Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, Project Restore, Department of Cultural Affairs, General Services Department and Planning Department
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 (architect), Department of Cultural Affairs (curator) and the General Services Department (general contractor).
The first year of the project was spent in design; studying, testing materials and doing research. The major construction started mid-2018.
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.
At the end of 2021, we were able to celebrate a very exciting milestone - the completion of Phase I of Residence A’s restoration! In addition to exterior and interior finishes, Residence A has received seismic retrofitting, mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades.
A beautifully designed cantilevered living room balcony featuring ornate patterns of art stone unique to this house in California, exquisite wooden moldings and floors, and recreated furniture from the turn of the last century – all meticulously restored to the site – are among the many details that visitors will observe and enjoy at Residence A once the work is completed and the building is open to the public.
We are working closely with city partners to ensure that Phase II of the project, focused on its interior, is fully completed.