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Ennis House Restoration Completed

[July 2007: Workers bid farewell to a job exceptionally well done. Photo by Robert Leary.]

After what seemed like an interminable limbo - will it or won't it be restored? - Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis Brown House has been restored. Which is practically a miracle, considering the house (damaged in the Northridge Quake and again in the winter 2004/2005 rains) was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of America's 11 Most Endangered Places and the World Monuments Fund placed it on its list of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world.

Then in mid-2006, after years of inertia, the Ennis House Foundation got its shit together, got a FEMA grant and a $4.5 million construction loan from First Republic Bank and work commenced. And just a year later, completed. According to the LA Conservancy, the restoration included

a new structural frame to support the motor court, chauffer's quarters, and part of the south wall, which had partially collapsed. The team also replaced the roof and repaired and restored a number of art glass windows and doors. Finally, the team restored and replicated Wright’s concrete textile blocks, many of which had eroded over time or were treated with waterproofing materials that inadvertently caused damage. The project repaired and retained as many of the original blocks as possible, and new replacement blocks were cast from molds made from the originals.The Conservancy provides this handy photo gallery to see the progression. And while we applaud the preservation of the house, we have to ask - will it finally be open to the public?

[July 2007: New motor court, supported by nearly 500,000 tons of concrete. Photo by Robert Leary.]