Ennis House Has New Steward

The Ennis House (1923) has been sold to business executive Ron Burkle. The Ennis House Foundation announced the sale on July 15. The property had been on the market since 2009. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC) has monitored its status after playing a major role in saving the house from total deterioration in 2005; the house had suffered from neglect, the 1994 Northridge earthquake and damaging rains. The FLWBC helped draw together key organizations to form a revitalized non-profit entity to steward the house—the LA Conservancy and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who together with the FLWBC helped guide the house through a crucial period by providing representatives to serve on the Ennis House Foundation Board.


FLWBC contacts identified a preservation-minded backer to secure the loan needed to carry out the stabilization work. Burkle stepped up to guarantee the loan to enable the work to proceed and the house was stabilized. Burkle later joined the FLWBC board.

After ensuring the building’s survival, the Ennis House Foundation concluded in 2009 that private ownership would be the key to the house’s long-term future, given that the site needed more resources than could be generated by a small non-profit. Burkle has indicated he intends to invest the substantial funds needed to complete the preservation and restoration of this LA icon. According to the terms of a conservation easement held by the LA Conservancy, some form of public access to the house will be provided each year.

The FLWBC is excited about this development and Burkle’s ownership, which provides a more secure future for this stunning Wright house as it now enters a new chapter in its history.


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