Why on earth are Frank Lloyd Wright's La Miniatura and Ennis Houses rotting away (sometimes literally) on the market? Hey, good question LA Times. Wright only built four textile block houses, and these are two of them (the other two are the Freeman House, owned by USC, and the privately-owned Storer House). They've both been for sale for well over a year and both have been severely pricechopped. Will scare tactics work? Because Crosby Doe, the real estate agent representing the sale of Pasadena's privately-owned La Miniatura, says he's "talking to an international art dealer with Japanese art-collector clients who might be interested in buying the house." ...And moving it to Japan.
Los Feliz's Ennis House, which is owned by the Ennis House Foundation, could end up belonging to a reluctant Ron Burkle by the end of the year. He guaranteed the house's $4.5 million construction loan, which was originally due in June, although the Foundation has gotten that deadline extended six months. The neighbors won't allow the Ennis House to be opened to the public.
Amid all these wild prospects, there is one possible white knight off in the distance. LACMA director Michael Govan has shown interest in helping out, but that interest and $5 million will buy you a famous house. He says "he would need 'a great patron' interested in such 'masterpieces of the built environment' for the museum to play any sort of caretaking role." La Miniatura is currently asking $4.995 million and Ennis is asking $7.495 million.
And to end on a more upbeat note, here's a bonus blind item from the article: real estate agent Jeff Hyland says of the Ennis House "We've had many people look at the house who own other Frank Lloyd Wright houses. We've had Italians, some English and someone on the Forbes top-20 list who brought his famous architect, or starchitect, along." Five points for the rich guy, ten points for the architect.
· Column One: Dramatic, historic and prices slashed, yet no buyers are biting [LAT]
· Ennis House Archives [Curbed LA]
· La Miniatura Archives [Curbed LA]