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Fodor's Southern California 2014
Barnsdall Park/Hollyhock House
Barnsdall Park/Hollyhock House Review
The panoramic view of Hollywood alone is worth a trip to this hilltop cultural center. After many years of closure as the buildings were repaired and retrofitted following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, this arts center is coming back into its own.
On the grounds is the famous Hollyhock House, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright between 1919 and 1923. It was commissioned by philanthropist Aline Barnsdall to be the centerpiece of an arts community on the hill, complete with theaters and an actors' dorm.
While Barnsdall's project didn't turn out quite the way she planned, the park now hosts the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery and Theatre, which provides exhibit space for visual and performance artists; affordable art classes for children and adults are also taught here.
A film chronicling the Hollyhock House runs daily in the lobby of the Municipal Art Gallery—but better yet, join a docent tour of the building. Wright dubbed this style "California Romanza" (romanza is a musical term meaning "to make one's own form"). Stylized depictions of Barnsdall's favorite flower, the hollyhock, appear throughout the house in its cement columns, roofline, and furniture.
The leaded-glass windows are expertly placed to make the most of both the surrounding gardens and the city views. On summer weekends, there are wine-tasting events and outdoor movie screenings that are wildly popular. There is also a small farmers' market every Wednesday (noon-6 p.m.) in the parking lot near the entrance.
- Address: 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA 90027 | Map It
- Phone: 323/644–6269
- Cost: Gallery free, Hollyhock House tour $7
- Hours: Museum: Thurs.–Sun. noon–5; 1st Fri. of month, noon–9. Hollyhock tours: Wed.–Sun. hourly 12:30–3:30
- Website: www.hollyhockhouse.net
- Location: Hollywood
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