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Graves’ Snyderman House burns down
The Snyderman House after the July 30 fire. Photo © Kelty Taylor Design

The 1972 Snyderman House in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a seminal early project of Michael Graves, burned to the ground on July 30. The house is perhaps the best example of the Modernist work of Graves’ early career. Arson is suspected, but has not been confirmed.

The home’s original owners, Sanford and Joy Snyderman, left the house in 1998 and sold it in December 1999 to developers Joseph Sullivan and William Swift who initially had plans to tear it down and develop a number of homes on the property. Local architect Matt Kelty, AIA, started a nonprofit organization called Eleventh Commission Inc. to potentially purchase the home and save it. The house has remained on the site in disrepair since 1998, and vandals "tagged" the house, knocked holes in interior walls, and broke glass.

The house was the subject of much attention in the past three years. Kelty told RECORD, “More than 3,000 attended the two open houses sponsored by Eleventh Commission, Inc., and at least two dozen student groups were provided private tours. Photographers of international fame visited to capture the deteriorating design on film, and members of academia who happened through the Midwest would call and meet us at the house.”

John E. Czarnecki, Assoc. AIA