5 Frank Lloyd Wright Classics in L.A.

Frank Lloyd Wright is perhaps America’s greatest architect, and we’re lucky that he left seven wonderful works of his art in Los Angeles. These include five homes, a shopping center in Beverly Hills, and a retreat center in the hills above Malibu. Several were built in the 1920s during a textile block phase that almost resemble a Mayan construction.

In 2008 the US National Park service submitted the all of the Los Angeles Frank Lloyd Wright buildings for designation as a single World Heritage site.

Let’s have a look at some of what he left for us in L.A.:

Hollyhock House

Hollyhock House

Hollyhock House was built for an oil heiress from 1919-1921. She originally intended for the property to be part of an arts and theater complex, but when cost overruns got her down she quit while she was ahead and donated the present building to the City of Los Angeles in 1927. Over the decades since it has served as an art gallery for different organizations but was damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. It underwent numerous restorations since 1974 including one to repair damage from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Since 2007 it has been designated a National Historical Landmark.

Hollyhock House Sideview

Hollyhock House Sideview

Ennis House

Ennis House

Ennis House

Wright designed this residential home built in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1924. It is the largest of his L.A. textile block designs that evoke Mayan architecture, and in fact this house was inspired by Mayan temples.

Its distinct appearance led to its use in several films, including The Day of the Locust, Blade Runner, and Rush Hour, and appeared in the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

It is now owned by the billionaire investor Ronald Burkle.

Ennis House Exterior Blocks

Ennis House Exterior Blocks

Storer House

Storer house

Storer house

Tucked into the bottom of the Hollywood Hills on Hollywood Boulevard is Storer House, built from 1922-24. Considered one of his masterpieces, it was intended to look like a Mayan ruin barely visible in the jungle. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

It’s so famous it even inspired a bathroom at Disneyland: one of the bathrooms at California Adventure park has textile block based on Storer House.

Living Room of Storer House

Living Room of Storer House

Freeman House

Freeman house in the Hollywood Hills

Freeman house in the Hollywood Hills

Freeman House is another of the four textile block homes in Los Angeles. It was built in 1923 under the supervision of his son, Lloyd Wright. Earthquake damage has compromised the property now owned by the University of Southern California after a bequest. The University has received $900,000 in federal funds in addition to $1.5 million in school funds to be used in an ongoing restoration.

Front drive of Freeman House in the Hollywood Hills

Front drive of Freeman House in the Hollywood Hills

Sturges House

Sturges House

Sturges House

Sturges House more reminiscent of the classic Wright houses that we imagine, a Usonian house with the blocky lines and prominent decking that seems to blend right in with its environment. It was built later, in 1939, and measures only 1200 square feet.

Anderton Court Shops

Anderton Court Shops in Beverly Hills

Anderton Court Shops in Beverly Hills

The Anderton Court Shops building is right on Rodeo Drive and is the most recent construction on this list, having been constructed in 1952. The distinctive “steeple” rises above an angular ramp to the six stores inside. It too is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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