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Hollyhock House and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery

We decided to go out to Wacko Bookstore, and after spending an hour and unknown quantities of money, we picked Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park.

The views from the park are amazing – the hill is pretty tall and provides striking views of the Hollywood sign, the Planetarium, and downtown Los Angeles.

The famous Hollywood sign on the left and the Planetarium on the right

A view of the Los Angeles skyline

We started with the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.  The show was for a benefit coming up, a silent auction of work from local artists.

The main entrance of the Municipal Art Gallery

The commemorative plaque outside Hollyhock House

We then took a tour of Hollyhock House, which was the first house in Los Angeles to be designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  It was built between 1919 and 1923.  Wright wanted to build a house that was influenced by southwestern and Mexican architecture instead of the Prarie architecture style he had created in the midwest.  He depended on his son, Lloyd Wright, and Rudolf Schindler to supervise the construction because he was also designing Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan at the time.

Aline Barnsdall intended the building to be the center of an arts center for Los Angeles.  Only three of the originally designed buildings were built, and one of those was eventually torn down.  Barnsdall liked the hollyhock flower, and asked Wright to use it as a motif in the design.

The front door of Hollyhock House

The house as tall roofs and is colored mostly grey and yellow ochre.  The house had a pond, and a stream that ran up to the house – there was a pool of water surrounding the fireplace in the living room which was fed from the stream as well.  The fireplace is the center of the living room, and has elements of earth, air, fire and water.  The house has many doors to the outside, and there are rooms that are only accessible by going outside.

The master bedroom was quite special.  There is a step down on the left side of the room which is just wide enough for a mattress – a futon mattress was intended to be rolled out on that terrace, the windows right next to the bed opened, and one would sleep as close to outdoors as possible while staying under cover.

Today there is the Municipal Art Gallery and a theatre company on the premises.

We drove over to a shopping area of Los Feliz to get a frozen yogurt.

A very cool mural on a wall where we parked in Los Feliz

We stopped in a really cool shop called show, 1722 North Vermont Ave., 323.644.1960.  We really liked a couple of doll heads and a really neat painted wood serving tray – maybe we’ll buy a tray if we buy a house.

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