If you found yourself walking around the Los Feliz area in Los Angeles, you might suddenly come face to face with an unusual building, that simply does not belong to the average Californian neighborhood. If that is the case, then you are at the presence of Ennis House.
Built in 1924 for Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel, Ennis House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and later built and renovated in time by his son, architect Lloyd Wright and is the last and largest of the elder Wright’s four “textile block” houses (other three include La Miniatura in Pasadena, and the Storer and Freeman Houses) in the Los Angeles area.
The particularity of this Wright’s building is that it was in fact based on ancient Mayan temples, and is sometimes referred to as an example of the Mayan Revival architecture. Its main characteristic is definitely the detailed ornamentation of its blocks, which was influenced by the symmetrical reliefs of the famous Mexican buildings of Uxmal.
The property expands on 6,200 square feet of land and is built with more than 27,000 concrete blocks (all hand-made using decomposed granite). Its unique aspect has made it a popular filming location for TV and movies, including The House on Haunted Hill (1959), Blade Runner (1982), and the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Following her husband’s death, Mabel Ennis sold the house in 1936. It was renovated in 1940 by Lloyd Wright. However, by 2005 Ennis House made a sad record and was entered in the list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places after its main structure had been several damaged by heavy rains and earthquakes. In 2011 the Ennis House Foundation announced that the house had been sold for just under $4.5 million, to the business executive and founder of the Yucaipa Companies Ron Burkle who committed himself to complete the rehabilitation of this LA icon.
Ennis House was included in the top ten houses of all time in Los Angeles Times among other important publications.