RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Hollyhocks, art and wahoo


hollyhock house barnsdall park

Hollyhock House is Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles project. Built between 1919 and 1921, it represents his earliest efforts to develop a regionally appropriate style of architecture for Southern California. Wright himself referred to it as California Romanza, using a musical term meaning “freedom to make one’s own form.”  – Text from the Barnsdall Park Art Foundation website.

Hollyhock House is located in Barnsdall Art Park in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz/Hollywood. A friend and I took the Expo Line from Culver City to the Vermont/Sunset Red Line exit. We met our other friends who came on the Red Line from North Hollywood and on the Gold Line from Pasadena and the Blue Line/Green Line from Redondo Beach. Lovely public transportation!

Hollywood sign

Above is the view of the Hollywood Sign from the front lawn.

Hollyhock House

The house was built for Aline Barnsdall by Frank Lloyd Wright. Her favorite flower was the hollyhock, so Wright worked out a stylized design to represent that flower.

hollyhock house

Unfortunately, the specimens planted around the house were not at their best for our visit, but you get the idea. On a personal note, my mother loved hollyhocks and planted them all around our house in England.

hollyhock house

Wright’s stylized version of the hollyhock plant.

hollyhock house

In 1927, Aline Barnsdall donated Hollyhock House and eleven surrounding acres to the City of Los Angeles for use as a public art park in memory of her father, Theodore Barnsdall.

The inscription reads: “Barnsdall Park in memory of Theodore N. Barnsdall 1851-1917. Our fathers mined for the gold of this country. We should mine for its beauty. Aline Barnsdall.” Today we could substitute oil. Although, interestingly, she was an oil heiress and perhaps she meant that the oil was gold… I don’t know.

hollyhock heiress

The house was closed recently for extensive renovations and re-opened in February of this year. I was disappointed that we weren’t allowed to take photos inside as the interiors, including the furniture designed by Wright himself, is indeed spectacular. Also, some of the rooms that had previously been open to the public (that I remember from previous visits) were not accessible, which was also disappointing.

hollyhock house

A nice view of the Griffith Park Observatory from the lawn.

hollyhock house

Beautiful FLW lamppost.

hollyhock house

After our visit to the Hollyhock House we walked across to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) to see the Individual Artists Fellowship Exhibition.

I really enjoyed this exhibit. Some of the highlights:

barnsdall-park-hollyhock-062815-037-C-800px barnsdall-park-hollyhock-062815-038-C-800px barnsdall-park-hollyhock-062815-039-C-800px barnsdall-park-hollyhock-062815-040-C-800px barnsdall-park-hollyhock-062815-042-C-800px

As at this point we were satiated with visual delights, it was time to fill our tummies. Our fearless leader had suggested The House of Pies on Vermont. Okaaaaaaay… what could I do but go along with the plan?

But I was pleasantly surprised. It was a 1950s (?) style family restaurant complete with a shrill screaming kid (THAT was not too pleasant). I went for the Grilled Wahoo Burger (see menu here). Also known as Ono, it was excellent and fortunately did not come with the pickle spear as promised on the menu. I substituted sweet potato fries for the regular fries.

We did a LOT of walking so I have my fingers crossed that mitigated my lunch (yeah, right!). So as I sit here enjoying my well-deserved heartburn, I wish you adieu for another day!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

9 thoughts on “Hollyhocks, art and wahoo

  1. What a great outing, Roslyn. Your photographs are wonderful! I love the colorful art exhibits.


  2. Enjoyed the tour, Roslyn! Love the art exhibits, great images.


  3. What an educational post. My father was an architect, he would have loved this.


  4. Yes, this was an educational post of so many things I missed in LA. And I have not been to a House of Pies in years. Thanks for the recent visit and comment on my blog. I try to keep up with blogs that I follow I do fall behind.


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