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Valuing iconic design: Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in Oak Park, Illinois

  • Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt
  • Alexandra Mastro

This study investigates the willingness of homebuyers to pay for co-location with iconic architecture. Oak Park, Illinois was chosen as the study area given its unique claim of having 24 residential structures designed by world-famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in addition to dozens of other designated landmarks and three preservation districts. This study adds to the limited body of existing literature on the external price effects of architectural design and is unique in its focus on residential architecture. We find a premium of about 8.5% within 50-100m of the nearest Wright building and about 5% within 50-250m. These results indicate that an external premium to iconic architecture does exist, although it may partially be attributable to the prominence of the architect

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43470/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 43470.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Housing Studies, 2012, 27(8), pp. 1079-1099. ISSN: 0267-3037
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:43470
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Gabriel Ahlfeldt & Wolfgang Maennig, 2010. "Impact of sports arenas on land values: evidence from Berlin," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 205-227, April.
  2. J F McDonald & D P McMillen, 1990. "Employment subcenters and land values in a polycentric urban area: the case of Chicago," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(12), pages 1561-1574, December.
  3. Song, Yan & Knaap, Gerrit-Jan, 2003. "New urbanism and housing values: a disaggregate assessment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 218-238, September.
  4. McMillen, Daniel P. & McDonald, John F., 1991. "Urban land value functions with endogenous zoning," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 14-27, January.
  5. Wu, JunJie & Adams, Richard M. & Plantinga, Andrew J., 2003. "Amenities In An Urban Equilibrium Model: Residential Development In Portland, Oregon," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 21961, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  6. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Georgios Kavetsos, 2011. "Form or Function? The Impact of New Football Stadia on Property Prices in London," SERC Discussion Papers 0087, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  7. Daniel Gat, 1998. "Urban Focal Points and Design Quality Influence Rents: The Tel Aviv Office Market," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 16(2), pages 229-247.
  8. Ed Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000. "Consumer City," NBER Working Papers 7790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  10. N. Edward Coulson & Michael L. Lahr, 2005. "Gracing the Land of Elvis and Beale Street: Historic Designation and Property Values in Memphis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 487-507, 09.
  11. Kerry D. Vandell & Jonathan S. Lane, 1989. "The Economics of Architecture and Urban Design: Some Preliminary Findings," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 17(2), pages 235-260.
  12. Gabriel Ahlfeldt & Wolfgang Maennig, 2010. "Stadium Architecture and Urban Development from the Perspective of Urban Economics," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 629-646, 09.
  13. Do, A Quang & Grudnitski, Gary, 1995. "Golf Courses and Residential House Prices: An Empirical Examination," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 261-70, May.
  14. McDonald, John F. & Bowman, H. Woods, 1979. "Land value functions: A reevaluation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 25-41, January.
  15. Hough, Douglas E. & Kratz, Charles G., 1983. "Can "good" architecture meet the market test?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 40-54, July.
  16. McMillen, Daniel P., 1996. "One Hundred Fifty Years of Land Values in Chicago: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 100-124, July.
  17. Brent L. Mahan & BStephen Polasky & Richard M. Adams, 2000. "Valuing Urban Wetlands: A Property Price Approach," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(1), pages 100-113.
  18. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Wolfgang Maennig, 2010. "Substitutability and Complementarity of Urban Amenities: External Effects of Built Heritage in Berlin," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 285-323.
  19. Douglas S. Noonan & Douglas J. Krupka, 2011. "Making—or Picking—Winners: Evidence of Internal and External Price Effects in Historic Preservation Policies," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 39(2), pages 379-407, 06.
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