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Ennis House

Ennis House

The last and largest of Frank Lloyd Wright’s four “textile block” houses was designed by the father and built by the famed architect's son Lloyd.

After the Ennis House was partially restored by the nonprofit Ennis House Foundation, the iconic residence was purchased and fully restored in 2011.

ennis house los angeles tour

Place Details

  • Lloyd Wright,
  • Frank Lloyd Wright

Designation

  • Preservation Award Recipient

Property Type

  • Single-Family Residential

Government Officials

  • L.A. City Council District 4, Councilmember Nithya Raman
  • Private Residence - Do Not Disturb
  • Los Angeles

ennis house los angeles tour

Ennis House, 2014 | Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

The Ennis House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by his son, Lloyd, 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 retailer Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel, the home and chauffeur’s quarters span over 6,000 square feet. They are constructed of more than 27,000 concrete blocks, all made by hand using decomposed granite extracted from the site. The home’s unique appearance has made it a popular filming location for TV and movies, including  The House on Haunted Hill  (1959),  Blade Runner  (1982), and the television series  Buffy the Vampire Slayer .

Charles Ennis passed away in 1928, only a few years after the house was completed, and Mabel Ennis sold the property in 1936. The house passed through several owners, including radio personality John Nesbitt, who hired Wright to renovate the property in 1940. Lloyd Wright converted a basement storage area into a billiard room and designed a swimming pool for the north terrace.

By 2005, deferred maintenance, earthquakes, and heavy rains had taken a toll on the Ennis House. Foundations and walls had begun to fail, and the situation grew so dire that the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the home on its 2005 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places. Work to stabilize and restore the house began in 2006, earning a Conservancy Preservation Award in 2008. It is currently a private residence.

For inquiries about visiting the Ennis House head to  ennishouse.com  or email  [email protected] .

The Conservancy does not own or operate the Ennis House. For any requests, please contact the Ennis House directly at (323) 660-0607.

About This Place

Our position, october 2019.

The Ennis House was sold again to new owners, as reported in Variety . It is now a private residence and owners should not be disturbed.

Business executive Ron Burkle purchased the house and over the next few years completed the full restoration of the Ennis House.

Following stabilization work and initial work to restore the Ennis House, the Conservancy recognized the effort with a Preservation Award.

November 2005

A conservation easement is placed on the Ennis House, protecting the house in perpetuity whereby the Conservancy will ensure the house is maintained and preserved in the future, despite any subsequent ownership changes.

In nonprofit ownership and operation for many years, the Trust for Preservation of Cultural Heritage was renamed as the Ennis House Foundation. Deferred maintenance, earthquakes, and heavy rains had taken a toll, with foundations and walls beginning to fail, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the Ennis House on its 2005 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places .

Following its purchase and ownership by Augustus O. Brown, it became known as the Ennis-Brown House.

Media personality John Nesbitt purchased the Ennis House, an engaged Frank Lloyd Wright to return to the property to add a pool on the north terrace, a billiard room on the ground floor, and a modern heating system.

The Ennis House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by his son, Lloyd, is the last and largest of the elder Wright’s four “textile block” houses in the Los Angeles area.

ennis house los angeles tour

Related Links

In the news.

  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House sells to Ron Burkle for $4.5 million, LA Times, July 16, 2011
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s fully-restored Ennis House is for sale for $23 million, Arch Paper, June 29, 2018

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ennis house los angeles tour

Ennis House

The Ennis House—a veritable Hollywood icon, with over 80 screen appearances—is the last and largest of Wright’s four Los Angeles-area “textile block” houses.

Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel

2655 Glendower Ave.

National Register of Historic Places. Privately owned.

ennishouse.com

Perched atop a hill in the Los Feliz neighborhood, it is among the best residential examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the country. The Ennis House rises in stages, with over 27,000 blocks arranged across a concrete platform and buttressed by a retaining wall. Though concrete was still considered a new material in the 1920s, especially for home construction, Wright believed it had promising potential for affordable housing. He created a block construction system with patterned surfaces, which lended a unique textural appearance to both the exteriors and interiors of his residences. The concrete—a combination of gravel, granite and sand from the site—was hand-cast in aluminum molds to create blocks measuring 16”x 16” x 3.5” that were then woven together with steel rods, giving the textile block houses their name. The Ennis House is unusually monumental and vertical for a Wright residence, but when the architect completed it in 1924 he immediately considered it his favorite.

As with all of Wright’s textile block residences, the Ennis House featured a custom designed pattern. Within the interlocking form, the Greek key design resembles a stylized “g”— perhaps an allusion to the Masonic order that Charles Ennis belonged to, which had an organizational symbol of a compass with the letter “g” for God at its center. Due to its exoticism, the house has served as the backdrop in numerous films, commercials and tv shows including Mulholland Drive, The Rocketeer, Rush Hour, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Predator 2, Beverly Hills Cop II, and Blade Runner. The home sustained serious damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and torrential rains of 2005. Privately owned by billionaire, Ron Burkle, it is undergoing a complete restoration and is currently closed to the public.

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ennis house los angeles tour

Frank Lloyd Wright + Arizona

Frank Lloyd Wright’s connection to Arizona, the location of his personal winter home Taliesin West, runs deep, with his architectural influence seen all over the Valley. Here, PhD student David R. Richardson gives a brief overview of several of Wright’s most notable projects in the Grand Canyon state.

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  • On the Market

Inside a Famous $23M Mayan-Revival Frank Lloyd Wright Mansion

Released on 05/30/2019

[upbeat modern music]

Welcome to the legendary Ennis house.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright,

located at 2607 Glendower Avenue

in the neighborhood of Los Felix.

This 8,000 square foot home was built in 1924

and is one of the most recognizable

homes in the hills of Los Angeles.

It's both historic and livable,

with three bedrooms, four baths,

a pool, library, loggia, billard room, rose garden

and guest house, plus, never seen before

Frank Lloyd Wright-designed furniture.

This once-in-a-lifetime architectural icon

is on the market for 23 million dollars.

[cash register chings]

Come take a closer look.

[upbeat music]

Wright began building homes in California

in the early 1920s.

Mezo-American culture was becoming very popular in the U.S.,

and Wright was very influenced by those structures.

Carved stones and enormous stepped-back pyramids,

the Ennis house is arguably one of the best examples

of Mayan revival in the U.S.

Wright created a technique where he would

literally take concrete and create it into a textile.

He would mold the concrete blocks

and knit them around a steel lattice.

You'll see the special geometric design

which is carved into each block

It's been featured in movies and TV shows,

from Blade Runner to Twin Peaks.

Would take casts of these tiles and use them

to build sets on sound stages.

This is the last of his four-block houses,

it's also the largest and the best situated,

with views from every room.

A 17 million dollar restoration started in 2007

now has the Ennis house in better-than-original

condition at almost a century old.

In the restoration, five thousand of the blocks

were placed and modernized.

So the home is currently stronger than ever before

while keeping the original design.

Take a look at this gorgeous view.

It's from downtown all the way until the ocean,

today we are experiencing a bit of June Gloom,

which does happen about once a year in Los Angeles,

but even still, it makes it look that much more cinematic.

[Upbeat music]

When you first walk in, the entrance

feels very dark and enclosed.

