Nestled in the foothills at the top of Vermont, Wright’s textile-block masterpiece is the kind of thing you’ve probably driven within sight of countless times on the way to the Observatory or the Greek without noticing; and that’s by design. Built in 1924, the Ennis House is considered a prime example of Mayan Revival architecture, which took as its inspiration the stonework, symmetry, and clean lines of ancient Mesoamerican designs. The massive structure is daringly comprised of hundreds of large, ornately designed concrete blocks stacked on top of each other to form an elaborate geometric pattern. The effect is mind-boggling, but it blends so seamlessly into its surroundings that it only reveals its imposing stature up close.
Not that you can get that close. Stability was never really Wright’s strong suit, and after decades of earthquake and flood damage the property was red-flagged no entry in 2005. Two years later a $6m renovation was completed, but the structure remains closed to the public. Still, you can get right up to the northeast wall, and the slow, windy drive up Glendower offers a terrific look at the towering facade to the southwest. Film buffs will recognize the motor court, visible through the driveway gate, from the 1982 classic Blade Runner. The only way to get a peek inside the cathedral-esque interior, which is rumored to have a billiards room and indoor pool, is to call your real estate agent. The 10,000 square-foot property is currently on sale for $7.5m, half of its original asking price.
Ennis House, 2607 Glendower Ave., Los Angeles