clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

First Frank Lloyd Wright House in Los Angeles Finally Reopening

New, 15 comments

Six years ago, another round of restorations began on the Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park, the first house Frank Lloyd Wright designed in Los Angeles, built in the early 1920s for bohemian oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, and a public museum since the mid-1970s. Now, finally, the work is winding down and the remarkable house is readying to reopen to the public. According to a press release from City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, visitors at the reopening in February will be able to "see and experience the house in much of its original splendor. Floors, windows, doors, decorative molding, and long-forgotten paint colors have been recreated with utmost attention to detail."

Barnsdall bought the 36-acre park site in 1919 (it was called Olive Hill at the time) and hired Wright to built a theater "where she could produce avant-garde plays." But Barnsdall fired Wright in 1921, "citing costs as the primary reason." In 1927, she deeded the park and its structures to the city of Los Angeles. After a "major restoration" in the mid-1970s, Hollyhock became a public museum. The house is named for the flower that shows up repeatedly in the design.

This last round of upgrades caps off six years of work, starting in 2008, that cost more than $4 million in funds from national and state sources. (There was even more work done right before that; these FLW houses are beautiful and needy.) Barnsdall Park is also home to other stunning examples of Modern architecture from greats Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra. The Hollyhock is both a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and a National Historic Landmark, and is now on the US's tentative list of Modern architecture nominees for the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Hollyhock House will reopen on February 13, 2015 at 4 pm and be open to the public via "Walk Wright In" self-guided tours on Thursdays through Sundays ($7 for adults, $3 for students/seniors/children), and for 24 hours following the ribbon cutting.