Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hollyhock House

We visited the Hollyhock House today. The house was recently restored and is now open to the public. It is situated on a hill (Olive Hill) in Los Feliz and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Aline Barnsdall.

Barnsdall was an oil heiress from Pennsylvania who moved to LA in the 1910s with her daughter. She was an arts patron and a political and social activist (an early suffragette and a single mother who never revealed the identity of her baby's father). She bought the 36-acre hilltop for $300,000 (those were the days!) and commissioned Wright to build her residence, along with a performing arts complex on the site (only the residence and a couple other structures were ultimately completed). It was Wright's first commission in LA.

The house was built between 1919 and 1923 at a cost of $150,000. Eventually client and architect parted ways for financial and design reasons and Wright's son, Lloyd Wright, and Viennese architect Rudolph Schindler oversaw and finished the project.

It is named Hollyhock because the hollyhock (tall, flowering plants) were abundant on the site and were one of Barndall's favorite plants. Wright incorporated a hollyhock motif throughout the interior and exterior of the house (all those tall, pointy-like things).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live on Hollyhock Terrace. That has nothing to do with Hollyhock House-- I just felt like posting a comment.