Councilmember O'Farrell Announces Major $3.2 Million Restoration Project at Barnsdall Park

Posted on 04/15/2016
Councilmember O'Farrell Announces $3.2 Million Renovation Project at Barnsdall Park

EAST HOLLYWOOD - Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell on Friday announced a major restoration project at Barnsdall Park’s Residence A, the dilapidated and shuttered guesthouse for the historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House which is also owned by the city and located in Barnsdall Park.

In order to begin the work, Councilmember O’Farrell introduced a motion that identified close to $1.9 million in funding from Community Redevelopment Excess Bond Proceeds available to the Council office. In addition to introducing a motion to unlock the funding, the Councilmember is also directing staff to work with Project Restore to identify the balance of the funds to complete the Project. Total cost of the restoration project is estimated at $3.2 million.

“Just over a year ago, we celebrated the grand re-opening of Hollyhock House which brought thousands of Angelenos to Olive Hill to imagine what it was like to live in Los Angeles in the 1920s,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “That event inspired a commitment from me which to identify funds to renovate Residence A. I want to thank Project Restore and my staff on the collaboration, and I look forward to one day cutting the ribbon on a newly renovated structure at Barnsdall Park.”

The scope of the work on the 2600-square foot residence will include seismic testing, inspection, analysis, repair, and strengthening; upgrade of roof and drainage systems; restoration of doors, windows, flooring; and the restoration of major areas, including Living Room, Foyer, Dining Room, and Kitchen. Residence A closed in 2000, when the entire park closed for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s tunneling of the Red Line subway.

“Project Restore is grateful to Councilman Mitch O’Farrell for identifying the much needed funds to initiate restoration of Residence A and for the opportunity to collaborate with the City of Los Angeles on this historically significant project,” said Ed Avila, President, Project Restore. “The restoration and preservation of Residence A is essential to maintaining the integrity of the Hollyhock House and Barnsdall Art Park. The people of Los Angeles feel great pride in the ownership of this incredible facility.”

Barnsdall Art Park, a popular City-owned facility located near Vermont Ave and Hollywood Blvd, is home to a world-class art gallery and the famed Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House, which is currently on the tentative list of the first modern architecture nominations from the United States to the United Nation’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

“The Department of Cultural Affairs appreciates the leadership of Councilmember O'Farrell for introducing a motion to the City Council to unlock critical funding for the $3.2 million restoration of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed 'Residence A' at Barnsdall Park,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. “This restoration, combined with the recent $4 million renovation of Hollyhock House, would result in bringing more people to the park to enjoy all of our facilities including the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, and the Barnsdall Arts Center and Junior Arts Center,"

Hollyhock House recently underwent a $4 million seismic renovation, and along with Residence A, are the only two publicly-accessible Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Los Angeles. In addition to the work at the residences, the Councilmember also spearheaded work to install an aesthetically-pleasing gate around the park to better secure the facility after hours.

Councilmember O’Farrell is the Chair of the City’s Arts, Parks, and Los Angeles River Committee, which oversees the Department of Recreation and Parks as well as the Department of Cultural Affairs, both of which manage operations at Hollyhock House, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, and Barnsdall Park.