Wright likes to use compression and release,

guiding you toward the main spaces of the house.

You can notice how, when you're walking up the stairs,

the space completely opens up.

Ah, doesn't that reveal feel great?

We have this 12-seater dining table,

and what's amazing is the furniture

is designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself.

This is the first time this furniture has ever been made.

Most of the rooms have four exposures

where light can come through all day.

The Ennis house was one of the first homes

to start using these corner windows.

The glass meets at the corner to make

the joint completely disappear.

This is very difficult to do today,

so you can imagine how difficult it was to do in the 20s.

These views from this corner window

connect you all the way to downtown LA.

So now we're gonna go down into the living room,

connected so beautifully right off the dining room.

So when you sit down in this living room

it's the perfect room to entertain,

it's really comfortable, very chic, has the logo throughout.

And then there is more of Frank Lloyd Wright's

original furniture design, and it really

connects you to the architecture.

While it looks like a block house on the outside,

on the inside it feels like a glass house.

Frank Lloyd Wright calls these windows lightscreens.

They're got abstractions of nature

but they do not use a lot of colored glass.

The same company that built these windows

is still around today.

I just love how the glass windows

sparkle all day with the western exposure.

It leads right out into this amazing terrace

with these fabulous views.

So while you're enjoying this house

you can take in the city.

We have this amazing glass mosaic fireplace.

The light sparkles off of it all day long.

And it's almost as old as the house itself.

You'll also see that this block carries throughout

the inside, so it feels very organic,

even though it's concrete.

And it's visually connecting you

to the exterior of the house.

The entire home is connected by one long loggia.

This is what Frank Lloyd Wright calls a continual becoming,

where one space flows and evolves depending on its purpose.

For example, it connects you right to this room,

which is currently a library.

This actually used to be Mrs. Ennis' bedroom.

You can see this beautiful bookcase

and it continues over to the bathroom

with the fabulous travertine walls and the sunken tub.

And all of these tiles are original.

How nice would it be just to sit and have a bath in here?

In this gorgeous courtyard, you hear

all the beautiful sounds of nature

from the birds, the running water.

You have the breeze coming through the trees.

And everything is adorned by the gorgeous view.

And this heads straight to Mr. Ennis' bedroom,

also known as the master bedroom.

Upon walking in, again you get

Frank Lloyd Wright's classic reveal,

which starts a little lower and takes you

to the open brightness of the main room.

You have a fireplace, built-in closets

and of course, his columns with the Mayan tiles throughout.

The teak floors which match the ceiling of course,

and the built-in teak closet wardrobe

that Mr. Ennis had, which is perfectly mirrored

and lined teak drawers.

Also his fantastic vanity here,

that is backlight, and perfect

for pulling up a vanity chair.

Every detail in this home, including the grate

that runs with the teak floors,

are all inline with the aesthetic of Frank Lloyd Wright.

And out here you have your amazing private balcony

where you're surrounded by your trees, the view,

and you can take your morning coffee.

In his master bathroom, you will see all of the original

tiles, and they have all been restored to perfection.

You have another one of these amazing sunken tubs,

and even the original commode.

This pool was designed in 1940

for the owner at the time, Mr. John Nesbitt.

The current owner has completely rebuilt

it to its original specifications.

And in the morning, the loggia sparkles

with the blue reflected light of the pool.

In 1975 Day of the Locust was shot here.

To the north you have unobstructed views

of Griffith Park and San Gabriel Mountains.

Now just imagine having a glamorous pool party

with you and your friends here at the pool.

And now I'm gonna take you on a secret little path

that takes you to the south terrace.

On this path you have all these beautiful flowers,

the lemon trees, you can see these ancient

pine trees up above.

So this brings us to another terrace.

You have seating on the left over here,

and another little pond on the right

because Frank Lloyd Wright loves water.

You have an herb garden here with sage,

and so many beautiful different herbs, it smells delicious.

It really feels like you're in King's Landing

or something like that when you come through here.

And now we're up to the long southern terrace

which runs along the side of the house.

It runs parallel to the pool except

it takes you out to the city.

It's such an epic house, you constantly

feel like you're exploring.

To the right over here we actually have a billiards room.

In 1940 this was converted into

a billiards room for John Nesbitt.

This has a bar, an original fireplace from 1940.

It also has a collection of golf balls

that was once owned by Bob Hope.

This is such a great room, you can play pool,

you can hang out with your friends,

have a drink at the bar, it's really cozy down here.

So we've gone through a lot of the public areas,

now let's take a look at some of the service areas.

So you'll notice we're taking the main staircase

up through the entryway, and if

you go around this way we'll head to the kitchen.

So just off the dining room, you

enter this way to the kitchen.

Here you have what we would call in modern day

chef's prep, connecting to the main kitchen.

You have the original tilework

throughout the entire kitchen.

All of the appliances are period range,

but they are not the original ones.

But this is exactly how it would have looked in its time.

A great center island, which is perfect for prep as well.

And here you have a side door,

easy access to another terrace.

There's another side door over here

that gives you exterior access to the kitchen,

perfect for caterers to come in, or staff.

Now I wanna show you a really cool feature that I love

about this house, and it's the bridge.

This bridge is right above the gate

and runs directly over the motor court.

It also connects the pool to the guest house.

It's a one bedroom, one bath with a full kitchen.

The Ennis house has always been a popular

filming location, as early as 1933.

Blade Runner was filmed right underneath here.

The exteriors for House on Haunted Hill

and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were filmed right over here.

The Ennis house also inspired the design of Dani's

penthouse in Meereen in Game of Thrones.

These steps take us up to the upper pond.

This is the largest pond on the property,

of which there are three.

And again you're situated so you're

looking directly at the view.

This is one of my favorite spots, the trees,

the beautiful scents, and of course the pond.

So the rose gardens here are the highest

point on the property.

You have multiple varieties of roses

and when the season's right they're all in bloom.

Here is a very peaceful nook of the property,

where you can sit and read, have your tea,

and really take in the view from another perspective.

Frank Lloyd Wright's intention with all of his homes

was for you to connect with nature.

The Ennis house has been lovingly restored

to Frank Lloyd Wright's original vision.

This is the best condition it has ever been in.

Completely modernized and structurally reinforced

with custom Wright furniture built out for the first time.

The Ennis house will make its mark

on the Hollywood landscape for 100 more years.

This unbelievable architectural landmark

can be yours for 23 million dollars.

[single note swells]

Starring : Rayni Williams

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How To Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in LA

Ennis House deck with view of los angeles

Every big city with a history of art has its share of famous residences just like the Ennis House, but I doubt any modern city can boast the sprawling celebrity homes that Los Angeles offers. 

Since the invention of motion pictures, the glamorous movie stars have had to live somewhere, and their homes have been pointed out by tour guides for decades. But some of these houses aren’t famous because of the celebrity who lives there — some homes are celebrities all by themselves. 

Case in point is this century-old member of the National Register of Historic Places: the Ennis House. As a local guide here in LA, I’ve visited the Ennis House many times. There’s a lot to discover about its history, architecture, TV appearances, and more. If you’re curious about the Ennis House, how to visit, and why it’s so important, keep reading!

The Ennis House in movies and TV 

If you think you’ve never seen the Ennis House, think again. 

Have you ever seen “Blade Runner,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “The Karate Kid Part III,” or “Rush Hour”? If the answer is yes, then you’ve seen the Ennis House, or at least parts of it. 

If you’ve seen “The Rocketeer” and some episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” you’ve seen recreations of this unique home built on Hollywood sound stages. 

At 6,500 square feet, and built with a staggering 27,000 patterned granite blocks, one look at the Ennis House is enough to inspire visions of sci-fi adventure or vampires.

Before the mansion served as inspiration for a number of movie directors and set designers, however, it was originally designed by none other than world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Ennis House history, construction, and renovation

The Ennis House’s history is as complicated as some of its fantasy residents.

In 1923, Charles and Mabel Ennis commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design their home. Construction began in 1924. This was around the same time that Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre were built in Hollywood. 

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The hilltop home wasn’t far into construction before problems became noticeable with some of the granite blocks buckling in key places. With construction being overseen by Wright’s son Lloyd, the unhappy Ennis couple fired the Wrights and took over supervising completion of the home. When actor John Nesbitt purchased the home in 1940, he re-hired Frank Lloyd Wright to add a pool and a billiard room to the residence. 

Much later, more construction would be needed, this time in the form of restoration. After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and a very rainy winter of late 2004 and early 2005, the Ennis House was deemed unstable, requiring a $6.4 million restoration. 

After the restoration was complete, the Ennis House Foundation sold the mansion to Ron Burkle for $4.5 million, far below the original asking price of $15 million. Burkle flipped the Ennis House for a significant profit, selling it in 2019 for a cool $18 million. 

The amazing architecture of the Ennis House

Ennis House entry gate

The Ennis House is undoubtedly unlike any other building you’ll ever see. It was built in a style known as Mayan Revival architecture, and it was designed to look like a Mayan temple, although I’ve always thought it looks more like a fortress. 

On the north side is the main driveway, blocked by a rather ornate steel gate. Thin windows are framed by granite blocks, many of which are patterned with what looks like a stylized version of the letter “g.” (Charles Ennis belonged to an order of Masons whose symbol included this letter, so the pattern may have been Wright’s architectural tip of the cap to Mr. Ennis.) 

As you follow the road down and around the Ennis House, you come to the south side where you get to really appreciate the magnitude of the home. From this vantage point, you’ll be standing just below the retaining wall and looking up at the entirety of the mansion, with the large dining room windows towering above you.

The interior is just as grand with lofty ceilings in the living and dining rooms, windows with panoramic views of LA, and the carved stone blocks clearly visible on many of the walls and columns. A loggia runs the length of the building outside, and a swimming pool, added by later owners, completes the picture of affluence.

How to visit inside the Ennis House

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Today, the Ennis House is an expensive private residence. However, the home can still be viewed 12 days out of the year, thanks to a stipulation created by the Ennis House Foundation that was binding for all future owners. 

If you want to tour inside the Ennis House, you’ll need to email the foundation directly at [email protected]

See the Ennis House on a guided tour

Tour group in front of Ennis House

We also visit the Ennis House on our guided tour of Griffith Park . After stopping at the Greek Theatre, a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, we head up the trail and detour into the neighborhood just outside of the park.

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Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Hike

It is here that we will stop at the Ennis House to admire its hilltop location and design. Your guide will tell you about the house, and you can take photos of this beautiful LA landmark.

Architecture buffs have more to enjoy as we continue through a neighborhood of eclectic homes of differing architectural styles. One of these homes is the infamous Los Feliz Murder Mansion , a favorite of true crime lovers and ghost story enthusiasts. Then it’s back to the trails and up to the Griffith Observatory and an incredible view of the Hollywood sign . Along the way, you’ll also enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the City of Angels.  

Where to find the Ennis House

Whether you end up visiting the Ennis House to go inside or just view the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright architecture from outside, it’s pretty easy to find. Here’s the address: 2607 Glendower Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

It is possible to drive directly to the Ennis House, but keep in mind the roads are narrow and windy and the neighborhood, and you’ll want to be mindful of local parking restrictions. A good alternative is to park in Griffith Park near Franklin Cafe and hike up to the neighborhoods. That’s exactly what we do on our Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Hike , and your guide will lead the way. 

Things to do near the Ennis House

The Ennis House is located just steps from LA’s 4,000 acre Griffith Park . 

In the park, you’ll find The Greek Theatre and Griffith Observatory, the latter of which provides some of the best views of the Hollywood sign anywhere in the city. 

You can see all of these sights, including the Ennis House, on our Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Hike .

Or if you prefer an in-depth visit to Griffith Observatory, including a tour designed by veteran observatory employees, you can do that by booking our Griffith Park Observatory Guided Tour . 

Where to eat near the Ennis House

Where to eat near the Ennis House

When you’re done with all of this sightseeing, chances are you may find yourself quite hungry and perhaps a little thirsty, too. If so, you’re in luck. Just south of Griffith Park is LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood, a hip area flanked by Hollywood and Silverlake. 

All you need to do is follow Vermont Ave, the road that leads up to Griffith Observatory, down the hill about a mile, and you will find a strip of restaurants and bars suitable to any palate. If you want a diner, a French bistro, Italian food, Indian food, or plain old bar food, it’s all there.

And if you want to continue to experience some Hollywood history, you’ll want to stop in at the Dresden Room. Opened in 1954, the Dresden Room has been a place to spot celebrities, from Frank Sinatra to Julia Roberts, for decades. It has a fancy dining room or a more casual (and cheaper) bar with live music on a nightly basis. 

Visiting the Ennis House and LA

Whether you’re a fan of movies, Hollywood history, architecture, or all of the above, adding the Ennis House to your Los Angeles itinerary is a must. With its prime location in the Hollywood hills, this unique home is easy to find and impossible to miss. 

Looking for more to do in the area? We’ve got tips for things to do to feel like a local in Hollywood .

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Ennis House Tour

ennis house los angeles tour

This house has been on my “must see” list for quite some time. In fact, in a very geeky move, I put it as a Google alert and that paid off when AIALA (The Los Angeles Chapter of The American Institute of Architects) announced their one day tour on Sunday, April 6, 2014. The tour was fantastic. The day was great. From the eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren’s mansion in the original House on Haunted Hill (1959) (exterior), to Deckard’s apartment in Blade Runner (exterior), and Angel and Drusilla abode in Buffy season 2 and 3 (exterior), this place is a mecca for horror to sci-fi geeks.

Built in 1924 for retailer Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel, the Ennis House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by his son, architect Lloyd Wright. The house is the last and largest of the Frank Lloyd Wright’s four Los Angeles-area “textile block” houses (following La Miniatura in Pasadena, and Storer and Freeman in Hollywood Hills) which feature patterned and perforated concrete blocks that give a unique textural appearance to both their exteriors and interiors. The house and chauffeur’s quarters span roughly 6,200 square feet and were constructed of more than 27,000 concrete blocks; all made by hand using decomposed granite extracted from the site.

The Ennis House is a designated city, state, and national landmark. Billionaire Ronald Burkle owns the home and is restoring it.

Ennis House

2607 Glendower Avenue., Los Angeles, California 90027

You can walk by and view the outside of the house from the street. Please note this is a private residence, do not bother them. Do not trespass on their property. Don’t bother the neighbors. I recommend parking at the bottom of Glendower and walking up. A nice hike that will get your heart pumping.

Keeping abreast of news on the Ennis House through the LA Conservancy or the Los Angeles Chapter of The American Institute of Architects will provide other tour dates if they occur.

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California , Film Site , Mayan Revival

Ennis house (1923).

ennis house

Frank Lloyd Wright had designed the first of his California homes in 1909. Built in 1910 and located in Montecito, the design was a 5,000 sq, ft. “summer cottage” for Emily and George C. Stewar t. His third design in the state (there were 24 in all) was a home for Charles and Mabel Ennis. Designed in 1923 by Wright and built by his son, Lloyd in 1924, the home is located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

This house is privately owned and not available for tours.

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2655 Glendower Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Through its almost 100-year existence, the house has the interesting distinction of appearing in countless Hollywood productions (more than 80, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation). If you have seen Blade Runner, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Black Rain, Twin Peaks, The Karate Kid Part III, House of Frankenstein or House on Haunted Hill (a favorite Vincent Price vehicle), you have seen various shots of the Ennis House. See below for additional movies.

The exterior of the building is constructed from 27,000 precast and intricately patterned “textile” blocks ion a post-and-lintel system – also called a trabeated system – of horizontal beams held up by columns / posts. decorated in a Mayan revival style. The interlocking and delicately decorated blocks suggest Wright may have been greatly inspired by Mayan architecture.

The Ennis house is the last and – at 6200 sq. ft. – definitely the largest of Frank Lloyd Wright’s four “textile block” houses in the Los Angeles area. Charles Ennis passed away in 1928, only a few years after the house was completed. His wife, Mable sold the property eight years later.

From Architectural Digest (October 17, 2019): “After a little over a year on the market, the unique 6,000-square-foot residence—also known fondly as the Blade Runner house—was recently purchased by an unnamed buyer for $18 million, making it the most expensive property designed by the legendary architect ever sold.”

Movies Filmed on Site

There are a number of movies and music videos that have been filmed in Wright’s Ennis House over the years. The movies are listed below in chronological order and have links to Amazon where may trailers are available to watch for free or the movie may be rented or purchased. Some are also linked to YouTube. You can view our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/@FLWsites

This page may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure about affiliate links here .

Female (1933) Ruth Chatterton, George Brent

House on Haunted Hill (1959) Vincent Price

The Day of the Locust (1975) Donald Sutherland, Karen Black, Burgess Meredith

Blade Runner (1982) Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah

Black Rain (1989) Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Kate Capshaw

The Rocketeer (1991) Billy Campbell, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Connelly

Grand Canyon (1991) Steve Martin, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline

Ricky Martin music video, Vuelve (1998)

The Thirteenth Floor (1999) Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Dennis Haysbert

Fuel video of the song “Bad Day”

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Architecture and home design have always fascinated me. As a young girl I enjoyed drawing floor plans, rearranging my parent’s furniture and playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos.  My passion has always been the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Since I have been old enough to drive a car, I have visited Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the Chicagoland area and attended the Wright Plus house walks. Now, as co-owners of Northern Sky Designs , my husband & I are able to combine our website design skills and FLW travels to bring you this website! Enjoy!

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When The Times' Home section convened a panel of historians, architects and preservationists in 2008 to vote on the region's best houses off all time, the Ennis House ranked No. 3, ahead of the modernist Eames House, the John Lautner spaceship-on-a-hill known as Chemosphere and the Arts & Crafts beauty of the Gamble House. (Only Rudolph Schindler's Kings Road House in West Hollywood and Richard Neutra's Kaufmann House in Palm Springs finished higher in the voting.)

Landmark houses: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

When The Times’ Home section convened a panel of historians, architects and preservationists in 2008 to vote on the region’s best houses off all time, the Ennis House ranked No. 3, ahead of the modernist Eames House, the John Lautner spaceship-on-a-hill known as Chemosphere and the Arts & Crafts beauty of the Gamble House. (Only Rudolph Schindler’s Kings Road House in West Hollywood and Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House in Palm Springs finished higher in the voting.)  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

When Frank Lloyd Wright completed the Ennis House in 1924, he immediately considered it his favorite. The last and largest of the four concrete-block houses that Wright built in the Los Angeles area remains arguably the best residential example of Mayan Revival architecture in the country.  (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

Set on nearly an acre in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A., the Ennis House cost $300,000 to build in 1924, about $3.8 million today, adjusted for inflation. The main house has three bedrooms and three and half baths; separate staff quarters push the total living space to 6,000 square feet. Note the walkway above the driveway, which we will revisit ...  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

The entry gate and ...  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

… the view from above. Wright’s client was Charles and Mabel Ennis, owners of a men’s clothing store in downtown L.A. and enthusiasts of Mayan art and architecture. Wright created custom patterns for each of his houses built with concrete blocks -- or textile blocks, as they are often called because of the way the patterned squares were knitted together. For the Ennis House, the design was a Greek key, variations of which appear inside and out.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

Pictured here: the entry passage. Within some of the concrete blocks, it’s possible to interpret a stylized “g” — perhaps an allusion to the Masonic Order, of which Ennis was a member, and the organization’s symbol, the compass with the letter “g” in the middle representing god.  (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

Although the Ennis House was grand in scale and historic in sweep, it remained “highly livable,” said Janet Tani, whose father, Augustus O. Brown, owned the property from 1968 to 1980. Pictured here: a corner of the living room, where the concrete blocks are accented by Wright’s art glass.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

The view from the glass doors, looking back toward Wright’s mosaic fireplace design, right, and marble steps leads up to the dining room, in the distance at left.  (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

“One gets to experience the changes of light throughout the day and how that impacts interior spaces on a large scale,” former resident Tani said.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

Concrete blocks frame an interior view into the dining room.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

The dining room has two areas: a 10-person table for adults, and a smaller table closer to the window for children.  (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

The house had a series of owners including John Nesbitt, known for his radio and film series “The Passing Parade.” He owned the house from 1940 to 1942. Nesbitt had Wright design a 20-by-40-foot swimming pool and convert a storage area off the entry into a billiard room with a fireplace. These 1940 additions also included Wright’s plans for furniture, window treatments and rugs. In his drawings for Nesbitt, Wright renamed the house Sijistan, after a 10th century Persian palace. Although none of the furniture was built, several chairs were later produced for Wright’s Storer House, another L.A. house built with concrete blocks.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

The glass in the house was Wright’s design, and depending of the way the architect controlled the view, you either sensed city life or felt removed into nature, former resident Tani said. “By walking a few feet, one can be in a completely different environment.”  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

The long hallway leads toward the master bedroom.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

The master bedroom.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

Another bedroom view.  (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

Bathrooms have sunken tubs and showers.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

Wright had used concrete in monumental projects before, but in the 1920s it was still considered a new material, especially for home construction. The concrete was a combination of gravel, granite and sand from the site, mixed with water and then hand-cast in aluminum molds to create a block 16 inches wide, 16 inches long and 3.5 inches thick. It took 10 days for each block to dry before it could be stacked into position. The double-wall construction called for exterior blocks and interior blocks to be set about 1 inch apart, and estimates on the total number of blocks deployed by Wright have ranged from 27,000 to 40,000.  (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

The concrete blocks -- what gave the house its monumental presence -- also have been at the heart of its restoration efforts.  (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

