Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Ennis House is for sale for the first time in decades. The house needs lots of work and the small foundation which currently maintains the home cannot afford the bills. From their website:
After serious consideration, the Ennis House Foundation has decided to place the Ennis House on the market for sale to a private owner. This decision stems primarily from the fact that the house needs more stewardship at this point than a small nonprofit can sustain.
The goal of the Foundation has always been to be a good steward of the Ennis House. Since its reorganization in 2005, the Foundation has worked to complete urgent stabilization and restoration work on the home in the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the 2004-2005 winter floods. Having met this critical priority, the Foundation’s board focused on analyzing longer-term needs and options for the house.
The price is $15m, but the home needs an estimated $10m in repairs…
If you are a fan of the film Blade Runner, you will recognize the house in the shots below:
The house was also used in Rush Hour, Black Rain, the original House on Haunted Hill, The Rocketeer, and Grand Canyon. You can see stills of all those films here.
In Architectural Digest (October, 1979) Thomas Heinz, editor of the Frank Lloyd Wright Newsletter, wrote:
“The Ennis House is one of the first residences constructed from concrete block. Wright transforms cold industrial concrete to a warm decorative material used as a frame for interior features like windows and fireplaces as well as columns. His sixteen inch modular blocks with intriguing geometric repeats invite tactile exploration. The art glass windows and doors, reminiscent of examples from the earlier prairie period, here achieve greater color suddenly as they graduate in intensity from darker at the top to lighter at the bottom. The wisteria motif mosaic above the living room fireplace is the extant example of the only four art glass mosaics Wright ever designed. “The metal work based on Mayan imagery is not of Wright’s design, and may have been included at Mr. Ennis’ request, yet from the very large iron grill at the main entrance to such minute details as light switches and lock plates, there is a unity of conception and materials that complements the entire structure.”