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While at Ennis they installed a forced air heating system, replacing Wright's electric wall heaters, added a pool and converted a downstairs storeroom into a den. The den is Wright's design; I'm not so sure about the pool.
The problem with keeping Mabel's alterations to the original is that so much of it is fake. (Even the interesting light fixtures between the columns in the living room, which appear to be bronze, are in fact painted plaster -- M4/239 and above in the "white" photo.) The roof consists of standard joists holding up imitation beamed ceilings, which are actually box beams, dead weight. In the dining room, there are 8"x8" box beam purlins over 40' long running from end to end. Another "beam" 12"x16" butt ends at the 32" square column by the living/dining steps; it's hollow, holds up nothing. And while the marble of the floors may be a handsome material in itself, it is at odds with the concrete.
As regards the Ennis renovations (removal of light fixtures, marble sills, the addition of curtains, a heating system, new plumbing, the renovation of the chauffeurâ€™s quarters into a guest suite and the addition of a pool at the front of the house) - there is conflicting information as to who did what and who was responsible for what on that initial remodel. While Frank Lloyd Wright helped Lloyd Wright with planning and design for the first wave of renovations, it doesnâ€™t appear he was directly involved with Nesbitt until July 31, 1940 (the initial letter from Nesbitt to FLLW regarding the Carmel/Pebble Beach project). In the Lloyd Wright archives at UCLA there is a letter from Lloyd to Frank Lloyd Wright in early May of 1940 where he discusses points of the Ennis remodeling project, stating to his father â€œyou do the designing, Iâ€™ll superviseâ€� but in the contract Lloyd had John Nesbitt sign on May 25th, the text states Lloyd Wright is the architect, with Frank Lloyd Wright listed only as a consultant. Sweeney has Frank Lloyd Wright directly involved with Nesbitt as early as April of 1940, based on a letter to Wright from John Nesbitt and a response from Frank Lloyd Wright. But I believe things arenâ€™t quite that cut and dry. It seems logical that the initial letter go-round between Frank Lloyd Wright and Nesbitt was probably sent through an intermediary in Los Angeles - Lloyd Wright. That would help explain what clearly seems like a first-time direct response from Frank Lloyd Wright to Nesbitt on 8/5/40 regarding the Carmel project.
â€œMy dear John Nesbitt:
Welcome to our heart and workshop with a missive directed simply to â€œTaliesin Michiganâ€� but which, owing to the â€œfameâ€� you so well disregard reached us straight away nevertheless. Let me mention that Taliesin is merely the home name of my dwelling. The Post Office address is R.F.D. 5 Spring Green and the State not Michigan but Wisconsin...
I hope you will like the Ennis House. Now we shall call it the Nesbitt House which sounds more the way it looks..."
Yes, the '55 decor could be late 1930s. It could also be late 1940s. It might be very early 1950s.Roderick Grant wrote:The furniture in the '55 photo (doubt it was actually taken in '55) is typical of furniture of the 30s. The 1939 Coffman Student Union main lounge at U of MN was full of chairs like that, in which one was unavoidably semirecumbent.
Whatever the date of the decor, the '55 image is the best I have ever seen the living room look.
Does anyone have a good history of the house? All I can find is very basic info. Most of the many owners are not even mentioned.
Wright worked from an inaccurate survey; he thought the hillside was less steep than it actually was and that the wall didn't need to be as tall as in fact it did (after he'd moved back to Wisconsin leaving Lloyd in charge). This is visible in his renderings.
The new wall uses a poured, reinforced concrete technology that is fundamentally different from the original's and thus may solve its chronic problems. Freeman and Storer have also had to deal with walls bowing outward from the pressure of their hillsides, and they also fixed this (one hopes) with reinforced concrete. At Freeman, downstairs, it's behind Wright's intact (but no-longer load-bearing) original. In the Storer backyard, as at Ennis, they simply replaced the block with concrete molded to look like block.
http://archrecord.construction.com/yb/a ... =161383548Ennis House Foundation Chairwoman Marla Felber confirmed on Saturday the exact price: $4,458,084.58, which represents the organization's balance on a construction loan taken out to repair L.A.'s most prestigious fixer.
Felber confirmed that the Ennis House construction loan had been guaranteed by Burkle and that he had first right of refusal on any bid. But Felber disputed the notion that the foundation was the victim of a deal gone bad: $4.5 million paid for a property that has benefitted from $6.5 million in restoration work. She said that the first phase of restoration would not have happened without Burkle's support and that no one else expressed a commitment to future repairs.
"He was the only one to step up," she said.
I think it is safe to say the bank wanted their money and Burkle had to step up and fulfill his guarantee.
NEVERLAND RANCH SOLD!!!... To Billionaire Ron Burkle