Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell Announce the Official Reopening of
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Park February 13, 2015
Los Angeles, CA, January, 22, 2015 – Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the Department of Recreation and Parks, Project Restore, Public Works – Bureau of Engineering, the Department of General Services, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation announce February 13, 2015 as the official reopening of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Hollyhock House, an iconic architectural masterpiece in the heart of the vibrant, artistic, cultural, and recreational Barnsdall Art Park (http://www.barnsdall.org/visit/hollyhock-house/). To mark the occasion, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell will lead an Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the project’s collaborators at 4:00 p.m. at the Hollyhock House on February 13, 2015. Following this, for one night only, the City of Los Angeles and the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation will open Hollyhock House for self-guided tours for 24 hours, commencing at 4:00 p.m. on February 13 until 4:00 p.m. on February 14, 2015. Visitors are invited to enjoy the event and share with others via social media with the #WrightAtNight hashtag.
A significant part of Los Angeles’ storied architectural history, Hollyhock House – a National Historic Landmark – was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s magnificent masterpieces marking his first foray into architecture in Los Angeles. Hollyhock House boasts a lyrical and poetic style of architecture “California Romanza,” or “freedom to make one’s own form,” which complements LA’s significance as a trendsetter in the arts and architecture space. Underscoring its importance as one of the world’s architectural gems, Hollyhock House is now on the tentative list of the first modern architecture nominations from the United States to the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.
“Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is a crown jewel of Los Angeles architecture,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Restoring this landmark to its original glory is a great example of how the city can preserve its unique history while providing Angelenos access to art in everyday places.”
“The Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park is a cultural and historical gem in the City of Los Angeles, and I am thrilled that this architectural masterpiece is restored and ready to reopen,” said O’Farrell, chair of the city’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and Los Angeles River Committee. “I want to thank my staff and the city departments who collaborated together and moved this project forward so that every Angeleno who visits the Hollyhock House can appreciate its beauty both inside and out.”
The storied history of Hollyhock House begins with Aline Barnsdall, a Pennsylvanian oil heiress interested in producing theater in her own venue. Purchasing a 36-acre site in Hollywood known as Olive Hill in 1919, Barnsdall commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build a theater where she could produce avant-garde plays. Soon after, the project morphed into a performing arts complex that included her residence. Construction on the project began in 1919 and ended in 1921 when Barnsdall fired Wright, citing costs as the primary reason for the contract’s termination. At the time, Frank Lloyd Wright was already an established architect, who was concurrently working on the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.
A philanthropist, art collector, political radical, and single parent, Barnsdall deeded the land now known as Barnsdall Park and its Frank Lloyd Wright designed structures as a permanent home for the appreciation of art and architecture to the City of Los Angeles in 1927. In doing so, she provided an accessible arts center to the community that incorporated and preserved the famous Hollyhock House as a crucial component. Aline Barnsdall’s pioneering vision gave birth to the California Modernism movement and helped grow the careers of notable architects including Wright, Schindler, and Neutra – all of whom were instrumentally involved in the project.
The house has served various purposes, including a fifteen-year run as the headquarters of the California Art Club beginning in 1927. After a major restoration by the City (1974 – 76) it became a public museum. It was among the first structures to be designated as a historic-cultural monument by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission in 1963. In 2007 it became a National Historic Landmark.
After many incarnations, Hollyhock House is reclaiming its former glory. Hollyhock House is the first house of Wright’s second period and his first residence in Southern California. Named for Barnsdall’s favorite flower, the Hollyhock is incorporated throughout the design scheme of the residence.
The recently completed restoration is an important historical revelation for first-time visitors and regulars alike. Visitors will be able to see and experience the house in much of its original splendor. Floors, windows, doors, decorative molding, and long-forgotten paint colors have been recreated with utmost attention to detail. The latest phase of renovation took place from 2008 though 2014, with a total of $4,359,000 spent on conservation efforts.
Hollyhock House is operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA).
DCA provides educational programming, conservation services, and individual and group tours of this historic site that offer a window into Aline Barnsdall’s life and her artistic vision, in addition to her extraordinary partnership with one of the United States’ greatest architects.
After it reopens on February 13, 2015, Hollyhock House will feature self-guided “Walk Wright In” tours on Thursdays through Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a fee of $7 for adults, $3 for students and seniors with identification, and $3 for children under 12 when accompanied by a paying adult. Special arrangements may be made for docent-led tours, group tours, guided tours, and other engagements by calling 323.913.4031.
About the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) generates and supports high quality arts and cultural experiences for Los Angeles’ 4 million residents and 40 million annual visitors. DCA advances the social and economic impact of the arts and ensures access to diverse and enriching cultural activities through: grantmaking, marketing, development, public art, community arts programming, arts education, and building partnerships with artists and arts and cultural organizations in neighborhoods throughout the City of Los Angeles.
About the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation
Barnsdall Art Park Foundation is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture Barnsdall Park as a dynamic and vibrant artistic, cultural, and recreational destination for Los Angeles and the world. For more information, please visit www.barnsdall.org.