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Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:11 am
by ross
Did Nesbitt sell Ennis in 1942? If so, he only owned it but 2 years.

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:50 am
by Reidy
1942 would seem to be the correct date, as that is the year the Nesbitts built with Neutra (several sources if you Google Neutra Nesbitt house).

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.

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:38 pm
by Roderick Grant
Reidy, the den is Lloyd's design.

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.

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:38 pm
by CEP
Nesbitt didn't plan on staying in the Ennis house long term. In fact, selling the home with the Sijistan remodel & furniture designs was an important money element towards building the project home in Pebble Beach.

As regards the Ennis renovations (removal of light fixtures, marble sills, the addition of curtains, a heating system, new plumbing, the renovation of the chauffeur’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 doesn’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 “you do the designing, I’ll supervise� 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 aren’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.

“My dear John Nesbitt:

Welcome to our heart and workshop with a missive directed simply to “Taliesin Michigan� but which, owing to the “fame� 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..."

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:41 pm
by Roderick Grant
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.

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:59 pm
by ross
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.
Yes, the '55 decor could be late 1930s. It could also be late 1940s. It might be very early 1950s.

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.

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:33 am
by DavidC

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:35 pm
by JPB_1971
Has it been concluded that in fact any amount of money can permanently stabilize the slope on which Ennis is built? Seems like a fortune has been spent over its history on this issue - no doubt a myriad of retaining wall systems accompanied by "keying in" of engineered lifts of soil and other pricey earthwork. Wasn't slope stability an issue even early on in its history?

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:26 pm
by Reidy
Yes, the wall has always had problems. Sweeney shows a photo of it cracking before the house was fully built above it.

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.

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:35 pm
by Paul Ringstrom
Reidy wrote:In the Storer backyard, as at Ennis, they simply replaced the block with concrete molded to look like block.
This "solution" is not surprising in that ELW was the supervising architect in both instances.

Posted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:33 am
by Paul Ringstrom
Ennis 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.
http://archrecord.construction.com/yb/a ... =161383548

I think it is safe to say the bank wanted their money and Burkle had to step up and fulfill his guarantee.

Re: Ennis House sold to Ron Burkle

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:29 am
by DavidC
Ennis House to Bob & Dolores Hope House to ................. Neverland???

MICHAEL JACKSON
NEVERLAND RANCH SOLD!!!... To Billionaire Ron Burkle



David

Re: Ennis House sold to Ron Burkle

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:15 pm
by Roderick Grant
Does Ron Burkle still own the Harold Lloyd House, Greenacres?