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City to show Hollyhock House in virtual reality

LOS ANGELES — An online virtual reality tour of the Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park is set to debut this fall, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs announced Aug. 20.

The City Council approved $133,000 in funding last year to produce the online virtual reality tour due of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in East Hollywood, which was built before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Because it is a National Historic Landmark, it cannot be altered to increase accessibility.

“Everyone should be able to experience L.A.’s cultural landmarks,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Hollyhock House is a remarkable piece of architecture, and a virtual reality will allow people with disabilities and the elderly to explore a location with deep history in our city.”

The building was constructed between 1919 and 1921 for oil heiress Louise Aline Barnsdall, who donated it to the city in 1927. The house was reopened to the public in 2015 after a three-year restoration and now serves as a museum.

Following the restoration, the Hollyhock House was one of 10 buildings designed by Wright that was nominated by the federal government for inclusion on the World Heritage List, which recognizes the most significant cultural and natural sites on Earth.

The Hollyhock House was the first building Wright built in Los Angeles.

An interior view of the courtyard at the Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park will be part of a virtual reality tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed landmark that will debut this fall. The tour will be available online and at the Hollyhock House itself. (Courtesy photo)

An interior view of the courtyard at the Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park will be part of a virtual reality tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed landmark that will debut this fall. The tour will be available online and at the Hollyhock House itself. (Courtesy photo)

The house is designed in a style known as California Romanza, and features decorative patterns in the shape of Barnsdall’s favorite flower, the hollyhock.

It is considered a remarkable combination of house and gardens. In addition to the central garden court, each major interior space adjoins an equivalent exterior space, connected either by glass doors, a porch, pergola or colonnade. A series of rooftop terraces further extend the living space and provide views of the Los Angeles basin and the Hollywood Hills.

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House is a crown jewel of Los Angeles architecture,” Garcetti said. “Restoring this landmark to its original glory is a great example of how the city can preserve its unique history while providing Angelenos access to art in everyday places.”

The city of Los Angeles conducts tours of the house Thursdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Accessible rooms include the foyer, loggia, music room and reading alcove. Fully visible are the dining room, living room, inner courtyard, library, pergola and conservatory. The house is wheelchair accessible.

Cost of the tour is $7 for adults and $3 for senior citizens 65 or older and students with proper identification.

A Los Angeles-based firm, AVA Inclusivity, was chosen to produce the virtual reality tour, which will be available both onsite and remotely through a web browser.

 

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