Ennis-Brown House in Trouble

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION NEWS for the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (ModCom) and other Mid Century Modern, Googie, International, Art Deco, 20th Century design

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Futura Girl
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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:11 pm

it is unfortunate that they had to sell, MAYBE... ?

who of knows what the future holds?
really - you got a crystal ball? please call me - i need help!

the foundation WAS able to do some decent restoration work with the generous contributions of people like you, retromotelguest.
it was not for nothing.

i believe that any building with historic nomination has a requirement to open the building to the public - either a certain amount of days - or per demand or something? perhaps someone can fill us in on how that works?
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Postby nichols » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:16 pm

NPR

July 30, 2009
If you're house-hunting and have an extra $15 million to spare, there's a place with your name on it in Los Angeles. Known as the Ennis House, it's an architectural masterpiece designed by the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright. But, like a lot of old houses, it needs some work...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... 26&sc=emaf

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I think

Postby modfan » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:57 pm

House on Haunted Hill (the first one) was made there.

And I read somewhere where the Blade Runner Decker's apt wasn't filmed there they just built a stage set in that style.

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Re: I think

Postby Futura Girl » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:35 pm

modfan wrote:And I read somewhere where the Blade Runner Decker's apt wasn't filmed there they just built a stage set in that style.


you may have read it here? that was mentioned earlier in this same thread!
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Still No Bids for Ennis House per National Trust

Postby Steve Tepperman » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:04 pm

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House Still Up For Sale
August 20, 2009
By Alanna Malone
A seller’s market, this is not. The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House is still for sale nearly two months after it was listed for $15 million by the nonprofit organization that owns it. Despite ample publicity, the house has not elicited a single bid.

The Ennis House consists of more than 20,000 16-inch-by-16-inch concrete blocks. The house’s design was inspired by ancient Mayan temples.
Related Links:
Ennis House Damaged by Mudslides WMF Announces 2004 Watch List Trust Releases List of 11 Endangered Sites Wright’s Palmer House Put on Market In New York, FLW Revisited FLW Landmark Gets Modern Pavilion by Mori Wright Exhibition Opens at Guggenheim Guggenheim Celebrates 50 With FLW Show

Built in 1924 for Charles and Mabel Ennis on a hilltop in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, it is the largest of Wright’s four “textile-block” styled houses in Southern California. Over the years, the 6,000-square-foot home, whose design was inspired by ancient Mayan temples, has acquired quite the list of historical and cultural accolades, earning a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and being declared a California State Landmark and a Cultural Heritage Monument. It has also served as a popular location for movies, music videos, and photo shoots.
Hilton & Hyland Realtors is the luxury-market agency that is working with international service-provider Christie’s Great Estates to sell the landmark. The $15 million asking price does not cover the $6 million projected cost for repairs on the 85-year-old home.
The Ennis House Foundation, formerly the Trust for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, has owned the house since 1980. Along with two other nonprofits, the foundation has spent a reported $6.5 million since 2005 on repairs because of a 1994 earthquake and additional rain damage. Both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the World Monuments Fund have listed the house on their lists of endangered sites. Requiring more stewardship than it was able to provide, the foundation put the dwelling on the market in mid-June with a “conservation easement” to prevent demolition and to guide future renovation.
So far, the real estate agents say there’s been considerable interest in the Ennis House, even internationally. “We’ve had a lot of really qualified buyers looking at it,” says Aaron Kirman, executive director of the architecture division of the agency. “But we’re not in a huge rush here; we’re looking for the right person, the right fit for this house—someone who understands the architectural significance and is excited to complete the restoration.”
Kirman suspects that no offers have been made due to a lack of specific information about the conservation easement and past renovations. Recently, those details have become available, he says, and with this will come more serious buyers willing to take on this “labor of love.”
In a 1924 letter to Mr. & Mrs. Charles Ennis regarding the house’s design, Frank Lloyd Wright boasted that “the final result is going to stand on that hill a hundred years or more.” To hit the century-mark, this “temple on the hill” needs a restoration-minded benefactor to save it from becoming more like the ancient ruins that once inspired Wright.

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Postby Gnomus » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:57 pm

"House on Haunted Hill (the first one) was made there."

They used the exterior only. If you watch the movie, the interior set they built doesn't match the exterior at all.

"And I read somewhere where the Blade Runner Decker's apt wasn't filmed there they just built a stage set in that style."

The inside of Deckard's apartment was a set. There's a shot of Deckard driving through the gate in the rain that was done at the Ennis House courtyard, but it doesn't show very much. There's a shot of him standing on a balcony overlooking the street that may have been shot at the Ennis House.

I'm still trying to figure out if The Rocketeer was shot in the house or on a set. The movie shows stairs to a second story that the house does not have. Since the house has high ceilings, I wondered if they built some false steps to accommodate the action.

