AKA: Hollyhock House, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA; Olive Hill House, Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Taliesin Fellowship (firm); Weil, Martin Architect (firm); Mia Lehrer (landscape designer); James Lord (landscape architect); Rudolph Michael Schindler (architect); Martin Eli Weil (architect); Frank Lloyd Wright (architect)

Dates: constructed 1917-1920

4808 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 90027-5302

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map
Hollywood Boulevard west of North Vermont Avenue intersection

Overview

This wildly original residence emphasized the impact of the California cultural and environment on Frank Lloyd Wright during the 1910s. For this house, Wright referenced Pre-Columbian architecture in the geometrical massing of forms. The architect also employed new geometrical ornamental bands to trim the austere geometry, adding delicacy to what could have been a brutal and heavy aesthetic. Although never fully completed as conceived, the Hollyhock House, called this for its geometricized ornamentation of the hollyhock flower, became one of Wright's most remarkable Post-Prairie Style works.

Building History

Austrian immigrant architect, Rudolph M. Schindler, came to the West Coast to supervise construction of the Hollyhock House for Frank Lloyd Wright, while the master worked on the Imperial Hotel in Japan; originally set on 36-acre named "Olive Hill," the house and garage are part of a small complex of buildings that make up Barnsdall Park; Barnsdall originally envisioned a larger group of buildings to house a theatrical community, although, due to cost over-runs and artistic differences between owner and architect, the entire conception was never completed; in 1927, Barnsdall donated the house and 11 acres to the City of Los Angeles as a public park in memory of her father, the Pennsylvania oil magnate, Thomas Barnsdall; the property has been altered several times to suit the needs of the various agencies occupying it; betweenc. 1927-1942, the California Arts Club staged theatrical productions here; in the later 1940s and 1950s, the property was renovated to suit the Olive Hill Foundation, a group administered by Olivia Clune Murray; August Sarnitz credited the interior and furniture designs for the Barnsdall House to Schindler, 1924-1925. See August Sarnitz, R.M. Schindler Architect 1887-1953, (New York: Rizzoli, 1988), p. 84.

Building Notes

Wright utilized a complex series of flat rooftops as decks to enjoy the sunshine as well as the views of the surrounding hills.

The Aline Barnsdall House, Hollywood, Los Angeles, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, level of significance: Local; A Barnsdall Park / Hollyhock House Tour and Lecture occurred on Saturday, 06/05/2005; it included a private viewing of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in its newly re-designed setting before it re-opened to the public after a 5-year closure for renovation. It also included a presentation by the designers, Mia Lehrer of Mia Lehrer + Associates, and James Lord of Peter Walker and Partners, about the park and their concepts / process involved in the renovation of Hollyhock House.

Alteration

Wholesale renovations restored the house in 1974; renovations of the living room was completed by Martin Weil in 1989; the following year, reproductions of Frank Lloyd Wright's original furniture was added to the house; another large-scale renovation occurred in 1998 and concluded in 2003; this last renovation was funded in part by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which leased Hollyhock House and Park while it undertook subway construction on adjacent land; Mia Lehrer of Mia Lehrer + Associates, Architects, and James Lord of Peter Walker and Partners, Landscape Architects, supervised the restoration;

National Register of Historic Places (May 6, 1971): 71000143 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 1108