The curvy Norman Lykes House sits on the edge of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, tucked into the Arizona desert landscape. Also know as the Circular Sun House, the Lykes House is the final residential design that Frank Lloyd Wright completed before his death in 1959. With three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and spanning 3,095 square feet, the fully furnished Lykes House will go up for auction on Oct. 16, without any reserve or any starting bid.
Before Dallas-based Heritage Auctions announced the upcoming auction, the Lykes House went on and off the market several times after its second owner, Linda Melton, died and left the property to her family. Nate Schar, the Heritage Auctions director of luxury real estate, explained to ARCHITECT in an email that the family settled on the auction process after failing the sell the property for $3.6 million in 2016, or at reduced prices of $3.25 million and $2.65 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Wright designed the Lykes House in 1959 for Norman and Aimee Lykes, completing the design months before his death in April of that year. Having completed the Guggenheim Museum in New York just before beginning the Lykes House, Wright applied his exploration of circular geometry to the residential design, according to a press release from Heritage Auctions.
After Wright's death, his apprentice John Rattenbury took over the project, completing construction on the Lykes House in 1967. The finished residence offered sweeping views and featured five bedrooms, three bathrooms, ample living areas, an outdoor pool, and classic elements of Wright's designs, such as handcrafted Philippine mahogany cabinetry.
In 1994, Linda Melton, the second owner of the Lykes House, worked with Rattenbury to refurbish the residence. Together, they reconfigured the house into a three-bedroom, three-bath property, updated the HVAC system, and transformed an existing workshop space into a more modern media room.
Bidding facilitated by Heritage Auctions will begin on Oct. 16. The auction house requires all bidders to pre-qualify before the auction.