Hollyhock House was designed by America’s most important 20th-century architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The house was commissioned by oil heiress and theatre producer Aline Barnsdall. It was built between 1919 and 1921. Aline Barnsdall was also a philanthropist and in 1927 gave the house and the surrounding twelve acres atop Olive Hill (now Barnsdall Park) to the City of Los Angeles as a memorial to her father Theodore.
Hollyhock House is named for Barnsdall’s favorite flower – the hollyhock. Wright created stylized representations of the hollyhock plant throughout the house, which include the ornamental art stone, textiles, furniture, and striking art glass. In 2012, Hollyhock House underwent an extensive restoration of the public rooms, which reopened to visitors in 2015. Hollyhock House is the only Frank Lloyd Wright residence in Los Angeles open to the public.
OPEN FOR TOURS
Hollyhock House is now open for in-person, self-guided tours. Offered Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., tours offer unprecedented access to Hollyhock House’s restored outdoor spaces, showcasing new aspects of Wright’s self-proclaimed “garden house.” Advance ticket purchase at hollyhockhouse.org is required, and tour capacity is limited.
LA’S FIRST UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
On July 7, 2019, Hollyhock House was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of “The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright,” which includes eight sites spanning 50 years of Wright’s career. The collection represents the first modern architecture designation for the U.S. In addition to Hollyhock House (Los Angeles’s first World Heritage Site), the group inscription includes Unity Temple (constructed 1906-09, Oak Park, Illinois), the Frederick C. Robie House (constructed 1910, Chicago), Taliesin (begun 1911, Spring Green, Wisconsin), Fallingwater (constructed 1936-39, Mill Run, Pennsylvania), the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House (constructed 1936-37, Madison, Wisconsin), Taliesin West (begun 1938, Scottsdale, Arizona), and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum (completed 1959, New York).
There are more than 1,000 World Heritage sites around the world, and the group of Wright sites is now among only 24 sites in the United States. The collection represents the first modern architecture designation in the country on the prestigious list.
DIGITAL ACCESS: SITE AND COLLECTIONS
In 2019, the Department of Cultural Affairs debuted two major digital initiatives to make Hollyhock House more accessible to audiences worldwide.
The Hollyhock House Virtual Accessibility Experience utilizes technology to increase access to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House and creates an immersive and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities. This virtual tour is available onsite and remotely via a web browser.
The Hollyhock House Archive contains original drawings and blueprints detailing plans for the ambitious arts complex that was partially realized by Aline Barnsdall and her architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This digital archive currently holds 81 digitized documents related to the history of the Hollyhock House. Barnsdall Park
Residence A, completed by Wright in 1921 as a guest house to Hollyhock House, is located in Barnsdall Art Park within the Hollyhock House UNESCO World Heritage Site boundary. It is the first visible element of the Hollyhock House campus upon entrance to the park. The property’s significance extends to its status as both a National Historic Landmark and as Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #33. Phase 1 of the Residence A restoration project began in 2017 and cost more than $5 million from various sources including City dollars, funding from the former Community Redevelopment Agency, and the National Park Service. As part of Phase 1, exterior finishes were meticulously recreated, structural and seismic work was completed, and building systems were improved. The planned Phase 2 will provide critical interior detailing, furnishings, finishes, and infrastructure repair, as well as exterior landscaping and ADA‐commensurate hardscaping needed to re-open the site to the public.
Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles commission and an ode to California’s freedom and natural beauty. Built between 1919 and 1921 for Aline Barnsdall, the house introduced young architects Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra to Los Angeles. It is a harbinger of California Modernism, which came to include celebrated homes by all three visionaries that continue to impact the direction of residential design.
Both Hollyhock House and Residence A today are curated and operated by DCA. The lead architect and project manager for the restoration was the Bureau of Engineering, with the Department of General Services serving as general contractor. Project Restore, a nonprofit organization, served as grant administrator and restoration manager.