Christina Simon's Blog

Beyond The Brochure

Christina Simon

Christina Simon
Los Angeles, California, USA
March 22
Mom Blogger
Fat Envelope Publishing
Christina Simon is the co-author of “Beyond The Brochure: An Insider’s Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles.” She also writes the blog, about applying to private elementary schools in Los Angeles and the ups and downs as life as a private school mom. Christina is a former vice president at Fleishman-Hillard, a global public relations firm. She has a 9-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. Christina lives in Los Angeles with her husband and kids. She has a B.A. from UC Berkeley and an M.A. from UCLA. Christina has written recent guest blog pieces for The Huffington Post, Salon.Com, Mamapedia, BlogHer Syndication,The Mother Company, The Well Mom and numerous other blogs.


JULY 14, 2011 4:09PM

Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House Prestigious Nomination

Rate: 3 Flag

Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar nominated the Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House located in Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, for inclusion on the list of United Nations World Heritage Sites. 

To qualify for World Heritage status, a building must be, among other things, a “masterpiece of human creative genius.” This is a prestigious designation and one that will generate funds for conservation, according to Secretary Salazar.

I’ve been to Barnsdall Park in East Hollywood several times, but I’ve never visited the Hollyhock House. So, a story on NPR today about the designation intrigued me. I went online to see what the home looked like. 

Hollyhock House has already achieved National Historic Landmark recognition in 1997, according to the “Friends Of Hollyhock House” website.

Writing about the Hollyhock House, The Friends Organization says, “Hollyhock House is Wright’s first Los Angeles project.  Built between 1919 and 1923, it represents his earliest effort to develop a regionally appropriate style of architecture for Southern California.  Wright himself referred to it as California Romanza, using the musical term meaning “freedom to make one’s own form”.  Taking advantage of Los Angeles’ dry, temperate climate, Hollyhock House is a remarkable combination of house and gardens.”


(Exterior of Hollyhock House, Image: Flickr/Bing) 

The home is unusual and unconventional even by Los Angeles architectural standards. These photos show the house from various angles. They give us a glimpse into Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision as he designed the home for Aline Barnsdall, philanthropist and benefactor of Barnsdall Art Park.

At first glance, the house looks like…(gasp!) a mausoleum. Could this really be a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece? It’s not until I scroll though photos of the living room that I begin to recognize the architect’s familiar genius that has influenced so much of Los Angeles’ modern architecture. Warmth flows from the living room and throughout the interior of the home. It is stunning in its simplicity.

 Hollyhock House interior 

(Hollyhock House Living Room, Image: Bing) 

Then, I saw the photo of the master bedroom. It made me swoon. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. The master bedroom itself is worthy of UN World Heritage designation.

 Hollyhock Master Barnsdall Art Park

(Hollyhock House Master Bedroom, Image: Barnsdall Art Park) 







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Mausoleum is exactly what I thought when I saw the photo of the exterior.

One of my favorite places is Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. When I took a tour, I thought about hiding somewhere inside until they closed for the night, then spending the night there.
I honestly don't think Hollyhock House is Frank Lloyd Wright's best work. But, I do love the master bedroom!
As one who grew up in Wisconsin, amidst many of Wright's creations, I applaud your story, even though this particular place is not among my favorites either. Wright creations of note include Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Taliesin West, in North Scottsdale, Arizona. Both are worth a visit, as is Fallingwater in Pennsylvania.
My first impression was: ancient Egyptian house of worship. As a kid I lived a block away from a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Rochester, NY, so I grew up thinking that having one in your neighborhood was nothing special.