This 2005 photo shows how rains the year before had damaged the exterior wall, since repaired.  (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

In 2008, The Times’ profiled a new house that architect Barbara Bestor built across the street from Ennis House. In an hommage to Wright, Bestor constructed her streetside privacy wall in a way that showcased her neighbor. Bestor likened it to putting Ennis House on a pedestal, like an objet d’art.  (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

Daunted by the millions needed to finish restoring the house, the Ennis House Foundation put the home up for sale in June 2009, where it has languished despite a price cut from $15 million to $7,495,000. Wright’s grandson, Eric Lloyd Wright, announced the proposed sale by saying a private owner would be better able to preserve the property moving forward. A private owner also would be in keeping with what Wright would have wanted, Eric Lloyd Wright’s statement to the L.A. Times said. “My grandfather designed homes to be occupied by people. His homes are works of art. He created the space, but the spaces becomes a creative force and uplifts when it is lived in every day.” Full article: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis house Landmark Houses: Interactive tour of Ray Kappe’s natural wonder   (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

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AD Classics: Ennis House / Frank Lloyd Wright

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  • Architects: Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  1924
  • Photographs Photographs: Ennis House Foundation

Text description provided by the architects. While driving through the Los Angeles area, a look up into the hillside above Griffith Park and you’ll be feasting your eyes with beauty and intrigue of monumental proportion.

AD Classics: Ennis House / Frank Lloyd Wright - Windows, Facade

Near the top of Vermont Avenue sits the Ennis House done by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1924, which dominates its surroundings as a modular masonry structure composed of square concrete bricks. Its inspiration is rather obvious, as Wright’s love for Mayan art and architecture connects this residence to the culture’s highly ornamented, symmetric and organized structures.

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The Ennis House was built fourth in a series of concrete block houses designed and completed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a client who shared his passion for the ancient Mayan culture. He fused successful methods of previous dwellings with an understanding of the necessity of considering the dwelling within its sunny Southern California environment.

ennis house los angeles tour

It was originally built for Mabel and Charles Ennis in 1924, but changed ownership multiple times until it was purchased by Augustus O. Brown in 1968. The Ennis House is sometimes referred to as the Ennis-Brown House, as it was renamed after the house was donated to the Trust for Preservation of Cultural Heritage by Brown.

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Why concrete blocks? “It was the cheapest (and ugliest) thing in the building world,” says Wright. “It lived mostly in the architectural gutter as an imitation of rock-faced stone. Why not see what could be done with that gutter rat?” Wright takes on the challenge of creating a warm and decorative material out of the standard cold industrial concrete, and achieves this through the carvings of a repeated geometric design.

As solid concrete walls, one would assume that the penetration of light inside is minimal. But upon closer investigation it becomes apparent that many of the pieces of textile blocks are punctured to create spaces through which light is revealed.

AD Classics: Ennis House / Frank Lloyd Wright - Courtyard

The house consists of two buildings, the main house and a smaller detached apartment/garage, which are separated by a vast paved courtyard that overlooks the greater Los Angeles area. Together, the two separate pieces work to conquer the landscape and houses built around the streets, as the whopping 10,000 square foot dwelling expands horizontally across the hilltop. The spine-like loggia runs along the northern side of the house to connect the public and private spaces to the south.

Many recognize the buildings unique design and massive quality from movies like “The Day of the Locust” of 1975 or probably more likely from “Blade Runner” of 1982. The list goes on, and also goes to show how beautiful and significant this structure really is.

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Like some other architectural landmarks that explore above and beyond typical construction methods, the Ennis House was marked structurally instable even before it was completed. Many of the concrete blocks in lower sections of the walls began to crack and buckle under tension. 

AD Classics: Ennis House / Frank Lloyd Wright - Facade, Courtyard

Wright’s seemingly good idea to incorporate decomposed granite from the site into the concrete mix of the blocks was also a flop as it introduced natural impurities, and when combined with air pollution it led to premature decay. The house also underwent more damage due to natural causes, like in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and the record high precipitation during the rainy season of 2004-2005.

The Ennis House Foundation has worked to obtain financial support to renovate and repair the damages done to this nationally acknowledged architectural landmark, although recently the house has been placed back in the real-estate market to be sold for around $12 million.

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Voted one of the top ten residences in Los Angeles by the LA Times and an official city, state and national landmark, the Ennis House continues to intrigue architects, artists, tourists and potential buyers as its dominant structure and unique materiality call for further studying and appreciation.

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This building is part of our Architecture City Guide: Los Angeles . Check all the other buildings on this guide right here.

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Frank Lloyd Wright Houses and Buildings in Los Angeles

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TripSavvy / Christian Hundley

Frank Lloyd Wright's Los Angeles houses are must-see gems in the famous metropolis of Los Angeles. You can tour only one of them. The rest are private homes not open to the public, but that won't stop you from driving by and admiring the architecture from the street. You can see all of Frank Lloyd Wright's Los Angeles houses in a well-planned day.

Some of the homes perch atop the Hollywood Hills with magnificent views of the city below. Others are in an elegant area of Pasadena that any architecture lover will enjoy visiting.

Hollyhock House

TripSavvy / Christian Hundley

If you only have a couple of hours to spare and you want to see a Frank Lloyd Wright home, opt for the Hollyhock House where you can take a guided tour. Built between 1919 and 1921, it represents Wright's efforts to develop a style of architecture for Southern California. 

Named after original owner Aline Barnsdall's favorite flower, Hollyhock House was just part of a living and arts complex set on 36 acres. It was Wright's first commission in Los Angeles and one of his first open floor plans.

Today, the house recognized by the American Institute of Architects as one of the seventeen Wright buildings that are representative of his contribution to American culture. The main house is open for tours, and three other buildings still stand on the site: the main house, the garage and chauffeur's quarters, and the so-called Residence A, which was built for artists' living quarters. 

Anderton Court Shops

Betsy Malloy Photography

The Rodeo Drive shops called Anderton Court are a little-known Wright design and not widely recognized as one of his better works. Multiple modifications obscure the original facade, but you can still see hints of the tower designs he repeated in other structures.

Decorative elements include piers that taper downward and chevron patterns on the central spire and edges of the roofline. Today it is home to a few small offices and a salon.

Ennis House

 Natalie Tepper/ArcaidImages/Getty Images

Ennis House is located at 2607 Glendower Ave, Los Angeles. This large and lovely home is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also a Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Monument and a California State Landmark. After some devastating damage and a long search for the right buyer, the house was sold and was under renovation.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, which served as a location for films such as “Blade Runner,” has was sold to billionaire Ron Burkle, founder of the Burkle Foundation and a trustee of the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy.

After the project is complete, Ennis House is expected to be open to the public a few days per year.

Samuel Freeman House

 Los Angeles/Wikimedia Commons

The Freeman House located at 1962 Glencoe Way in Los Angeles is one of three textile block houses Wright designed in the Hollywood Hills in the 1920s.

The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and has been listed as a California Historical Landmark and as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

The textile block design homes are examples of Wright's pre-Columbian inspired or early Modernist architecture. In 1986, the Freeman House was bequeathed to the USC School of Architecture. After the completion of renovations, the university plans to use it as a residence for distinguished visitors, as well as a setting for seminars and meetings. It is not open to the public.

