Hollyhock House, the landmark East Hollywood residence that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for heiress Aline Barnsdall in 1919, will reopen to the public today following a two-year, pandemic-induced closure. During the closure, the Los Angeles city government, which owns and operates the house, embarked on a series of conservation and restoration projects and created a new virtual tour to teach visitors about one of Wright’s most influential California projects.
Hollyhock House's (1) west facade, 2021 and (2) south terrace, 2021. Photos © Paul Cozzi, click to enlarge
The house, which in 2019 became the first and only designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in Los Angeles, is known for its interwoven exterior and interior spaces, stylized ornamentation, and lavish stone-and-wood interiors. Barnsdall intended it to be the centerpiece of a larger art center, but she abandoned the project after finding that she deeply disliked the house soon after moving in. In 1927, she donated it to the city of Los Angeles, and today, it serves as the heart of a public art park not unlike the one Barnsdall originally envisioned.
Hollyhock House, interior details, 2021. Photo © Paul Cozzi
Following the complex’s closure at the beginning of the pandemic, restoration crews completed conservation work on the house’s cast stone, woodwork, windows, and landscape, as well as exterior and structural work on Residence A (1921), an auxiliary house Wright designed on the site. Restoration of Residence A’s interior and landscape is ongoing.
Self-guided tours of the house can now be booked online. (Advance reservations, at $7 a ticket for adults, are required.) And on August 20, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs will host a free afternoon block party on the art park grounds to celebrate the house’s reopening.
Hollyhock House's dining room, 2021. Photo © Paul Cozzi