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Postby sky » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:24 pm

Hot off the press:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... 5474.story

Well, not really hot off the press; it's from July 17. But I had expected to read it here first.

Craig Nakano, Los Angeles Times wrote:Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House, the 1924 hilltop mansion that is one of the master's most celebrated residential designs and one of Los Angeles' most revered architectural landmarks, has sold to billionaire Ron Burkle for about $4.5 million, 70% less than its original asking price.

Ennis House Foundation chairwoman Marla Felber confirmed on Saturday the exact price: $4,458,084.58, which represents the organization's balance on a construction loan taken out to repair L.A.'s most prestigious fixer.
FOR THE RECORD:
Ennis House: In the July 17 California section, an article on the sale of Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House misspelled the first name of architecture writer Karrie Jacobs as Kerrie. —


At more than 6,000 square feet, Ennis House is the largest of Wright's four "textile-block" houses in Southern California, so named because their patterned concrete blocks were knitted together to serve as structure and decoration, inside and out. The Maya-influenced design, which consists of more than 27,000 blocks, deteriorated over time, sustained serious damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and then partly collapsed during heavy rainfall in 2005.

Photos: Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis house

The foundation spent about $6.5 million on structural and seismic repairs to the Los Feliz landmark, and remaining repairs will cost an estimated $6 million more.

Wright's grandson, Eric Lloyd Wright, announced in June 2009 that the foundation was putting Ennis House up for sale with hopes that a private owner could better finish the job and act as the property's steward.

The house languished on the market even as the initial $15-million asking price tumbled. By this January, when The Times published an article on Ennis House as part of a Landmark Houses series, the price had dropped to $7,495,000.

In a region where coastal mansions and hilltop estates exceed $10 million and the compound formerly owned by TV mogul Aaron Spelling recently went for $85 million, $4.5 million might seem low for a piece of Wright history. But Felber said the foundation had few options. Because the foundation's top priority was responsible stewardship of Wright's architecture, she said, the board of directors rejected larger offers from corporations. Felber would not divulge how large those offers were, where they came from or how many were rejected.

Preservationists have speculated whether a rich celebrity or house-collecting architecture aficionado would step forward and assume the responsibility for Ennis House, but Felber said the foundation had fielded "no serious offers."

Felber confirmed that the Ennis House construction loan had been guaranteed by Burkle and that he had first right of refusal on any bid. But Felber disputed the notion that the foundation was the victim of a deal gone bad: $4.5 million paid for a property that has benefitted from $6.5 million in restoration work. She said that the first phase of restoration would not have happened without Burkle's support and that no one else expressed a commitment to future repairs.

"He was the only one to step up," she said.

The sale closed Friday. Burkle, who could not be reached for comment, is the founder of the investment firm Yucaipa Companies and a fundraiser for the Democratic Party. He lives full-time in London but also owns Greenacres, the 1920s Beverly Hills estate built for silent film star Harold Lloyd. He is on the board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

As a teen living in San Bernardino County, Burkle aspired to be an architect and traveled to see the Ennis House, a spokesman said. He left a note asking to be notified if the house ever were to open for touring; the owner later called young Burkle and invited him to see Wright's creation.

The house was built for Charles and Mabel Ennis, proprietors of a men's clothing store and admirers of Maya art and architecture.

When The Times surveyed historians, top architects and preservationists in 2008 for their picks for Southern California's best houses of all time, Ennis House finished No. 3. Only Rudolph Schindler's groundbreaking Kings Road House in West Hollywood and Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House in Palm Springs ranked higher.

Architecture critic and former Dwell magazine editor Kerrie Jacobs recalled her first tour of Ennis House.

"Usually, in Wright houses, I feel a little claustrophobic, a little trapped in the man's tightly choreographed conception of domestic life," she said. "But during my one visit to Ennis, I felt as if I was in a different world, someplace I'd never been before — and maybe someplace Wright had never been before either."


My bid, $4,458,084.50, just wasn't good enough, I guess.

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Postby UNCLE » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:42 am

At least it's good to know it went to someone that has a mind for preservation and appreciates the house and architecture instead of the land it's on.

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The need to get it right

Postby modfan » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:00 am

As a teen living in San Bernardino County, Burkle aspired to be an a....

Sorry folks he was living in Claremont in LA County as a teen, I know because he was in the same Claremont HS class of 1970 that I was in.
Yes folks believe it or not he went to a PUBLIC high school right at the end of when schools were still good and the effects of prop. 13 and RR governorship were not being felt yet.

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Re: The need to get it right

Postby sky » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:15 pm

modfan wrote:Yes folks believe it or not he went to a PUBLIC high school right at the end of when schools were still good ...

I agree with you that students in public schools back then, me included, had a better education than those today. But I think a large part of that was because a lot of the female teachers back then, who I will now admit were brilliant, would have become doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs today. Going off-topic again, I know, but I think that's an interesting phenomenon. Discuss.


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