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Hollyhock House

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA

Opening Hours

11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Be sure to visit Hollyhock House on a clear day for a spectacular view of the Los Angeles skyline; locals know this architectural gem's terrace offers an unparalleled vista. Also, while the official tours are a must, pop by at dusk when the site is less crowded and the setting sun bathes the building in a beautiful golden hue – a perfect time for contemplation and photos!"

What is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House?

The Hollyhock House is a breathtaking architectural marvel nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, specifically at Barnsdall Art Park on Olive Hill. This house is revered not just for its unique design, but because it’s the ingenious work of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most celebrated architects in American history. Conceived as a part of a larger cultural complex, the Hollyhock House was built between 1919 and 1921 for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall. Wright drew inspiration from the regional landscape and infused elements of his signature Prairie School design with distinct motifs of Southern California.

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If you're keen on architectural history or the sheer artistic audacity of early 20th-century design, this house is a revelation. Designed with the idea of creating a harmonious relationship between the structure and its environment, Wright's use of abstracted hollyhock patterns—Barnsdall's favorite flower—throughout the house is particularly captivating. These patterns are part of why the house feels like a living entity, a characteristic trait of Wright's architecture.

History of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House

The story of the Hollyhock House begins with its patron, Aline Barnsdall, who had initially hired Wright to design an entire theatrical and artistic complex, including residences, theaters, and commercial buildings on her 36-acre Olive Hill property. However, due to financial and creative differences, only the main residence and two secondary structures were completed. After living in the house for a brief period, Barnsdall donated it to the city of Los Angeles in 1927, intending it to be used as an arts center, which it very much still is today.

Over the years, the Hollyhock House has experienced periods of neglect and restoration. Its design, echoing Mayan temples with a modern twist, proved to be both unorthodox and groundbreaking for the time. The house has been through several renovations to preserve its original glory, the most recent and comprehensive of which was completed in 2015. A testament to its importance, the house was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019 as a part of The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, which includes eight major works by the architect across the United States.

Why is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House Important?

The importance of the Hollyhock House extends well beyond its physical beauty. It was Wright's first Los Angeles project, and it helped set a new precedent for California architecture, intertwining avant-garde aesthetics with functional living spaces. The Hollyhock House marked Wright’s ambitious foray into what he called 'California Romanza,' where he allowed spaces to flow freely into one another, an innovative idea in residential design that influenced generations of architects.

Its significance also lies in the effort to restore and maintain the property over decades. These endeavors reflect a broader cultural recognition of heritage conservation and the need to preserve iconic works of American architecture. The Hollyhock House's importance is not just architectural; it's also cultural. It embodies early movements of American modernism and is a beacon of Los Angeles' history and its development as a global artistic center.

Things to Do & See at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House

When visiting the Hollyhock House, you can immerse yourself in an architectural journey through time. The house offers self-guided "Walk Wright In" tours, allowing you to explore at your own pace the interconnected rooms and the seamless indoor-outdoor spaces. Do pay special attention to the central fireplace—a signature Wright design feature, deeply symbolic with its hollyhock motif.

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You can also marvel at the house from the outside, taking in the structure’s bold lines and admiring its situation on the top of Olive Hill, offering breathtaking views of the Los Angeles basin. Rotating exhibitions in the Barnsdall Art Park and the intimate setting of the Outdoor Theatre often accompany the experience of the house. Remember to visit at night if possible, as the house is beautifully lit and offers a completely different perspective.

For those interested in a deeper dive into its history, expert-led tours may be offered, providing greater insight into Wright's design process and the house’s storied past. Beyond the house, the park itself is a serene place to unwind, featuring art galleries, workshops, and gardens where locals often come to relax and artists are inspired. One could say that enjoying the tranquility of Barnsdall Park is as integral to the experience as touring the house itself.

Frequently asked questions

What is Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House?

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is a famous architectural landmark in Los Angeles, designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built between 1919 and 1921 for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall and is known for its unique design inspired by the hollyhock flower.

Where is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House located?

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is located in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, at Barnsdall Art Park on top of Olive Hill.

Can I tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House?

Yes, tours of the Hollyhock House are available to the public. It's recommended to check the official website or contact the house directly for the latest tour schedules and ticket information.

Is photography allowed inside Hollyhock House?

Photography policies may vary, so visitors should inquire about the current photography rules when planning their visit. Some areas of the house may have restrictions on photography to preserve the integrity of the space.

What makes Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House significant?

The Hollyhock House is significant for its architectural innovation and is a prime example of Frank Lloyd Wright's work during the early 20th century. It represents a blend of Mayan architecture and the modern Californian style, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA

Opening Hours

11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps