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Florida buyer acquires local Frank Lloyd Wright home, plans restoration

“The long-term plan we have for the home is for it to become an overnight rental facility, event rental venue, corporate retreat, education center and house museum"
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — One of St. Louis’ two Frank Lloyd Wright homes has sold, with the buyer saying he has plans to turn the historic home into an events facility and museum.

Michael Miner, CEO of the Florida-based Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative, said in a release earlier this week that he has purchased the Pappas House in Town & Country. The home, located at 865 Masonridge Road in Town & Country, had been owned by the Pappas family and was built by Ted and Bette Pappas. Miner did not disclose how much he paid for the home.

“The long-term plan we have for the home is for it to become an overnight rental facility, event rental venue, corporate retreat, education center (covering K-6, middle, high school, and university students), and house museum, available for regular low-cost public tours. We plan to keep it a very busy place, with access for everyone,” Miner said in a statement.

Built in 1964, the 2,310-square-foot home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It sits on more than 3 acres and is listed on the National Register of Historic Place. Miner said he will begin restoration on the historic property this spring, with initial projects to include installing a new septic system and roof. Ongoing “cosmetic” renovations will follow the major infrastructure projects, he said.

The Pappas House’s sale comes just a few months after its owners said they were “taking a break” in their pursuit of selling the historic home and unsure of their next steps. The family started trying to sell the property following Bette Pappas’ death in early 2018. It originally tried to sell the property off market, but was unable to find a buyer committed to maintaining the home. They switched strategies in May 2019, listing it publicly with Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty, yet no deal emerged despite significant interest from prospective buyers.

Miner’s plans for the Pappas House means both of St. Louis’ Frank Lloyd Wright homes will be public venues. The only other Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the region has been preserved as a public space and is located in Ebsworth Park in Kirkwood.

Miner said the Town & Country home is one of two Frank Lloyd Wright properties his nonprofit plans to acquire.

“The idea will be to use one home as a for profit model, and the other as a non-profit. In each case, we want to demonstrate to others that buying a Frank Lloyd Wright building and restoring it to its original condition is not only a benefit to the community in which it located, and is the right thing to do, but is also a wise financial investment,” he said.

He said he has “mixed feelings” about Frank Lloyd Wright Homes becoming museums, but noted the approach may be the only way to save the historic properties.

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