First phase of Hollyhock House restoration completed

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LOS ANGELES — City officials announced the completion Dec. 15 of the first restoration phase of the Hollyhock House’s 100-year-old guest house in Barnsdall Art Park.

The Hollyhock House was built between 1919 and 1921 for Aline Barnsdall, and it was architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s first commission in Los Angeles. In 2019, it became Los Angeles’ first UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of eight Wright buildings that were collectively recognized as UNESCO’s first modern architecture designation in the United States.

“Residence A” was designed by Wright as a guest house to the Hollyhock House, and it is the first part of the Hollyhock House campus that guests see when they enter the park. The structure was completed in 1921 and is included in the Hollyhock House UNESCO World Heritage Site boundary.

“Hollyhock House and Residence A are world-class resources right in our own backyard, which is why the careful restoration of these treasures has been so important,” Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said. “It has been amazing to watch Residence A literally come back to life and shine atop Barnsdall Art Park, one of the jewels of the city’s parks system.”

The first phase of the restoration began in 2017 and cost more than $5 million, which was funded by the city, as well as the Community Redevelopment Agency and the National Park Service. Renovations included recreating exterior finishes, completing structural and seismic work and improving building systems.

“With Phase 1 completed, it’s onward to Phase 2 so we can not only celebrate the beauty and grandeur of this building, but enable all Angelenos to fully access, enjoy and learn from this priceless piece of history,” O’Farrell said.

Phase 2 will include interior detailing, furnishings, finishes, infrastructure repair, exterior landscaping and making the area compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“At 100, this National Historic Landmark is being brought back to its original 1921 design for all to enjoy,” Abbey Chamberlain Brach, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs’ Hollyhock House curator, said in a statement. “With its exterior lovingly restored, Residence A now showcases new facets of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work on Olive Hill, as well as the vision Aline Barnsdall and her architect shared for an arts community at Barnsdall Park.”

City Engineer Gary Lee Moore said the city’s Bureau of Engineering team has worked tirelessly on the restoration project “to bring this cultural and historic monument back to life for the residents of Los Angeles, and for visitors from around the world who come to visit Barnsdall Park and the Hollyhock House complex.”

“As an organization committed to preserving the city’s historical landmarks, we’re excited to oversee full restoration of Residence A, a beautiful civic treasure,” said Ed Avila, president of Project Restore. “We’re appreciative of [our] municipal partners who make this collaboration possible and understand the importance of this work for future generations of Angelenos.”

 

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