There’s little doubt that Sharon and Lawrence Tarantino love their home. The riverfront house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright circa 1954, is one of just four of therevered American architect’s designs in the state of New Jersey and one of only 270 surviving buildings in the country. The Tarantinos purchased theMillstone, N.J. home in 1988 and gave it a complete restoration to return it to its 1950s glory — including rebuilding the kitchen according to Wright’s original drawings. But because the Tarantinos love their home so much, they are looking to dismantle it piece by piece and move it. Whatever it takes to move the house out of the flood zone where it currently sits.
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As any weather watcher can tell you, it’s been a rough couple years for New Jersey. Tropical storm Irene, Hurricane Sandy and the winter storm known as Nemo have all passed through the state; and each time the Millstone River floods it means extensive repairs to the house. The Tarantinos, who are both architects, are determined to preserve the so-called Bachman Wilson House — which means moving it to higher ground. “We have been here 25 years and over the past couple of years the flooding has become worse,” Sharon Tarantino told The Daily Telegraph. “We have to do what is best for the house.”
The couple has been trying to sell the house for several years. The asking price is $1.5 million — $950,000 for the house and$550,000 to move it somewhere safer. (If you want to spring for a chunk of Hamptons, N.Y. real estate to go underneath the house, the price jumps to $5 million.)
If the Tarantinos can’t find a buyer in the United States, they could ship the house to Italy, where a prospective buyer wants to bring the mid-century modern jewel to Fiesole, a hilltop town near Florence, where Frank Lloyd Wright once lived.
It’s a solution that appeals to Ms. Tarantino because of the Italian town’s connection to Wright. She told The Telegraph, “We want to know that it has a future if we are going to go to the trouble of dismantling it and moving it. We feel that wherever it goes, it has to have a connection to Wright.”