RESIDENCE A, BARNSDALL ART PARK
4800 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Like the Hollyhock House, Residence A will soon be restored to its original splendor. Project Restore is partnering with Los Angeles City forces in restoring this significant historic structure located at Barnsdall Art Park.
As part of Frank Lloyd Wright’s first project in Los Angeles, Residence A, also referred to as “The Director’s House,” was originally envisioned by Aline Barnsdall to act as a smaller auxiliary residence for a theater director to the central Hollyhock House. Recognized as a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument, the building was used as a center for youth activity known as the “Barnsdall Playground” and “Barnsdall Arts and Crafts Center” for more than 70 years after it was donated to the City of Los Angeles.
The building began showing structural issues as early as the 1970s, and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake caused serious property damage that lead to its closure. With funding from Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s office, Project Restore has been leading the major restoration effort in partnership with the Bureau of Engineering, General Services Department and the Department of Cultural Affairs.
The first year of the project was spent in design; studying, testing materials and doing research. The major construction started mid-2018 and the structural work is right on schedule.
In September 2019, the U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service awarded a $500,000 grant to Project Restore to preserve and repair Residence A. The award, one of five in the State of California and the largest, is made possible through the Save America’s Treasures grant program, which is funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The investment by the City of L.A. helped leverage interest in additional funding, most recently this National Park Service Grant.
The team has moved on to the next phase in making the space usable. The cantilevered living room balcony that was removed in the 1950s has been rebuilt, and the art stone was cast anew, delivered to the site and test fitted. Once the art stone was fitted, waterproofing was installed, and stucco applied. The roofs have also been successfully installed! Mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades are being made as well.
Along with the recently restored Hollyhock House, the restoration of Residence A will help attract more visitors to the park to enjoy all of the art facilities.