“What Frank Lloyd Wright possessed was a basic concept of design rooted in ancient human needs yet commensurate with the emerging machine-age technology. Earth, air, fire, water; these are the essential original elements.”

—William Allin Storrer, Ph.D., The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: a Complete Catalog, and The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion

AN ARCHITECTURAL LEGACY

The Ennis House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924, is the last and largest of the elder Wright’s four “textile block” houses in the Los Angeles area. These homes are noted for their patterned and perforated concrete blocks, which give a unique textural appearance to both the exterior and interior. Built for Mabel and Charles Ennis, the Mayan Revival home and self-contained one-bedroom guesthouse span over 6,000 square feet. They are constructed of more than 27,000 concrete blocks, all made by hand using granite extracted from the site. Although used as a shooting location as early as 1933’s Female, the storybook home first acquired fame providing the exterior facade for House on Haunted Hill (1959). The Day of the Locust (1975) made extensive use of the home as a private residence, but it was in Blade Runner (1982) that the home gained a popularity of its own among moviegoers, and later among the audience of the television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). In 2006, work to stabilize and restore the home began, that ultimately earned the coveted and well-deserved Conservancy Preservation Award in 2008. It’s a city, state, and national landmark property. The Ennis House consists of two buildings, the main house and a smaller chauffeur’s apartment/garage separated by a paved courtyard. Unlike the vertical orientation of the other three block houses, the legendary estate has a long horizontal loggia spine on the northern side, connecting public and private rooms to the south. As the LA Weekly proclaimed, The Ennis House is “one of L.A.’s most spectacular architectural wonders. It’s played host to many famous filmmakers and actors over the years, but in this case, Frank Lloyd Wright and his home are the main attraction.”

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USA | California | Beverly HillsRon de Salvo

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