John Storer House

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The Storer House found at 8161 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles is known for its drama. Although Wright believed in designing structures that blended seamlessly into their natural surroundings, this 3,000-square-foot house does anything but. 

One of the four textile block Wright houses in this pre-Columbian-inspired style in the Los Angeles area, the Storer House is unique because of its four-block designs.

The Storer House was built on a steep hillside in the Hollywood Hills. Dramatic for the era, the house was compared to a Pompeiian villa. It was surrounded by jungle-like lush landscaping which gave the illusion of a hidden Mayan ruin. The Storer house is a private residence and not open to the public.

Arch Oboler Gatehouse and Eleanor's Retreat

Located at 32436 West Mulholland Highway in Malibu, this complex was badly damaged during the Woolsey Fire in late 2018. Its fate is uncertain.

Its started as the grand "Eagle Feather" project that included a studio, house, stables and more designed for a radio personality, movie and early television director/producer Arch Oboler and his wife Eleanor.

However, only a gatehouse and a small studio were actually built. The Arch Oboler Gatehouse and Eleanor's Retreat buildings are the only example of desert rubblestone construction, the same style Wright used at Taliesin West in Scottsdale Arizona. The builders sourced materials from the surrounding area to make it feel as if the buildings were an extension of the desert floor thus the "rubblestone" moniker. 

Sturges House

Bobak Ha'Eri/Wikimedia Commons/CC-By-SA-3.0 

The Sturges House located at 449 N. Skyewiay Road in Brentwood Heights, is considered a masterpiece of American design, often compared to Wright's legendary Fallingwater in southwest Pennsylvania.

This was Wright's first Usonian-style structure on the West Coast with a design that seems to grow out of the side of the hill. Usonian was a term Wright coined for more modest, middle-American homes.

The one-story home is fairly small, 1,200 square feet, but the outdoor space more than makes up for it. The concrete, steel, brick and redwood home features a 21-foot panoramic deck.

The home is not open to the public.

Millard House

Jeremy Levine/Flickr 

The Millard House, also known as La Miniatura, located at 645 Prospect Crescent in Pasadena, sits on an acre of gardens and offers beautiful views. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is the first of the textile block house designed by Wright who was, at the time, experimenting with concrete building materials and using Mayan and Aztec symbols and designs to decorate them.

Wright was commissioned to build Millard House by Alice Millard, a rare-book dealer after he built a home for her in Illinois twenty years prior.

The home was built in 1923 and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It is not open to the public.

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5 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings to Visit on the West Coast

The legendary american architect may have gotten his start in the windy city, but he created some of his most iconic works out west..

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Frank Lloyd Wright designed some of his most well-known buildings on America's best coast.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed some of his most well-known buildings on America’s best coast.

Photo by Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

In 1887, legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright began his career in Chicago at just 20 years old. When he arrived, the atmosphere bustled with raw energy and progress: The city was experiencing intense population growth and a development boom as contractors hustled to rebuild the metropolis following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 . Here, Wright became famous for creating the prairie-style home , a design characterized by low-pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, open-floor plans, and rows of casement windows designed to bring sunlight into living spaces. Some of Wright’s most avant-garde, radical works, however, aren’t sited in Illinois—you have to travel to the West Coast to find them.

Wright began working and living in Los Angeles in the early 20th century, and it was a particularly tumultuous time in his life. He had taken the prairie-style house design as far as he thought possible and was reeling from the murder of his mistress Mamah Cheney and her two children, who were killed by a servant at Wright’s Wisconsin estate, Taliesin . They were both married when they first met, but Wright considered Cheney to be the love of his life and was stunned by her sudden and violent death. Feeling both creatively stagnant and emotionally devastated, he opted for a change of scenery and headed west.

Wright has always had a bit of a contrarian streak: Whereas contemporary homes of the era favored layouts where rooms might lead into one another, he was an early pioneer of open floor plans. But on the West Coast, Wright let his imagination truly run wild. Inspired by Mayan and Aztec architectural design—despite never having visited a pre-Columbian Central American site—he constructed some of the most striking buildings of his career, including Hollywood’s architectural darling, the Ennis House, and the famed Hollyhock House.

Here are five Frank Lloyd Wright buildings you can see on the West Coast:

The Ennis House is a Hollywood icon.

The Ennis House is a Hollywood icon.

Photo by Mike Dillon/Wikimedia Commons

1. Ennis House

Where: Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California Visit : Not open to the public except for private tours but is easily visible from the street

Blade Runner ! House on Haunted Hill ! Twin Peaks ! Several iconic films and TV shows have used the Ennis House as a filming location—it’s appeared more than 80 times on the silver screen thanks to its temple-like, mysterious appearance. Built in 1924 for Charles Ennis and his wife, Mabel, this home was the last Wright created in the Los Angeles area in “textile block”-style—constructed from elaborately patterned concrete squares. At the time, concrete was a relatively new building material and Wright saw great potential in both its artistic malleability and affordability for housing. More than 27,000 blocks were used to create the four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home, and it’s considered one of the best examples of Mayan revival architecture in the country.

The Ennis House is privately owned (it was last sold in 2019 to cannabis entrepreneurs Robert Rosenheck and Cindy Capobianco for $18 million) and is currently not open to the public for visits. However, this striking and iconic house is easily visible from the street. If you are hell-bent on getting inside, you can contact the owners of the home via their website.

SILVERTON, OR - SEPTEMBER 21, 2017: The Gordon House, West Side, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, located near the Oregon Garden

The Gordon House is the only home Wright ever designed in Oregon.

Photo by Dan Campbell/Shutterstock

2. Gordon House

When: Wednesday–Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Silverton, Oregon Visit: Tickets start at $20, thegordonhouse.org

The Gordon House is one of the last Usonian homes Wright designed (in fact, it was completed after the architect died) and is the only house he constructed in Oregon. Wright’s Usonian-style homes are simple and utilitarian in their design and were created with the intention of being affordable to middle-class Americans. Completed in 1963, the house was initially constructed in Wilsonville near the Willamette River and featured Wright’s signature emphasis on horizontal designs; it has a cantilevered roof. Cedar wood and painted cinder block construction materials as well as floor-to-ceiling windows helped blend the home into its natural surroundings. In 2001, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy saved the building from demolition (after the original homeowners died, the new owners wanted to make room for a larger, more contemporary house) and moved it to its current location in Silverton. In 2002, it was converted into a museum and is now open to the public.

The Clinton Walker House is the only home Wright created with a view of the sea.

The Clinton Walker House is the only home Wright created with a view of the ocean.

Photo by Greghenderson2006/Wikimedia Commons

3. Mrs. Clinton Walker House

Where: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California Visit: Not open to the public but visible from the beach

With its fairy-tale-like cottages and breathtaking coastline, Carmel-by-the-Sea has long been a must-stop on any road trip along California’s State Route 1—and this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, the only one he designed with a seaside view, gives all the more reason to tap the brakes. The Clinton Walker House is not open to the public, but it’s built on Carmel Point’s beach, so curious passersby can get a pretty good look at the building from the sand (all beaches in the U.S. are public property). The home was built in Wright’s Usonian style but is unique in design: It was constructed to resemble the bow of a ship cutting through waves. The house was designed for Della Walker, widow of Clinton Walker, in 1951. She reportedly wrote to Wright that she wanted a house “as durable as the rocks and as transparent as the waves.”

