Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, Finally Restored

Published March 9, 2015
Updated February 20, 2015
frank lloyd wright hollyhock house open floorplan

This all-new entryway was once bogged down with concrete floors, recessed lighting, and boring glass sliders. It has since been restored so that there is no separation between the house and courtyard, and even features original hardware from the 1920s.Curbed

The Hollyhock House was commissioned by oil heiress Aline Barnsdall as part of a performing arts complex in the early 1920s, and had the distinction of being the first house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Wright was also working on Japan’s Imperial Hotel at the time, and thus was absent for much of the original construction work. Costs on the house started to spiral out of control, and when all was said and done Wright was fired from the project and Barnsdall–privileged heiress that she was–never moved in.

The property, which Wright had designed after Barnsdall’s favorite flower, was later donated to the city of Los Angeles, and suffered nobly through several bad renovations (and then years of closure) before finally being restored to its originally planned beauty–thanks to a grant written by Project Restore. Curator Jeffrey Herr poetically describes the Hollyhock House as a “germination of what I think you can easily say became California Modernism,” and it is now open to the public once again.

Pictures via photographer Elizabeth Daniels.

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house living room

Source: Curbed

In what may be the centerpiece of the whole house, Herr thinks that Wright’s grand, bas-relief hearth and fireplace with soaking pool below (and skylight above) is considered to be the best thing he’s ever done. The couches shown are reproductions of the original furnishings.

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house hearth pool

Source: Curbed

Amazingly, the home still has the original dining room table and chairs, which are emblazoned with the trademark geometrical hollyhock design.

frank lloyd wright hollyhock courtyard

Source: Curbed

The courtyard’s landscaping wouldn’t be complete without some hollyhocks lining the pillars.

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house fountain

Source: Curbed

A fountain with an overhead arch to frame the main entrance.

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house sunlit doors

Source: Curbed

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house music room

Source: Curbed

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house foyer

Source: Curbed

The foyer as seen from the living room.

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house entry view

Source: Curbed

A view of the living room as seen from the foyer.

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house living room to outside

Source: Curbed

The patio doors at the far end of the living room.

frank lloyd wright hollyhock house a view to the patio

Source: Curbed

A view to the patio.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.