The Ennis House is a residential building located at 2607 Glendower Ave, Los Angeles, California. The house was built in 1924 for the owner Charles and Mabel Ennis, who owned a clothing store in Los Angeles, and was designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The structure sits south of Griffith park, near the top of Vermont Avenue. The Ennis house structure is composed mainly of square concrete blocks.
From the house, one can view the Los Angeles metropolitan area towards the north, and the Griffith Park on the south of the house. It’s among last four textile-block houses of Los Angeles. The house is inspired by the Mayan architecture, which is obvious from the design and exterior of the house.
Frank Lloyd Wright immediately after its completion,considered the house to be his most favorite work of all-time. The Ennis House was built on nearly an acre of land. The house total cost for the construction came out to be around $300,000 in 1924.
Facade Treatment and Detailing
The architect wanted to create a place that is made out of concrete but have a warm feeling about it, and to achieve this he used repetitive geometric design. In order to have sufficient light in the house, the textile blocks were punctured which provided spaces through which light can penetrate or pass.
The owner of the house contacted Wright and asked him to design the house as per the Mayan culture, as he shared his passion for Mayan Revival architecture. It was the fourth concrete brick house designed by the architect in a series in Los Angeles. The Ennis House has been designated as a National Register of Historic Places.
It’s also a City, state, and a National Landmark. The Ennis house has seen various owners until it was purchased by Augustus O. Brown in 1968. The house was renamed after it was donated to a Trust which works for Preservation of Cultural Heritage by Brown.
Ennis House Floor Plan
The Ennis House consists of two separate buildings, the large portion consisting of the main house and a smaller portion for apartment/garage. Both the buildings together covers the entire landscape and houses around the street, with an area of 10,000 square foot. The horizontally shaped spine-like loggia along the northern side connects the public and private part to the south.
The eastern and lower end of the building consists of a kitchen, living room, guest room, master bedroom and bathroom, small bedroom and upper terrace. The main house has a total three bedrooms each with a bathroom. The total living space contributes to 6,000 square foot of space.
The house has been featured in movies like “The Day of the Locust” and “The Blade Runner”, where it got featured due to its unique Mayan Revival architectural design.
Building Section View
The Ennis House was considered structurally unstable even before its completion. The lower section of the walls began to buckle under stress and the concrete block had cracked. Textiles blocks suffered premature decaying due to the addition of decomposed granite in the concrete mix.
The house suffered, even more, damage during the 1994 Northridge earthquake and then again in 2004-2005 because of record precipitation.In 2006, the restoration process of Ennis House was again restarted from the loan provided by the First Republic Bank. The restoration was completed in 2007 at an estimated cost of US$6.4 million.
The Ennis House was put up for sale in June 2009 at a price of US$15 million. In July 2011, billionaire Ronald Burkle bought the house for an amount of US$4.5 million.