The home is only about 1,200 square feet and, like some of his other Usonian-style houses, has a hexagonal shape. Three rooms have swoon-worthy views of the ocean through dramatic, large windows, and the living room boasts an imposing floor-to-ceiling fireplace. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

After closing for a couple of years during the pandemic, Hollyhock House is now open to visitors once again.

After closing for a couple of years during the pandemic, Hollyhock House is now open to visitors again.

Photo by BD Images/Shutterstock

4. Hollyhock House

When: Thursday–Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: East Hollywood, Los Angeles Visit: Tickets start at $7, hollyhockhouse.org

In 1915, oil heiress and socialite Aline Barnsdall approached Wright to commission a theater. As the two schemed up ways to make Barnsdall’s dreams into a reality, plans expanded to include commercial shops, an artist residence, cinema, two guesthouses, and a residence for Barnsdall—only the guesthouses and main residence were ever built. She requested that the hollyhock, her favorite flower, be incorporated into the design of the house. Today, visitors can find the flower (which can be easily spotted by its notched petals) in the home’s textiles, furniture, decorative glass, and stonework.

Much like the Ennis House, Hollyhock House was heavily influenced by pre-Columbian Central American architecture and also has a rather enigmatic, eerie air about it. In fact, upon completion, Barnsdall found Hollyhock too impractical to live in (plus, it didn’t have a theater, the reason she commissioned the project in the first place). In 1927, she donated Hollyhock House, a guest residence, and 12 acres of her 36-acre property to Los Angeles. Today, the spread is still managed by the city and even got that long-awaited theater in 1971 . In 2019, Hollyhock House became the first UNESCO World Heritage site in the city.

The Hanna-Honeycomb house got its name from the structure's quirky hexagonal shape.

The Hanna-Honeycomb house got its name from the structure’s quirky hexagonal shape.

Photo by Anna Kristiana Dave/Shutterstock

5. Hanna-Honeycomb House

When: Open twice a year Where: Stanford, California Visit: Free, hannahousetours.stanford.edu

The Hanna-Honeycomb House is located on Stanford University’s campus and was constructed in 1937 for professor Paul Hanna and his wife, Jean. The house got its name from its hexagonal shape—there’s not a single right angle on the floor plan. It was Wright’s first foray into hexagonal homes and is considered to be one of the best examples of this uniquely shaped house design. The home was constructed using local materials, including boards made of redwood, San Jose bricks, plate glass, and local concrete. In addition to the main house, a hobby shop, storage building, carport, and guesthouse are on the property.

After living in the house for 38 years, the couple donated it to the university in 1975. The Hanna-Honeycomb house is open just twice a year for public tours, at Stanford’s Heritage Services discretion. Email them to find out when the next tour will be.

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  • Los Angeles Architecture

Demystifying Frank Lloyd Wright’s most eccentric LA homes

Critic Christopher Hawthorne’s engaging new documentary digs into the backstory of the Ennis and Millard houses

ennis house los angeles tour

Frank Lloyd Wright’s career casts a long shadow on the world of architecture and architectural criticism. Last year’s celebration of his 150th birthday suggests the architect is perhaps more popular today than he was during his lifetime—an era when he was arguably the world’s most famous architect.

This makes it all the more exciting to watch a television show that shines new light on his Los Angeles architecture, designed during one of the darkest periods of Wright’s life. As part of the Artbound series by KCET, Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Hawthorne has not only delivered a sprawling examination of the Ennis and Millard Houses , two of the architect’s eccentric, Mayan-inspired concrete block homes, but connects these ’20s oddities to Wright’s then-upended life and career.

That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles — which premiered last night, will air regularly on KCET , and can be watched online—includes the kind of in-depth and on-site analysis that adds new dimensions to these under-appreciated designs.

Like a crime drama, Hawthorne’s exploration of these homes, and Wright sites across the country, follows the trail of evidence where it leads, pulling together threads with forensic detail.

There’s something both larger-than-life and mysterious about these homes. The Ennis Home, built in 1924, which towers like a temple over Los Feliz, has made numerous cameos in movies and televisions shows, while the lesser-known Millard House (1923) hides in a Pasadena ravine (Hawthorne’s interest was piqued, in part, by repeated visits, since his daughter takes piano lessons at the home). They’re not unknown, but they are under-explored and under-analyzed by Wright standards, Hawthorne says.

“They’re not invisible, but the buildings themselves are kind of inscrutable and off-putting, and don’t open themselves up to easy analysis,” he adds. “They’re so different from Wright’s career and what other LA architects were doing at the time.”

What makes Hawthorne’s exploration of these sites so engaging is the way he traces how Wright’s ideas and personal life came together to create such singular structures. At the time these homes were designed and built, Wright had relocated from the Midwest to Los Angeles, trying to reinvent himself after his affair with Mamah Borthwick and her tragic killing at Taliesin pushed him to flee to Europe.

“There’s a degree to which Wright was trying to escape,” says Hawthorne.

ennis house los angeles tour

Wright arrived in Southern California during a period in the early 20th century when Los Angeles’s debate about its identity was playing out in its architecture. The default setting for civic design was Spanish Colonial: the state’s missions were being rediscovered and restored at the time, and the 1915 Panama-California exhibition in San Diego prominently featured the style.

But Wright—in the midst of his own identity crisis, having pushed the Prairie concept about as far as he could go, and always looking to do something daring—saw a different route. Channeling Mayan and Aztec patterns, some of which also received exposure at the Panama-Californian exhibition, the architect saw a new form that would be more authentically American than a style imported from Europe.

Never mind that Wright, who never visited actual Pre-Columbian Central American architecture sites, was engaged in his own myth-making, says Hawthorne. These styles and patterns fit together with the new concrete block building system he wanted to experiment with, and the notoriously self-confident architect undertook the challenge of creating a contrarian building in a landscape he barely knew.

Hawthorne’s hour-long documentary shines when it connects Wright’s previous projects with these architectural outliers. Trips to both the Robie House in Chicago, an epitome of Wright’s Prairie Style period and his time in the Midwest, as well as a look at the A.D. German Warehouse, a odd project in southwest Wisconsin, and the first use of his Mayan block patterns, shows how Wright arrived at these unique projects.

“That project was key to me,” says Hawthorne. “He comes almost directly from the Expo in San Diego and designs a warehouse that’s so otherworldly and out of place, yet so connected to what he’ll later be experimenting with in Los Angeles.”

ennis house los angeles tour

Despite the striking look of these buildings, Wright was determined to do something authentic and of the landscape, a point Hawthorne underscores. The recipe for his concrete blocks even called for using the soil from site of each project; that’s why the Ennis House, which rises from the hillside, matches the tan color. The Millard House was situated in a ravine, a challenging placement that raised the degree of difficulty on an already demanding project. A new structural system, and an atypical, romantic, site, which complicates construction; Wright was “challenging himself in an interesting, and often, perverse way.”

The architect was proud of the homes, at one point writing of the Millard House that he “would have rather built this little house in Pasadena than St. Peter’s in Rome. Clearly an exaggeration, it spoke to pride of authorship in the quirky gem of a home.

