Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: de la Vaux, John, Building Contractor (firm); Taliesin Fellowship (firm); Weil, Martin Architect (firm); Wright, Eric Lloyd, Architect (firm); John de la Vaux (building contractor); Martin Eli Weil (architect); Eric Lloyd Wright (architect); Frank Lloyd Wright (architect)

Dates: constructed 1923-1924

2 stories, total floor area: 2,967 sq. ft.

8161 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA 90069

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Overview

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) designed this residence for a homeopathic physician and surgeon, John Storer, for a hillside site in Hollywood, CA. The architect devised an unusual T-shpaed floor plan for this "Textile Block" House, one of four that he designed in the Los Angeles area in the early 1920s, including the Millard, Freeman, Ennis and Storer Houses; he located the dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, servant's quarters all on the first floor, reserving the prime living area for the second. This room, set amidst the trees and attached to two balconies, allowed for maximized views of Hollywood on one end and the nearby hills on the other. Unlike the Millard House, the Storer House did not have its concrete block walls cut with geometric openings. Walls and columns had a strongly Mayan look to them, ornamented from top to bottom with geometric detailing. Wright was not alone in his fascination with Mayan architecture, as the Los Angeles architect Robert Stacy-Judd (1884-1975), a British expatriate, became an expert in Mayan design and archaeology.

Building History

In the early 1920s, Wright planned this residence for a plot in Hollywood's Cielo Vista tract for a nearly 60-year-old physician, John Storer (1861-1933). Storer had been born in ME, but lived with his family in Madison, WI, in 1880, where his father was a merchant. He had three sisters. By 1910, Storer resided in Chicago, IL. In Chicago, he lodged in a rooming house on Lake Avenue, according to the 1910 US Census, and by 1920, he lived in rented quarters at 1742 Bronson Avenue in Los Angeles. The 1920 Census indicated that he was not currently employed. Storer ived in this four-bedroom, nearly 3,000-square-foot dwelling, from 1923 until 1927. The US Census of 1930 He died in Los Angeles of acute perforative appendicitis on 05/09/1933.

The writer Pauline Gibling Schindler (1893-1977), the ex-wife of architect Rudolph Schindler (1887-1953), who was a one-time assistant to Wright, rented the place beginning in 1931, making it something of an artist's hangout for a few years.

In 1984, the Los Angeles real estate firm of Mossler Randall and Doe offered the Storer House for an asking price of $790,000. Movie producer Joel Silver bought the house, and began a careful and costly $1 million restoration project in 1984; he remained in the house until selling it in 2002 for $2.9 million. (Silver, a Wright devotee, would go on to buy Wright's Wright’s Auldbrass Plantation in Beaufort County, SC, in 1986.) Silver added a swimming pool, a feature included in Wright's original plans, but skipped initially for cost reasons.

The Storer House again went on the market in 2013 and was sold by Modern house specialists Crosby Doe Associates in 02/18/2015 for $6.8 million to buyers Richard and Jennifer Emerson. The seller had held out for $6.9 million.

Alteration

Wright returned to make some alterations to the Storer House in the 1930s. Wright's talented son, Lloyd Wright (1890-1978), also did some restoration work on the Storer House in the 1970s.

This 1984-1986 restoration was supervised by Eric Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright's grandson, and the architect Marin Eli Weil. The American Institute of Architect's California Council recognized this effort in 03/1986 with a design award. The Los Angeles Conservancy, the city's primary historic preservation group, also presented Wright and Weil with a preservation award.

Los Angeles County Historic-Cultural Monument: 96

National Register of Historic Places: 71000152 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 501