this thread needs pics.
1924 – Frank Lloyd Wright
2607 Glendower Avenue – map
The last and largest of four textile-block houses built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the Los Angeles area in a short run in the mid-twenties, the Ennis-Brown House has seen the best and worst of times. Today, it sits vacant, awaiting a future which, at this point, is unclear. At least to me.
Wright built the home and its two-story garage and chauffeur’s quarters across the motor court for Charles W. Ennis (1858-1928) and his wife, Mabel (1863-1954). The Ennises (Ennisi?) came to Los Angeles in 1901 where Charles opened up a men’s clothing store downtown
Wright loved to build on hillsides, so this project must’ve been a real hoot for him. The house’s art glass windows are the last he designed for any home, and the Ennis House Foundation says there remains a glass mosaic tile fireplace inside, the last in existence in any FLW structure.
Poor Charles Ennis got to live in the house only until 1928. More accurately, poor Charles Ennis got to live only until 1928, period. Mabel continued to call the Mayan temple home until 1936. (srk1941 says Mabel later moved into Baldwin Hills Village, making her what I can only guess is one of the few people to have broken in two L.A. landmarks. Thanks, srk1941.) When the Passing Parade’s John Nesbitt bought the house in 1940, Wright returned and added a pool on the northside terrace as well as a billiard room.
Gus Brown and his wife bought the home in 1968. They made their own alterations to the house, like replacing a bedroom, bath, and stucco wall with a Japanese garden. Brown founded the Trust for Preservation of Cultural Heritage – the forerunner of today’s Ennis House Foundation – opening the landmark for tours. He wound up donating the monument to the organization before dying in 2002.
The motor court. Garage to the right.
1994’s earthquake and a rainy winter a decade later beat the hell out of the house, so much so the city’s Department of Building and Safety red-tagged the home as unsafe for entry. The following year, in 2006, the Foundation gathered a bunch of funding and began restoration. Here’s a paragraph pulled lock, stock, and barrel from the Los Angeles Conservancy website regarding the new construction:
The project team built a new structural frame to support the motor court, chauffeur's quarters, and part of the south wall, which had partially collapsed. The team also replaced the roof; repaired and restored interior woodwork, floors, ceilings, art-glass doors and windows, and a mosaic glass tile mural; painted the kitchen cabinetry in its original color; and cleaned interior concrete blocks. They repaired or replaced nearly 3,000 of the house’s 30,000 concrete blocks, many of which had eroded over time or were treated with waterproofing materials that inadvertently caused damage.
Wright wasn't responsible for the metal-work.
I called up and bothered some guy from the Ennis House Foundation
to ask him what the latest was. He told me stabilization of the house was finished in October and there are no plans for any events or fundraisers. According to its website, the Foundation is figuring rehabilitation
will ultimately run ten million dollars. At this point, the house is still closed up.