On Friday, February 13th, The Hollyhock House, designed by iconic architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, was opened for a unique 24 hour event titled #WrightAtNight. The LA Mayor, Press, and general public were all invited to enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the unveiling of the newly restored Hollyhock House. We were stoked to be able to cover this event as this specific house along with the other works from FLW stand out as timeless designs and are still respected today as true modern works of art.
If you follow the life and works of Frank Lloyd Wright then you are familiar with the Hollyhock House in East Hollywood. It is a unique masterpiece designed using the Mayan Revival style found in a portion of FLW's works. Built in 1919-1921 as the personal residence of oil heiress Aline Barnsdall. Due to budget reasons, the full project was never fully completed. In 1946 Wright's son performed restorations to the house that were never appreciated as they did not keep to the original design planned by his father. Then again the house underwent a restoration after damage received from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, opening in June 2005.
In 2008 the property was submitted to the US National Park Service and designated as a World Heritage Site and soon underwent its most recent restoration proving to be the most meticulous in respect to taking the house back to its originally design and purpose.
The event was set to open at 4pm on Friday so as we arrived a few minutes early, we were greeted by a manageable line. Within minutes, the line began to grow as thousands of Angelino's began to arrive after their work day ended.
We quickly learned that Mayor Eric Garcetti was running a bit late and that the tours would not begin until after the press event had wrapped up (and it hadn't even started yet)!
As we waited for our tour to begin, we we took some moments to soak in the architecture as the sun lowered over the Westside.
Frank Lloyd Wright's personal Bentley was on display near the front door of the house - not too shabby!
It was finally time for the tour to begin, we had waited in line for a few hours but as you will see in the following photos, it was worth the wait. Photography is normally disallowed in the house but for the grand opening, press and photographers were welcomed in.
There were a few guides to provide information on the restoration and history of the house as we toured the property. The dining room set seen above is the only original furniture to remain in the house. Off to the right you can see the kitchen where some of the cabinets are missing their doors.
A rare glimpse of a glass corner seen here on the left side. This technique was also famously used by Wright on Fallingwater.
The house was designed with a tunnel that would allow water to flow from the courtyard pool under the house, to the moat in front of the fireplace. Water would then continue to fountain on the northwest side of the property.
Even the attention to detail on the door handles was impressive.
It was a great night for the city of Los Angeles and for the preservation of modern design. We want to send a big thanks to the Mayor and the city for undertaking the restoration and allowing us to be apart of this grand opening....And to CoolHaus for the ice cream.
View more photos from the evening by searching the hashtag #wrightatnight.
The Hollyhock House can be toured daily. For more information, visit the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation website.