Barnsdall Park in Los Angeles
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Feb 24, 2013
Video by Bill Schaeffer
copyright (c) 2013
"Hollyhock House is a National Historic Landmark located in Barnsdall Park in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. It was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a residence for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, and built in 1919--1921. The House is currently under the aegis of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs."
"Hollyhock House is Wright's first Los Angeles project. Built between 1919 and 1923, it represents his earliest effort to develop a regionally appropriate style of architecture for Southern California. Wright himself referred to it as California Romanza, using the musical term meaning "freedom to make one's own form". Taking advantage of Los Angeles' dry, temperate climate, Hollyhock House is a remarkable combination of house and gardens. In addition to the central garden court, each major interior space adjoins an equivalent exterior space, connected either by glass doors, a porch, pergola or colonnade. A series of rooftop terraces further extend the living space and provide magnificent views of the Los Angeles basin and the Hollywood Hills.
Selecting a thirty-six acre site known as Olive Hill, client and architect worked together to develop a plan that included a home for Barnsdall and her young daughter, two secondary residences, a theater, a director's house, a dormitory for actors, studios for artists, shops and a motion picture cinema. Because of financial and artistic differences, only the two secondary residences and the Barnsdall home, Hollyhock House, were built.
The House takes its name from the favorite flower of Aline Barnsdall. At her request hollyhocks were incorporated into the decorative program of the house and stylized representations of the flower may be found on the roofline, wall, columns, planters and furniture.
In 1927, Aline Barnsdall gave Hollyhock House and eleven surrounding acres to the city of Los Angeles for use as a public art park in memory of her father, Theodore Barnsdall. For the next fifteen years the house was home to the California Art Club, which made full use of its dramatic design to stage plays and display artwork. The house was leased again in the 1940s and 1950s by Dorothy Clune Murray's Olive Hill Foundation. In each case the House was altered to accommodate the needs and tastes of these organizations.
A major rehabilitation initiated in 1974 provided improvements and repairs that helped restore much of the building's original appearance. In 1989, the autumnal color scheme of Aline Barnsdall's day was recreated in the living room, and in 1990 Wright's custom-designed living room furniture was replicated and installed in its proper location. Research and restoration remain active priorities for the future.
Today, surrounded by a modern theater, galleries and studios, Hollyhock House comes closer than ever before to realizing its original purpose as the centerpiece of a functioning arts complex. Hollyhock House has been named one of the most significant structures of the 20th century by The American Institute of Architects and achieved National Historic Landmark recognition in 1997. The house attracts thousands of visitors annually, who come from around the world to acknowledge its place in the cultural and architectural history of Los Angeles."