of the House

The 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.

In 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.

"The 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 exploration.

"The 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 ever designed.

"The 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."

This 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.

The 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.

In 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.

The 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.


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