AIA|LA Iconic LA Tours: The Hollyhock House
April 19, 4:30PM & 5:30PM
Hollywood, CA

AIA|LA Iconic LA Tours: The Hollyhock House

Tuesday, April 19th

Tour has sold out!

Hollyhock House Restoration Project – 2005-2014

Hollyhock House was designed in 1921 by Frank Lloyd Wright and donated by Aline Barnsdall to the City of Los Angeles in 1927.  It is the only Frank Lloyd Wright design in California that is available for public tour as a House Museum.  

Hollyhock House is an iconic and important design in the body of work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Hollyhock House was influenced by the lyrical and poetic style of architecture known as “California Romanza”  or “freedom to make one’s own form”, popular in California at that time. Its design is part of a long history of innovative design that has established Los Angeles as a trendsetter in the arts and architecture.

Its Mayan design motif and its cast concrete members with abstract decoration establish Hollyhock House as a precursor of later textile block buildings. Its layout promotes movement and connections between  interior and exterior spaces. This concept influenced the California ranch style homes and still influences architectural designs to this day.   Hollyhock House has been listed as a National Historic Monument, and was recently nominated to UNESCO for evaluation as a World Heritage Site.  

During the construction of the Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright hired his son Lloyd Wright and Rudolph Schindler to supervise the construction. Schindler hired his friend from Austria, Richard Neutra, to oversee the landscape construction. Afterwards, Schindler, Neutra, and Wright (Lloyd) would all go on to have successful careers in the Modern architecture movement in Southern California. 

For decades, the Hollyhock House suffered extensive damage from seismic events, soil settlement and water intrusion. Some of the original architectural features were altered at various times in the past.   Starting in 2005, the Bureau of Engineering, working with Project Restore, Department of General Services, Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Recreation and Parks, led a 10 year effort to restore this deteriorated residence.  

The main project scope for this iconic landmark included retrofits for structural and seismic stabilization, installed water protection and drainage systems to the house and the site for mitigation of damage due to water intrusion, and implemented historic restoration in compliance with “Secretary of Interiors Guidelines for Historic Restoration” to restore and re-create many architectural features as originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Project repairs incorporated best quality and safety standards in order to meet the project goal of restoring the landmark back to its original 1921 design. The restoration process focused on analysis and details.  The design team performed a great deal of research in order to re-create details that true to the original design. The construction process involved multiple testing, samples, mock-ups or even life size models for review and approval as part of the restoration process and some original interior and exterior finishes and details were recreated through analysis of original material.

Today, visitors can tour the house and enjoy this most beautiful space with magnificent details and the old time charm that may best be expressed by Frank Lloyd Wright quote, “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature”.