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Hollyhock House
Photograph: Michael Juliano

Take a virtual tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s hilltop Hollyhock House

By
Michael Juliano
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Whether sipping wine on its lawn in the summertime or just swinging by to take in the views of Hollywood, we can always find a reason to stop by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House—except for right now, when it, along with nearly every other landmark in L.A., is temporarily closed.

But thanks to a virtual tour launched by the City of Los Angeles last summer, you can explore the interior and exterior (including spots inaccessible on the in-person tour) of this 1921 architectural landmark from the comfort of your couch.

Head on over to the virtual tour site, which was developed by local company AVA Inclusivity, Inc., and you’ll be greeted with the familiar western facade of Wright’s first L.A. commission. From there, you can click and tap your way through doors, zoom in on the incredible woodwork and glass detailing, poke around the kitchen and even head up onto the roof (it’s particularly fun on a smartphone, where you can take advantage of motion-enabled 360-degree views). Make sure to tap on the plus signs whenever you see them; you’ll be prompted with text and audio snippets about everything from the iconic Mayan and Aztec-inspired textile blocks to the Rudolph Schindler-designed doorknobs.

Hollyhock House

Photograph: Michael Juliano

Hollyhock House

Photograph: Michael Juliano

The Hollyhock House was originally conceived of as a progressive theatrical community space by activist and oil heiress Aline Barnsdall. And though it never quite reached that level of complexity, it does serve as the centerpiece of the public-arts–focused Barnsdall Park. Decades of flooding and seismic concerns contributed to a rocky history for the concrete and stucco structure, but a massive renovation that wrapped up in 2015 reopened the house for tours. In 2019, it—along with seven other Wright landmarks—was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and more of its rooms were opened up to tours.

Hollyhock House

Photograph: Michael Juliano

In other virtual Barnsdall Park news, the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation and the Junior Arts Center will be offering free family art workshops every Sunday (10am–noon) via Zoom though the end of May.

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