Thank you, Mrs. Barnsdale, that is. Aline Barnsdale.
Thank you for being interested in the arts und independently wealthy
enough to commission Frank Lloyd Wright to build a house for you.
Hollyhock House was the first structure FLW built in Southern California,
one of eight buildings ultimately built by him in and around Los Angeles. Only quite
recently Hollyhock House has been reopened to the public after lengthy
and thorough restoration works. This project included not only the building
itself, but also the restoration and/or replication of furniture and
The House in Barnsdale Park is well worth a visit, or two, or three. The superb
combination of architecture and the surrounding landscape is quite breathtaking.
FLW knew a thing or two about extending the living area to the outside and
bringing the outside into the interior. Right now the surrounding gardens are
being redone and hopefully in a few months time the ensemble will be complete
There is only one sad fact about Hollyhock House: Mrs. Barnsdale and FLW came
to loggerheads over it. Both had their very distinct ideas about this project
and the final outcome did not overly please Mrs. Barnsdale. FLW had, in a way,
won the battle but lost this particular war – Mrs. Barnsdale lived only
a few short years in the house and then donated it to the city of Los Angeles
as a place for the arts.
So, once again, thank you Mrs. Barnsdale; for the house, the park and the
headache you went through to give us Angelenos all of this.
We appreciate it very much.
(A 30 minute video about the restoration project can be viewed here.)