The House of Seven Arches is such an Icon, I have made it one of the ‘FACES’ of Sedona! I sat down with Terrie Frankel who is the owner and resident of this well known property. Here’s the interview with Terrie:
What is the history of The House of Seven Arches?
A: The House of Seven Arches, a five-bedroom, four-bath home located in the Red Rock Heights area, was built in 1978 by Herb Winebarger with the Ball Brothers’ assistance. There is a rumor – that Lucille Ball once owned the house. She did not own the home but owned the property surrounding the entire hillside.
In 1982, my twin sister Jennie bought a home in the Village of Oak Creek. At that time, I lived in Los Angeles and delivered furniture to her. We drove from California to Flagstaff and down Oak Creek Canyon. As we approached the bridge beneath this particular house, I looked up and said, “Oh my God! I want to meet the people who own that place someday.” Two years later, my sister and I met a guy who owned a truss company as well as the House at Seven Arches. Serendipitously, I told him that my sister and I wanted to meet the person who owned that house. He gave us his card and told us he lived in Scottsdale and would show us the place when he was back in town. After he left, my sister said, “Let’s go! We’re getting on the car and following that man home.” We walked up to the front door, and he was surprised to see us. He showed us around, took us outside on this balcony with a magnificent view. He asked me to dinner that night, and I agreed. We started dating. One thing led to another, and we ended up getting married.
My sister moved in and lived here for eight years. We turned the home into a duplex. Unfortunately, she passed away 12 years ago. Now, I use the downstairs for guests who visit.
Everyone thinks that this is Lucille Ball’s house. However, her brother Fred Ball did own the home. Ten years ago, I met Geoffrey Ball, Lucille Ball’s nephew, an architectural designer in Cottonwood. I went to his house and happened to see this piano owned by Lucille with a picture of her playing it. I told him that if ever he wanted to sell the piano, I would buy it. Two years later, he called and said he wanted to sell the piano. We agreed on a price, but he called the next day telling me he couldn’t sell me the piano because his mother was too attached to the memories.
About a year later, I was having an “I Love Lucille Party” here. Lucille’s birthday is August 6, and mine is August 7. I invited Geoffrey and his mom, but sadly she passed away on Mother’s Day. We discussed the piano offer, and his sister thought they could get twice as much for it. I said, “Geoffrey, you could get 50 times what I was going to pay you for the piano.” However, he talked his sister into selling me the piano. Buying that piano was the best thing I ever did. If you would like to know more about the piano’s history, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYSHbpf3Muk).
From the Interview with Jonelle Klein.