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Wright's Ennis-Brown House Damaged by California Mudslides

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Images Courtesy Trust for Preservation of Cultural Heritage.

Restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis-Brown House suffered a recent setback when mudslides further damaged the 1924 Mayan-inspired structure. The concrete-block home, perched in the Hollywood Hills, was donated by its namesake owners Mabel and Charles Ennis to the Trust for Preservation of Cultural Heritage in 1980. The non-profit group, which gives public tours of the residence, has been working to return the 10,000-square-foot home to its original grandeur. But the 1994 Northridge earthquake caused extensive structural damage, and torrential rains late this February resulted in mudslides causing its retaining walls to partially crumble. City officials subsequently declared the house inhabitable, fearing that it could slide down the hill. The residence has since been cleared for limited occupancy.

Although the Trust received a $2.3 million federal grant, estimated repair costs total $4.1 million. The famed home, featured in such films as Black Rain and Blade Runner, has been closed since December for renovation. It's not expected to reopen again until later this summer. The structural engineering firm of Melvin Green & Associates is overseeing the repair.



Tony Illia