Ennis-Brown House is the magnificent creation of world- famous
architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is one of the most outstanding
residential structures existing in the United States.
Architectural Digest (October, 1979)* Thomas Heinz states: "The
residence is one of the most unusual of Wright's California designs.
In it, he combined elements from his past work with a new vocabulary
created specifically for the sun-drenched, slightly rugged topography
of Southern California. Aware that his client shared his affinity
for Mayan art and architecture, he drew inspiration from that
culture's highly ornamented and organized buildings.
Ennis-Brown House is one of the first residences constructed from
concrete block. Wright transforms cold industrial concrete to
a warm decorative material used as a frame for interior features
like windows and fireplaces as well as columns. His sixteen inch
modular blocks with intriguing geometric repeats invite tactile
art glass windows and doors, reminiscent of examples from the
earlier prairie period, here achieve greater color suddenly as
they graduate in intensity from darker at the top to lighter at
the bottom. The wisteria motif mosaic above the living room fireplace
is the extant example of the only four art glass mosaics Wright
metal work based on Mayan imagery is not of Wright's design, and
may have been included at Mr. Ennis' request, yet from the very
large iron grill at the main entrance to such minute details as
light switches and lock plates, there is a unity of conception
and materials that complements the entire structure."
beautiful example of the genius of Wright is visited by architects,
architectural historians, artists and art lovers from practically
every country in the world. The house is listed by the U.S. Department
of the Interior in the National Register of Historic Places, it
has been declared a Cultural Heritage Monument by the city of
Los Angeles, and it has been designated a California State Landmark.
house was built for Mabel and Charles Ennis in 1924, and after
changing hands many times, it was purchased by Augustus O. Brown
and Marcia Brown (deceased) in 1968. Efforts to restore and maintain
the house throughout the years have been very rewarding.
1980, Brown donated the house to the Trust for Preservation of
Cultural Heritage, a non-profit organization led by professionals
and individuals active in historic preservation. In consideration
of the gift, the house was renamed the Ennis-Brown House.
Trust continues to perform rehabilitation work as required and has
secured the services of Eric Lloyd Wright to serve as its primary
architect. It is anticipated that all needed preservation
efforts will require upwards of $12 million dollars. Every
effort is being made to raise these needed funds and the Trust
welcomes all who are interested in participating.
*Thomas Heinz is the editor of the Frank Lloyd
Wright Newsletter, Oak Park, Illinois.