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Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House in Los Angeles for Sale for $15M

Atlanta, GA 6/20/2009 4:22:26 AM

The Ennis House, one of the historic houses built by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is on sale for $15 million.

 

The Ennis House Foundation placed the historic house on sale Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times. The house is located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, near Griffith Park and its renowned Griffith Observatory.

 

Eric Lloyd Wright, the architect's grandson and a member of the nonprofit Ennis House Foundation's board, said that the house should be sold to a private entity, partially due to the economic downturn.

 

"My grandfather designed homes to be occupied by people," he said in a statement to The Times. "His homes are works of art. He created the space, but the space becomes a creative force and uplifts when it is lived in every day."

 

Frank Lloyd Wright completed the house in 1924 for Charles and Mabel Ennis, the owners of a men's clothing store who liked to entertain guests. The house was the last and largest of four homes that Wright designed in an experimental "textile block" style.

 

In 1936, Mabel Ennis sold the house. Wright then converted a ground-floor storage space into a billiards room with a fireplace, added a lap pool on the north terrace, and installed a heating system for radio personality John Nesbitt, who owned the property from 1940 to 1942.

 

In June 1968, Augustus O. Brown, the last private owner, bought the estate for $119,000 and made extensive repairs. In 1980, he donated the property to a nonprofit trust he established to ensure that the house would be maintained. That group became the Ennis House Foundation.

The foundation began its restoration in 2005 after the estate, which was heavily damaged by rain and the 1994 Northridge earthquake, was placed on "most endangered" lists by both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the World Monuments Fund.

 

The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been featured in films including "House on Haunted Hill," "Grand Canyon" and "Blade Runner."

Hilton & Hyland and Dilbeck Realtors in Los Angeles are jointly offering the house, with international marketing provided by Christie's Great Estates in Santa Fe, N.M.

A new owner would face a projected bill of $5 million to $7 million to return the house to its former grandeur, atop $6.5 million the foundation has already invested to stabilize the property and begin restoration.

 

Inspired by the ruins of Uxmal, Mexico, the 6,000-square-foot estate consists of a main house and a smaller chauffeur's quarters, separated by a paved motor court. An elevated dining room with a fireplace is the most spacious area. The study and the living room, which contains a glass-tile mosaic fireplace, extend to the east.

 

A long, window-lined loggia frames the pool and connects the public areas to the private rooms:  the master bedroom, a guest room and an upper terrace. The kitchen and a third bedroom occupy a separate wing.

 

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