Frank Lloyd Wright’s most popular residence has finally been sold for $4.5 million to Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle. The majestic Los Feliz home filled with concrete blocks is the greatest residential example of Mayan Revival architecture in the United States today.
The home was first built in 1924 for retailer Charles Ennis and his wife. Wright obtained the home and made it into a masterpiece transforming the bland concrete blocks into decorative works of art, using them to frame interior aspects such as fireplaces, windows and columns. The home had been under the ownership of the Ennis House Foundation until Burkle’s recent purchase.
Some might consider this purchase by Burkle a steal. The Ennis House went on the market in 2009 for $15 million before dropping to $7,495,000 due to a lack of interested buyers and was finally sold for $4.5 million, less than half of the original price.
Do not be fooled, the home needs extensive restoration. The 1994 Northridge Earthquake and record rainfall in 2005 account for much of the damage, however the Foundation has no doubts about Burkle’s ability to restore the home.
“Mr. Burkle has a track record of preserving important historic homes, and we know he’ll be an excellent steward of the Ennis House,” said Maria Felber, chair of the Ennis House Foundation. It was important that the new owner be cooperative with the Foundation as the home is designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #149 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A result of this is that Burkle is required to permit the Ennis House to be open a minimum of twelve days per year to allow the public to experience the interior of this magnificent home.