In the heart of Los Angeles is the oasis of the Barnsdall Park, which is a vibrant cultural and recreational hub within the busy city. It is a charming historic site that has panoramic views of Hollywood, within the beautiful area is an Art Center, the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre and the Hollyhock House that was designed by famous architecture Frank Lloyd Wright. Presently, the goal of the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation is to create an artist environment, while preserving the space, and inspiring culture in Los Angeles. The fascinating history behind the park, the beautiful architecture, community involvement, and stunning grounds make it a popular tourist destination in California.
The history behind Barnsdall Park begins in 1915 when Aline Barnsdall commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to create a cultural hub in Los Angeles. She selected the 36-acre site known as Olive Hill to develop a center for theatre; which included a director’s house, dormitory, studios, shops, theatres, and a home for herself. Barnsdall and Wight first began by designing the Hollyhock House; construction commenced 1919 and was completed in 1921. The vision of Barnsdall was never completed due to financial and artistic difference; before the house was even finish Wright was fired from the job. Only the Hollyhock House and two secondary residences were built before the project ended. In 1926, Barnsdall donated the Hollyhock House and 11 acres to Los Angeles in the memory of her father with the condition that the space remain as a public place and would be used for the arts. Even though she never lived in the home, the doors of a private residence opened to the public. During the 1950s and 1960s the city created additional art center buildings including an art gallery, studios, and a modern theatre. The culturally significant home was the first structure crated by the famed architecture Wright in Los Angeles, and during the 1990s the home went through a large restoration project to bring it back to its previous grandeur. In 2003, the non-profit Barnsdall Art Park Foundation was established to continue to support the park, the art programs, and advocate for the preservation of the historical structures on the site.
Within the beautiful haven of Barnsdall Park is a cultural hub for the city of Los Angeles; the historic buildings, arts programs and events invite the community to enjoy the estate. In the park there is the Hollyhock House, the Barnsdall Art Center, and the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, each of these features encourage public engagement in culture and arts. The center of the park is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Hollyhock House that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wight. This magnificent design is famous for being a house that was ‘ahead of its time’ this can be seen in the temple like exterior and the details that adorn the deign. The entrance of the home is made to feel like a tunnel, leading to grand doors that open to a place filled with theatrical architecture. One of the most unique features about the home is the furniture that Wright designed, which resembles the Hollyhock flower, the favorite flower of Barnsdall. Throughout all of the stunning rooms there are beautiful views of the city, and Wright used ideas of Japanese architecture to connect the outdoors with the indoors of the home. Surrounding the home are romantic gardens that lead to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, which has been offering classes for artists of all levels for over 80 years. The Barnsdall Art Center offers a variety of courses on almost every form of art including painting, sculpture, weaving, ceramics, printings, and creative writing. Students are able to attend the center throughout the whole year to further develop their artistic skills and creativity. Children are invited to attend the Junior Arts Center, which is dedicating to providing high quality programs to nurture and encourage the individual development of young creatives. There is also an art gallery on site that showcases the fantastic work produced by students. Another outlet of artistic expression can be found in the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, which encourages the community and producers to showcase a variety of events. Different types of shows include live theatre; music, dance, spoken word, film, and lectures are housed in the center. Throughout all of the features of Barnsdall Park the public is invited to enjoy the cultural history and develop creative expression in the Art Center and the Gallery Theatre.
4800 I Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90027, Phone: 323-644-6295Things to Do in Hollywood