Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House

Aug 24, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is located in Hollywood, at the top of Olive Hill in Barnsdall Art Park.

The Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles Architectural project. It was commissioned by Aline Barnsdall, granddaughter of the oil magnet, William Barnsdall, and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to be a combination of house, gardens, and as a center for the theatrical community.

In addition to the central garden court, each major interior space adjoins an exterior space, connected either by glass doors, a porch, pergola or colonnade. A series of rooftop terraces further extend the living space and provide magnificent views of the Los Angeles basin and the Hollywood Hills.

Sky View by Google

In 1927, Aline Barnsdall donated the Hollyhock House and its eleven surrounding acres to the City of Los Angeles, for use as a public art park in memory of her father, Theodore Barnsdall.

The Dueling Iconoclasts

As is all too frequent in life, the relationship between Aline Barnsdall and Frank Lloyd Wright, quickly turned sour:

Aline Barnsdall, the donor of Barnsdall Art Park, was the ultimate iconoclast. A fiercely independent feminist, a bohemian, a devotee and producer of experimental theater, and an enormously wealthy heiress, she was a single mother at a time when women were simply not single mothers.

Without Aline Barnsdall, Frank Lloyd Wright might never have come to California. Yet with Frank Lloyd Wright, Aline, like many others, had a stormy relationship. Kindred spirits in many ways, it was Barnsdall who reached out and bankrolled Frank Lloyd Wright after his notoriety killed his domestic practice. She was enormously generous, supportive and patient, while Wright was consumed with his personal travails and the construction of the monumental Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. And while Barnsdall thought that Wright was brilliant, she despised the Hollyhock House Wright finally constructed for her.  Source: Discover Hollywood

After several residents and renovations, including one in 1946 by Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, today the Hollyhock House has realized its founder’s vision—it’s surrounded by the Barnsdall Art Center, the Junior Arts Center, a Municipal Art Gallery, and the Gallery Theatre.

Stained Glass Windows

Hollyhock House one of Los Angeles’ best Houses of all time

Although Frank Lloyd Wright and Aline Barnsdall had differing views of how Barnsdall Art Center should look and feel, the Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park is considered a top architectural masterpiece in Los Angeles.

What a View!!

Tours of Hollyhock House are available Wednesdays through Sundays at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30pm.

Travelin’ Local often times leaves us in awe of the human spirit of achievement, vision, and capability. The Hollyhock House is testimony to that fact.

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Architecture, Culture, Hollywood, SoCal

9 Responses to “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House”

  1. Rachel G. says:

    thanks for all the great info…i love Hollywood, especially the history. Thank you!
    Rachel G.´s last blog ..girlonlaptop: @LisaNewton your website is perfect for the metro…for instance, i cant wait to see the hollyhock house u My ComLuv Profile


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Rachel G., I’ve found so many great things to do in Hollywood. I’ll be writing another article in the next few days. :)

    Thanks for following me on Twitter.


  2. D. Travis North says:

    FLW is one of my all-time favorite inspirations. The Hollyhock house is not one of his bests, but it exhibits what I admire about him – his ability to tie man-made structures into the landscape. This is probably most easily noted in the aerial photo. He plays with organic forms as a way to define the space. But his attention to detail has always caught me.

    FLW is the reason I considered architecture as a career. Further studies of his work is why I ended up as a Landscape Architect. But he influences all of my creative endeavors from my work to my photography.

    Thanks for sharing your visit.
    D. Travis North´s last blog ..SP@Flickr: “Closing the Door” by Mark J. Sanders My ComLuv Profile


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @D. Travis North, I’m impressed with his idea of bringing nature into his designs. Water is an important component here in LA, and he had water flowing throughout his Hollyhock design. Although not as practical as it could have been, it’s a great idea.

    I’d love to see his other designs. It’s on my to-do list. You couldn’t have had a greater influencer. :)


  3. David says:

    Gorgeous park, museum, and Frank Lloyd Wright structure right in the middle of town.

    I love your photos and story. Thanks.


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @David, It really is a great park, and there will be more to come. :)


  4. frank lloyd wright houses – 海运女 says:

    [...] located in Kirkwood, Missouri. … St. Louis –|||Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock HouseThe Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles Architectural project. It was [...]

  5. Home exchange says:

    The Frank Lloyd Wright building is immense. Great photos! I enjoyed viewing.


  6. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House on the market for $15 Million | Travelin' Local says:

    [...] Local’s coverage of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House and Barnsdall Park has presaged our interest in covering this new tender of Wright’s Ennis House [...]

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