Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Historic Hollyhock House reopens after 3 years

by Take Two®

Jeffrey Herr, curator at Hollyhock House, explains the history and design of the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece to Take Two host Alex Cohen. Shana Daloria/KPCC

Hollyhock House, one of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpieces and his first project in Los Angeles, reopens Friday to the public after three years of major renovation and nearly a century from when it first was built. 

Commissioned by oil heiress Aline Barnsdall in 1919, Hollyhock House is part of what Barnsdall imagined as cultural arts center for the performing arts.

"Aline Barnsdall was a woman's woman," said Jeffrey Herr, curator at Hollyhock House, during a tour of the grounds. "She was a feminist before there were feminists and she was quite an assertive personality."

In addition to the home, Barnsdall envisioned building a theater, director's residence, artists dormitory and cinema, but due to financial constraints and artistic differences, that dream never came to fruition.

Though short of Barnsdall's original plan, the home that was constructed is unlike anything else else in the world, said Herr. 

"What you see when you come to visit the residence that Wright created for her [Barnsdall] is not like a house you could ever imagine. It is monumental. It looks like a temple. It dominates the top of a hill from where you could actually see the Pacific Ocean on a clear day," he said.

For one night only, the city of Los Angeles and the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation will open Hollyhock House for self-guided tours for 24 hours, starting 4:00 p.m. Friday. That means the house will be open through the night to offer visitors a rare glimpse at the space after dark.

"Most people never get a chance to see Hollyhock House at night and it becomes a very different house in the evening, especially after dark," said Herr.

WHAT: Open House @ Hollyhock House (admission fee waived through 11 a.m. Saturday)

WHEN: Starting at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 14.

WHERE: 4800 Hollywood Boulevard,
Los Angeles, California 90027

 For more information on Hollyhock House, click here.  

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