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February 19, 2015
We have oil heiress Aline Barnsdall to thank for bringing Frank Lloyd Wright to Los Angeles to design and build Hollyhock House, completed in 1921. Barnsdall’s 5,000-square-foot home and adjoining theater campus, which she donated to the city of Los Angeles in 1927, is the first of many iconic Wright projects. Some consider Hollyhock House to be the representational foundation of California modernism, although Wright simply referred to it as California Romanza, to reflect the musical symbolism of having the “freedom to make one’s own form.”
Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Los Angeles Reopening

A statue stands poised in the middle of a water feature that overlooks the interior courtyard of Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Hollyhock House. The 1920s residence features design representations of the hollyhock plant (a favorite of the original homeowner, oil heiress and avant-garde theater producer Aline Barnsdall), which can be found along the roofline and at the rooftop’s corners, as well as in many of the surrounding windows. During the spring months, visitors will have the opportunity to see real hollyhock blossoms displayed in the foreground of Wright’s creative designs. The house is now open to the public for self-guided tours, Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Los Angeles Living Room Fireplace

The Hollyhock House living room houses the original concrete block fireplace. The oversize wood furnishings were re-created from Wright's designs. The house was recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

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Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Los Angeles Library

The most recent room to undergo restorations at Hollyhock House is the library. The walls now match their 1946 color and plaster scheme, which Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s son) created. Hardwood floors, which had previously been covered with wall-to-wall carpeting, have been restored in this room, as throughout the house.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Los Angeles Art Gallery Corridor

A long, naturally lit corridor, which leads to the bedrooms, doubles as an art gallery (artworks were placed in storage during restorations and were not viewable at the preview). As is apparent throughout the house, Frank Lloyd Wright’s fondness for Japanese design can be seen in this space.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Los Angeles Dining Room Furniture Design

From a replica of the lampshade that originally perched above the Wright-designed dining room table, to the Hollyhock representations that decorate the chair backs, to the details of the window design, the dining room is as close as it can come to the way the architect envisioned it in 1921. Curator Jeffrey Herr looked through every note, photo, and drawing of the house to re-create even the smallest of details.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Los Angeles Display Nook in Dining Room

A display nook sits above tall, built-in cabinets in the dining room and offers a sneak peek into the kitchen. Hollyhock House closed its doors to the public for five years to undergo major restorations, which included structural upgrades to account for California’s earthquakes. On Valentine’s Day weekend, thousands of Frank Lloyd Wright fans lined up for a 24-hour viewing and free admission. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, and Hollyhock House curator Jeffrey Herr were among the many that came to celebrate the grand reopening.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Los Angeles Kitchen

In 1946, Frank Lloyd Wright's son, Lloyd Wright, took to remodeling Hollyhock House with a midcentury modern approach, refinishing the olive-colored walls and creating warmer, earthier tones. While the kitchen is not a Frank Lloyd Wright design (it seems to hold the essence of the younger Wright's vision), it offers its own historic appeal. Hollyhock House, which resides on the 12-acre Barnsdall Art Park, is open for self-guided “Walk Wright In” tours on Thursdays through Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and $3 for children under 12, when accompanied by a paying adult. Special arrangements may be made for docent-led tours, group tours, guided tours, and other engagements by calling 323.913.4031. Click here for more information on the tours.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Los Angeles Reopening

A statue stands poised in the middle of a water feature that overlooks the interior courtyard of Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Hollyhock House. The 1920s residence features design representations of the hollyhock plant (a favorite of the original homeowner, oil heiress and avant-garde theater producer Aline Barnsdall), which can be found along the roofline and at the rooftop’s corners, as well as in many of the surrounding windows. During the spring months, visitors will have the opportunity to see real hollyhock blossoms displayed in the foreground of Wright’s creative designs. The house is now open to the public for self-guided tours, Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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