Saturday, December 27, 2008

Top Ten Houses in Los Angeles

Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Home Endangered By Heavy Rains

The Los Angeles Times had made a list and checked it twice. Well, a lot more than twice but that's the way the song goes.

The Ennis House, built in 1924 by Frank Lloyd Wright, is number 3 on the list of top ten houses in Los Angeles--top ten of All Time. "A heavy, elongated mass constructed of 16-by-16-inch concrete blocks . . . sited majestically on a hilltop overlooking Griffith Park, the building appears to be more than a house--an elegant fortification, perhaps, or a temple." That's how the Times puts it today, in "The best houses of all time in L.A."

This picture is from 2005, when Diane Keaton and other preservationists toured the house. A retaining wall was crumbling, and Phase 1 of a project to stabilize and restore the house is now complete.

Want to see pictures of the house now, looking a bit more gorgeous? The Times photo spread of unutterable beauty is here. You can also see it in films--Wikipedia has a list. I did not realize the Ennis House masqueraded as a Hong Kong skyscraper lobby in Rush Hour.

As for numbers 2 and 1 on the Times list (you'll have to go to the paper for the entire top ten), The Kaufmann House in Palm Springs (I quibble with extending the geography that far, but I'm glad Richard Neutra is on the list) is #2, and the Kings Road House of Rudolph Schindler is Number One.

The top ten were picked by a survey of architects, preservationists, and professors, according to the Times--but they're a bit short on details of those surveyed, except for quotable quotes.


Anonymous said...

actually a list of those surveyed plus their profiles is in the print edition of the Times.

Vix said...

Oh! I missed that; I read the main article over, looking especially for words on how the panel was assembled. My print edition is long gone now, though.