Hawthorne feels the deep dive into both homes, while exposing Wright’s unique process and influences, also shows how the two projects have a lot to say about a long-lasting design dialogue. How can architecture be used to explain and expound on LA’s civic identity?

“The most interesting buildings in LA, for me, are the ones that try and grapple with that idea,” he says. “What does it mean to be an LA architect, and build a LA home?”

Next Up In Los Angeles Architecture

  • Serene Venice house with bounty of outdoor spaces asks $4.2M
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  • Terrific ‘Triangle House’ in Tarzana seeks $3.9M
  • LACMA is being torn down right now
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Frank Lloyd Wright jewel - Ennis House

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  • Ennis House

Frank Lloyd Wright jewel

This uniquely captivating edifice was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and inspired by ancient Mayan Temples. Fascinatingly it incorporates about 27,000 granite blocks within the structure, in textile block style. Beautifully placed with superb vistas over the city, it was completed in 1924 for Charles and Mabel Ennis under the supervision of Frank’s son Lloyd Wright. It has had a number of owners down the decades and has also undergone renovations.

ennis house los angeles tour

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  1. How To Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in LA

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  2. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Iconic Ennis House Is Listed For $23M

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  3. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, Los Angeles, California

    ennis house los angeles tour

  4. Ennis House Tour

    ennis house los angeles tour

  5. Ennis House: Frank Lloyd Wright em Los Angeles

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  6. THE ENNIS HOUSE

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COMMENTS

  1. Ennis House

    2607 Glendower Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90027 Get directions Architects Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright Style Mayan Revival Wrightian Decade 1920s 1940s Designation CA Point of Historical Interest Listed in CA Register Listed in National Register Locally Designated Preservation Award Recipient Property Type Residential (All)

  2. Ennis House

    1924 Client Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel Address 2655 Glendower Ave. Status National Register of Historic Places. Privately owned. Website ennishouse.com Perched atop a hill in the Los Feliz neighborhood, it is among the best residential examples of Mayan Revival architecture in the country.

  3. Ennis House

    The Ennis House is a residential dwelling in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States, south of Griffith Park.The home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Charles and Mabel Ennis in 1923 and was built in 1924.. Following La Miniatura in Pasadena, and the Storer and Freeman Houses in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, the structure is the fourth and largest of ...

  4. Ennis House: What Makes This Frank Lloyd Wright Home So Beloved in

    October 19, 2022 If you've ever seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Day of the Locust, or Blade Runner, then you've also seen the Ennis House. In the films, the property is used to depict a vampire...

  5. Ennis House

    Ennis House. Los Angeles, CA 1924. Built in 1924 and occupying a majestic Los Feliz hilltop with staggering views from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, this remarkable property has undergone years of thoughtful restoration at a cost of nearly $17 million. Approximately 27,000 blocks were used in the construction, which were cast by ...

  6. Ennis House

    892 Want to Visit? 3283 Ennis House from House on Haunted Hill mark hayward (Atlas Obscura User) The Ennis House is an architectural gem and favorite location for film and TV production. In...

  7. The Ennis House by Frank Lloyd Wright

    Watch as NBC Open House gives a detailed inside look into one the most famous and iconic properties in all of Los Angeles, the legendary Ennis House by Frank Lloyd Wright. Famous for its...

  8. Inside a Famous $23M Mayan-Revival Frank Lloyd Wright Mansion

    About Credits Welcome to the Ennis House, one of the Los Angeles Hills' most legendary homes. At $23M, this Mayan revival Frank Lloyd Wright house has been featured in movies and TV...

  9. MAK Center Hosts: Ennis and Sowden House Tours + Reception

    Sunday, December 16, 2018. 12:00 AM 11:55 PM. Ennis House + John Sowden House (map) The MAK Center for Art and Architecture hosted a very special event featuring two iconic Southern California architecture masterpieces: The Ennis House (1924) by Frank Lloyd Wright and the John Sowden House (1926) by Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.

  10. How To Visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House in LA

    52 likes Add a comment... The hilltop home wasn't far into construction before problems became noticeable with some of the granite blocks buckling in key places. With construction being overseen by Wright's son Lloyd, the unhappy Ennis couple fired the Wrights and took over supervising completion of the home.

  11. Ennis House Tour

    Address: 2607 Glendower Avenue., Los Angeles, California 90027 You can walk by and view the outside of the house from the street. Please note this is a private residence, do not bother them. Do not trespass on their property. Don't bother the neighbors. I recommend parking at the bottom of Glendower and walking up.

  12. Ennis House

    Ennis House See all things to do Ennis House 3 2 reviews #585 of 925 things to do in Los Angeles Points of Interest & LandmarksMonuments & Statues Write a review About Duration: < 1 hour Suggest edits to improve what we show. Improve this listing Tours & experiences Explore different ways to experience this place. See options All photos (18)

  13. Ennis House: A Unique Frank Lloyd Wright Structure

    We head inside the Ennis House, the largest of Frank Lloyd Wright's Los Angeles area textile block houses that paid homage to Mayan architecture. In fact, it...

  14. Ennis House: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles

    Updated on 06/26/19 Betsy Malloy Photography Designed for Mabel and Charles Ennis in 1923 and completed in 1925, the Ennis House was Frank Lloyd Wright's last Los Angeles-area textile block-style project and the largest. Ennis lived in the house for only a few years before he died. His widow sold it in 1936.

  15. Ennis House

    Location 2655 Glendower Ave, Los Angeles, CA Through its almost 100-year existence, the house has the interesting distinction of appearing in countless Hollywood productions (more than 80, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation).

  16. Landmark houses: Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House

    Set on nearly an acre in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A., the Ennis House cost $300,000 to build in 1924, about $3.8 million today, adjusted for inflation.

  17. AD Classics: Ennis House / Frank Lloyd Wright

    The house consists of two buildings, the main house and a smaller detached apartment/garage, which are separated by a vast paved courtyard that overlooks the greater Los Angeles area. Together ...

  18. The Story of Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House (Featured in Blade Runner)

    The strange, monumental-looking mansion perched on a hilltop in Los Feliz at 2607 Glendower Avenue was built in 1924 for Charles and Mabel Ennis. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the house in a Mayan Revival style, evidently inspired by the ancient Maya temples.

  19. Frank Lloyd Wright Houses and Buildings in Los Angeles

    01 of 08 Hollyhock House TripSavvy / Christian Hundley Address 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027-5302, USA Phone +1 323-913-4030 Web Visit website If you only have a couple of hours to spare and you want to see a Frank Lloyd Wright home, opt for the Hollyhock House where you can take a guided tour.

  20. 5 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings to Visit on the West Coast

    1. Ennis House Where: Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California Visit: Not open to the public except for private tours but is easily visible from the street Blade Runner! House on Haunted Hill! Twin Peaks!

  21. Demystifying Frank Lloyd Wright's most eccentric LA homes

    The Ennis Home, built in 1924, which towers like a temple over Los Feliz, has made numerous cameos in movies and televisions shows, while the lesser-known Millard House (1923) hides in a Pasadena ...

  22. Frank Lloyd Wright jewel

    #585 of 870 things to do in Los Angeles Sights & Landmarks , Monuments & Statues , Points of Interest & Landmarks 2607 Glendower Ave , Ca 90027 , Los Angeles, CA 90027-1114