Prof promoting move of Wright's Bachman Wilson House to Italy

Paolo Bulletti

A New Jersey residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright could soon be moved to Fiasole, Italy with help from Paolo Bulletti, adjunct professor of architecture at Texas A&M’s study abroad venue in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy.

The home’s owners, Sharon and Lawrence Tarantino, don't want Wright’s Bachman Wilson House in Millstone, N.J., which he designed in 1954, to be damaged by floodwaters from the nearby Millstone River.

“The flooding has become worse over the past few years, and we realized that the only alternative to save the house was to move it,” Sharon Tarantino told the New York Times’ Richard Holledge in a February 21, 2013 article.

They approached Bulletti about the home because they knew he had organized an exhibit in Fiesole celebrating the centenary of Wright’s birth and his connection to the town.

Dismantling the home and shipping it to Fiesole, where Wright and his mistress Mamah Borthwick Cheney fled in 1910 to escape a scandal surrounding an affair, would cost $1.5 million, said Bulletti, who is meeting with businesses and individuals who could finance the move.

“We don’t know how much it will cost to rebuild until we know if we have companies that might be interested in sponsoring the rebuilding,” he said.

The house can’t be used as a residence in Fiesole, because it doesn’t meet the town’s planning regulations, said Bulletti. “But it can be erected in protected land, a park or a garden as if it were a sculpture,” he said.

posted May 7, 2013