard (and Bruce Ugard): April 26th, 1993 - February 28th, 2002

Us: February 28th, 2002 - until death do us part :)

I have an unhealthy attachment to this home, I love it so much and feel so strongly that we are meant to be here.

We found this house by accident. We had an appointment with our realtor, who was late. We were supposed to be viewing the little house across the street with the retro screen block.

We were parked perfectly next to the "For Sale" sign of the Griffin House, such that it wasn't visible. Jeff noticed a crazy black wood fence, really funky design. He walked over to look at it and noticed the For Sale sign and flyers. In reading the flyer, we knew we had to have this house. Our agent phoned as we stood outside hoping to get in. They told us no, it would have to be another day.

The wait was awful, I think it was several days, before we were allowed to come back. We wrote a full offer within an hour of leaving.

Even with all of the problems and money sunk into this place, we love it and feel so lucky to be here.

Finding Fred

We spent last weekend in Carefree looking for information on Fred Griffin.

On Saturday, we drove the winding desert roads looking for the "Weekend House" we have a clipping about. We were also hoping to find the commercial property advertised as The Andre Building. After striking out, we went to the Sundial Plaza listed on the matchbook to poke around. My husband wandered into a real estate office and showed them the articles we had printed out; the gentleman working said we should come back on Sunday, that surely the owner knew him.

We returned on Sunday to look for the residence that Fred lived in at the time of his passing. I was really hoping for his piece de resistance. Not to be. It was a burnt sienna stucco home.

We drove over to the real estate office again and met a great gal named Tara. She knew Fred! I was so excited to speak to someone who knew him! She gave us leads on a couple homes that she thought were his designs and suggested we come back at noon to speak to Harry, who knew Fred better.

We drove around some more to burn a couple hours. Jeff used to work for Paul & Jean Lipman, it was his first introduction to fine art and contemporary architecture. He still tells me stories about that amazing house built into the boulders, we found the driveway but it's tucked up into the rocks and thus not visible.

We finally headed back over to speak to Harry, he had some good stories but emphasized he didn't really know Fred personally, just as a business associate. Tara shared a fabulous round design of Fred's that they called "The Carousel House". We drove by that one as well, it was built into a depression so was somewhat difficult to see from the street. The aerial is much cooler.

View Larger Map

It was a very exciting weekend, but somehow melancholy as well. I wish I could've met him.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I was searching for Fred Griffin on eBay the other day, and look what I found from a seller in Washington!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Finally - a photo!  (Thank you, Walt!)

The flurry of recent activity on this blog is a result of excitement! There is an author, Walt Lockley, writing an article about our own Fred Griffin. He has uncovered some fantastic details about Mr Griffin's history in the valley, fascinating stories surrounding some of the homes he has built and uncanny details about his life and the personal connection to my history, as well. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Griffin House for Dr. Otto Bendheim

6111 No. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley, built in 1963 for Dr. Otto Bendheim.

Dr. Bendheim was the pioneer of "psychiatric autopsies" and the founder of the first private psychiatric hospital in Arizona, Camelback Hospital.  Dr Bendheim even worked with Winnie Ruth Judd, "The Trunk Murdress".

This home was listed and sold by Cionne McCarthy of Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty.  She was kind enough to share her photos with me, however I cannot get them to upload.  The photo below is from her original MLS.

This home shares a lot of characteristics with ours: custom lighting above the soffits, soffits that become a design element of the home, a pond, a Sumac that hangs over the front entry, wood walls, built-in banquets, shelves and display nooks.  The home is/was beautifully preserved (lived in by original owner) until it was sold last year, not sure what renovations have been done by now, though.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Another Griffin find!

Wow, look at this one!

View Larger Map

Touring a Griffin

So, in my last post I shared an aerial of an address found in an article about a Fred Griffin home.  Since that post, I have been so fortunate to have toured the home.  The first Griffin home I have been in, except ours.  However, once we arrived at the address, I realized it was not the aerial I have on this blog.  I just checked Google maps again and this time it is showing me a different address?

We actually drove by the home in the prior post and it looks like it could be a Griffin as well.

The gracious homeowners who showed us around are lucky enough to have the original plans to their home!  It seems the property may have, at one time, been part of the adjacent parcel - similar architecture, and there was originally a bridge over the arroyo connecting the properties.

A few similarities were the trees hiding the front door, a built-in planter inside the front door, the metal details in the same pattern as ours, great storage.

Huge glass windows, planters and louvers

Cool louvers

Amazing original sink and fixture.  The owner said the entire house was painted white (even tiling!) when they purchased.

Beautiful curved wall and block pattern

What a view!
There's that metal pattern again :)

Same metal pattern as we have, although I believe he had this gate fabricated to match the existing metal work.

Same metal pattern as we have

This used to be planter