Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in Los Angeles, which went on the market back in June 2009 for $15 million has finally sold for less than a third of that: $4.5 million. Local business mogul Ron Burkle, who also owns the historic Greenacres/Harold Lloyd Estate in Beverly Hills, is, according to Ennis House Foundation Chair Marla Felber, “committed to complete rehabilitation” of the beleaguered house, which despite a recent rehabilitation still needs a lot of work. “While we did receive some other offers, they didn’t come from sources that could meet our main objective of finding a good steward for the house,” Felber told AN, adding that the Foundation was “thrilled,” to find the right buyer for the house, despite the lower sale price.
The 6,200 square foot Ennis House, designed by Wright and built in 1924 by his son Lloyd, is the most famous of Wright’s Textile Block Houses, made of more than 27,000 concrete blocks. The house had deteriorated over time and was especially hard hit by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and record rains in 2005. Despite a significant rehabilitation that stabilized the house and replaced more than 3,000 of the house’s tiles, the house still needs millions of dollars worth of more work (including the repair of many more concrete blocks) and the Ennis Foundation lacked the resources to complete the work, putting the house on the market.
Felber says that according to the terms of a conservation easement Burkle must provide some form of public access to the house for a minimum of 12 days per year, although the specifics of that deal haven’t been worked out, she said. Another easement permanently protects the house’s interior and exterior from “excessive alteration.” The house payment will help the Foundation pay off its construction loan, said Felber.