A Desert Oasis Designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright Apprentice  Lists for $1.5M
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A Desert Oasis Designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright Apprentice Lists for $1.5M

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By Kathryn M.
Having had only two owners since its completion in 1960, the home retains its original turquoise-colored rafters and breezy indoor/outdoor flow.

The late architect Blaine Drake relished in the desert environment. A native of Utah, he spent much of his successful career advocating for energy-efficient structures that both respected and harnessed the unique landscape. One such design, a residential project that Drake completed in 1960, recently listed in the red-rock oasis of Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Nestled in the middle of Paradise Valley's Stone Canyon golf community, just outside of Scottsdale, Arizona, this 1960 design by Blane Drake includes many of his signature features. The low-lying structure trades some windows for shutters that maximize breezy indoor-outdoor living.

According to historical records from Arizona State University, Drake first met the noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright during a lecture he attended while studying at U.C. Berkeley. Drake went on to spend several years studying as one of Wright's original apprentices—first at Taliesin in 1933, then at Taliesin West in Arizona, where he eventually established his own Phoenix-area practice in 1945. Drake retired forty years later in 1985 having received national and international recognition for his work.

The four-bedroom home has only seen two owners since its completion, both of whom carefully maintained many of Drake's original finishes—including turquoise-colored rafters that run throughout the entire structure. Here, a small sitting area is located just off the living room.

While Drake also designed apartment buildings and churches, many of his two hundred designs were single-family homes. This Paradise Valley example preserves many original architectural details, including exposed wood beam construction, natural wood finishes, and a floating steel fireplace. Although the current owners have completed several additions during their long-time residence, the resulting whole pays homage to Drake's characteristic aesthetic. Keep scrolling to see more of this desert-modern abode, currently listed for $1,495,000.

The center of the home features a large living area with wall-to-wall sliding doors that open up the grassy side yard. The current owners have lived in the home since the 1970s, completing some additions since that time, all of which blend seamlessly with the original sections.

A closer look at the living room, which features an original floating steel fireplace and wood paneling. The opposite wall features a series of folding shutters that open the space up to the backyard pool.

The eat-in kitchen has been updated and enlarged throughout the years. The large space offers extensive cabinetry and cabinet space, as well as stainless-steel appliances.

A more formal dining area features a custom table that plays off the home's signature turquoise shade. Sliding doors open up to a courtyard patio.

A look at the courtyard patio off the dining room. A sunken area offers additional space for entertaining or relaxing outdoors.

Back inside, a small family room offers another space to dine or relax. Cork flooring complements the warm wood paneling.

Another view of the family room. The rear wall marks where the house once ended.

The split floor plan features a private corner for the master suite. The generous space includes a connected office area and separate entrance.

A large walk-in shower and dual vanities are two highlights of the master bathroom.

A look at the large sunroom off of the master suite, currently set up as a home office. Corner windows allow warm natural light into the space.

The home offers three additional bedrooms, along with three secondary bathrooms.

A glistening backyard pool provides the perfect complement to the home's characteristic turquoise color scheme. The surrounding patio offers yet another place for enjoying cooler desert nights.

5331 E McDonald Drive in Paradise Valley, Arizona, is currently listed for $1,495,000 by Scott Jarson and Debbie Jarson of azarchitecture/Jarson & Jarson Real Estate.

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