Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park


The Hollyhock House was the private residence for Aline Barnsdall, an oil heiress from Chicago, who hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design a theater company on Olive Hill in Hollywood. The house was named after Barnsdall favorite flower, the hollyhock, and hollyhock details are seen throughout the house. The project is responsible for bringing Frank Lloyd Wright to Los Angeles, and was the architect's first project in the city. Wright's design reflects the exotic influences seen in Wright's later work, particularly his fascination with pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican forms. Although the house appears to be constructed of heavy materials, it is actually stucco-on-wood construction. As the elder Wright was preoccupied with the construction of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, he sent three of his staff members to Los Angeles to oversee the project: his son Lloyd Wright, Jr., Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra. All three of these architects would stay in Los Angeles after the completion of the project. Ms. Barnsdall had visions of building an entire cultural complex, complete with multiple buildings, but only three structures were ever realized. Overall, the project was characterized by delays caused by Ms. Barnsdall's indecisiveness, and personal tensions that developed between the elder Wright and his client. By 1927, the professional relationship had deteriorated enough that Barnsdall decided to donate the property to the city. She only briefly lived in the house, finding it too large for her tastes, and resided in the smaller Residence 'B' property located on the same site. Barnsdall died in 1946. In 1976, Hollyhock House began to be operated as a house museum. In 1997 the house was designated as a National Historic Landmark. Currently, the house is undergoing an extensive restoration and stabilization effort.

Constructed, 1923


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