Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Project Restore to renovate Barnsdall Park's Hollyhock House

Restoration work on Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House

My article from November 2010's Los Feliz Ledger:

EAST HOLLYWOOD—By the end of 2010, a long-planned restoration of Hollyhock House should get underway.

A public/private partnership, “Project Restore” is the non-profit organization that will oversee construction at the house that includes improvements to the historic garage and seismic retrofitting and foundation work at the house as well fixes to leaking roofs. The $4.359 million allocated for improvements is a combination of state funds, a grant from the National Park Service via Save America’s Treasures program, seismic bond funds and Quimby fees from the city. These funds are not from the city’s general fund, thus the project is not subject to the same budget cuts facing the other facilities in the park.

Per Kevin Jew, project manager for Project Restore, the Hollyhock House garage will be upgraded first so that it can serve as an on-site construction office.  Already, initial steps have been taken at the house including the positioning of steel posts (photo above) that will anchor a temporary roof above the patio just off the living room. Portions of the roof have been sheathed in metal to prevent further water damage; those roofs will also be fixed.
Say goodbye to the 80+ year old Canary Island pine at Hollyhock House
One major and highly visible step will be the removal of a stately Canary Island pine on the house’s western facing side.  The tree’s roots are damaging retaining walls, according to Jew. Curator Jeffrey Herr confirmed that he is committed to keeping the house open for public tours, which may be re-routed somewhat for public safety’s sake.  The renovation will not be completed until late 2013. Summertime’s Friday afternoon wine tasting events, in conjunction with Silver Lake Wine, should not be impacted.

Remaining in a state of limbo: restoration work and the re-opening of Residence A, for decades home to adult art classes. An historic structures report was completed by the city in 2009 that estimated the cost of structural maintenance and restoration at $1.9 million. Funds for that restoration project are not yet in place.