August 7, 2002
|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 homes 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.