Barnsdall, who was a traveler, philanthropist, art collector and political radical, hired Wright to build a theater complex where she could put on avant-garde plays, but the project evolved to include her house in a larger art complex. Construction began in 1919, but Barnsdall fired Wright from the job in 1921, citing ballooning costs as cause for dismissal. Architect Rudolph Schindler moved from Chicago to California to oversee the project’s completion.
Shown: Wright designed the home’s original concrete bas-relief fireplace. A skylight above the fireplace and a pool area at its base bring the four elements together at the hearth, the traditional center of the home.
The just-completed $4.4 million renovation has returned the house to its original grandeur, inviting guests to experience what the house looked like when it was originally completed.
Construction focused on fixing leaking roofs and restoring floors, windows, doors and original paint colors, among other details. “With Frank Lloyd Wright, and especially Hollyhock House, the restoration is about re-creating the lost details,” Herr says.