Even in a city like Rome, where residents park on millennia-old Roman roads and rugby stadiums have archaeological dig sites in the basement, this was a mind-blowing discovery. Curti called unexpectedly walking into an ancient tomb near his house "the most incredible experience of [his] life." And really, if it wasn't, we'd be pretty damn curious about the rest of his day.
A Famous Frank Lloyd Wright House Was Lying In A Contractor's Basement
In 1953, Frank Lloyd Wright introduced a demonstration house for an exhibition of his work in New York, and it was ultimately put on display at the Guggenheim Museum. The house was torn down in 1954, after the exhibition was over, thus joining the ranks of many other Wright buildings we've lost to the years.
Or that's what everyone believed, anyway. For decades, scholars assumed that the building was no more, and listings of Wright works had it as "demolished." But while the house had been dismantled, it was still very much in existence. It spent three decades in a Westchester County basement storeroom in pieces, like an old IKEA coffee table you can't quite bring yourself to throw away.
After the house was taken apart, Wright sold it to a real estate guy named Harold Hayward. When Hayward became ill, he sold the house to David Henken, the contractor who had put up the building. Henken initially tried to sell it forward, but after one buyer declined because the house didn't satisfy the legal minimum cubic-foot requirement in his town and another said no because local building inspectors didn't approve of the flat roof, he gave up and moved on to other projects. And that's how a genuine Frank Lloyd Wright building ended up lingering in a basement like a Nordic Flex for a few decades.