The Wright Stuff: A masterpiece in Culbreath Isles
The sweeping lines.
The elegant geometry.
The stunning use of wood and stone.
Think of 4937 Lyford Cay as Florida’s Fallingwater, a tropical counterpart to the legendary Pennsylvania residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Except it wasn’t designed by Wright, and it’s not perched above a waterfall — it sits on a unique waterfront property in Tampa’s exclusive Culbreath Isles neighborhood with uninterrupted vistas stretching from the Howard Frankland to the St. Pete skyline.
“This is the best view in all of Tampa Bay,” confidently declares Nick Janovksy of Premier Sotheby International Realty. “You can even see the Trop when it’s illuminated.”
The sellers, Ted and Bobbie Taub, lived at this address for 37 years in a home that didn’t take advantage of the view — until, in 2008, they replaced the original home with a dazzler designed by the highly regarded Tampa architect Sol Fleischmann.
It’s no accident that the home is evocative of the Wright aesthetic. The Taubs wanted a home that would both open up to the water and reflect Ted Taub’s affinity for the rugged landscapes of the American West — sentiments right in line with Wright’s (and Fleischmann’s) vision of architecture that lives in harmony with nature.
When you first approach the home, you don’t see that it’s on the water. That’s intentional, says Janovsky. “They wanted it private — even the trees are plotted just the right way. That’s their hidden gem back there — that is open bay.”
Once you enter, the bay waters and the home’s expansive patio are immediately apparent through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the living room — a spectacular space distinguished by a beamed tray ceiling, a suavely understated fireplace wall, a gorgeous Steinway and a sunken bar that is the perfect spot for sipping a Manhattan and watching the sunset.
The horizontality of the design creates a sense of openness and flow throughout the 5,662 square feet of living space, which includes four bedrooms and six-and-a-half baths.
And the details— the hand-selected and quarried stone, the handmade 10-foot mahogany doors, the geometric patterning in the entryway, the built-in bookcases in the library — convey a pervasive warmth.
It’s also a home that’s up to the minute, with subZero and Wolf appliances and top-of-the-line media, HVAC and security systems (including a safe room).
And on a day when gardeners were making lots of noise on the grounds, nothing was audible inside because of the high-impact windows — which, like the metal roof, are built to sustain winds up to 120 mph.
Not that you’d want to stay inside for long. With its in-ground pool and heated spa, deep-water dock, lush landscaping and parking for up to 14 (including a three-car garage), it’s an ideal home for entertaining both indoors and out.
I suspect Mr. Wright would approve.
4937 Lyford Cay, Tampa • $7,749,000 • Realtor: Nick Janovksy/Premier Sotheby’s International Realty
[Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story misstated Bobbie Taub’s first name as Bonnie.]