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Landmark Frank Lloyd Wright house seeks private owner

Posted By Karen Young On July 15, 2009 @ 11:20 pm In Featured,Real Estate | 1 Comment

Frank Lloyd Wright’s textile-block design, the Ennis House, the largest and boldest execution of this iconic architectural style, is being jointly offered for $15 million by Hilton & Hyland and Dilbeck Realtors in Los Angeles, California, with international marketing services provided by Christie’s Great Estates.

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The Mayan-inspired estate is being meticulously restored by the Ennis House Foundation.

“The Ennis House was the last of four homes my grandfather designed in this style,” says Eric Lloyd Wright. “The home is a culmination of sorts, imbued with his ambition and confidence.”

Perfectly sited on a hill with wraparound views of the city of Los Angeles, the Mayan-inspired estate is being meticulously restored by the Ennis House Foundation. The foundation began its work in 2005 when the house was placed on “most endangered” lists by both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the World Monument Fund.

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"My grandfather designed homes to be occupied by people," says Eric Lloyd Wright. "His homes are works of art.

As a result of the extensive efforts made thus far to save this spectacular piece of history, the Ennis House stabilization project won preservation awards from the Los Angeles Conservancy and the California Preservation Foundation. The Ennis House Foundation now seeks a private buyer to complete the restoration due to the challenges in sustaining long-term financial support for architectural philanthropy.

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A Wright signature detail, the glass mosaic-tile fireplace in the living room is one of only four ever created and is the best remaining example in any Wright structure.

“Our goal has always been to be a good steward of the house,” says James DeMeo, President of the Ennis House Foundation. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but at this point, a private owner with the right vision and sufficient resources can better preserve the house than we can as a small non-profit. And that’s what it is all about: taking the best care of this irreplaceable icon and ensuring its long-term architectural legacy.”

“The perfect owner for this magnificent property is a person with a keen appreciation of outstanding architecture and the importance of preserving it like a piece of fine art,” says Kay Coughlin, President & CEO of Christie’s Great Estates. “The Ennis House deserves to be restored to its original brilliance. The person who undertakes the task will be helping to preserve Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy, and in doing so, will create a legacy of their own which will endure for generations.”

Eric Lloyd Wright, a member of the board of the Ennis House Foundation, has been tirelessly involved in efforts to restore the house but believes a private owner would better honor Frank Lloyd Wright’s original intentions. “My grandfather designed homes to be occupied by people,” he says. “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.”

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Sited on a half-acre in Los Feliz, the estate totals 6,000 square feet consisting of a main house and a smaller chauffeur's quarters, separated by a paved motor courtyard.

Sited on a half-acre in Los Feliz, the estate totals 6,000 square feet consisting of a main house and a smaller chauffeur’s quarters, separated by a paved motor courtyard. The residence is introduced by a low and shadowed entrance lobby-a Wrightian device that prepares residents and guests for the dramatic burst of light and space awaiting atop the marble stairs.

The heart of the Ennis House plan is the elevated dining room with a fireplace, which is the most spacious area of the residence. The living room and study extend to the east to complete the central mass. A long horizontal window-lined loggia frames the pool and connects the public areas to the private rooms-the master bedroom, guest room, and upper terrace. The kitchen and a third bedroom occupy a separate wing.  High ceilings further enhance the grand space, as do the numerous leaded-glass windows. A Wright signature detail, the glass mosaic-tile fireplace in the living room is one of only four ever created and is the best remaining example in any Wright structure.

For more information, contact Lisa Bessone with Christies Great Estates at 1-505-983-8733 or email her at lbessone@christiesge.com

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