Supermarket tycoon snaps up Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House for bargain $4.5million

July 18,2011

 

 Billionaire Ron Burkle has snapped up Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark Ennis House for the bargain price of $4.5 million.

Inspired by Mayan ruins in Uxmal, Mexico, the 6,000-square-foot estate is built from 27,000 blocks featuring 24 design variations and has breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hills.

 

It has been featured in several movies, including Blade Runner, House on Haunted Hill and Grand Canyon.

Ennis House Foundation chairwoman Marla Felber said Burkle, a supermarket tycoon, would continue rehabilitating the 1924 concrete block home, on which the foundation had already spent $6.5million for repairs. 

 

'Mr Burkle has a track record of preserving important historic homes, and we know he’ll be an excellent steward of the Ennis House,' Felber said.

 

The house, which sits on a hilltop in the Los Feliz neighbourhood north of downtown, had been severely damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and torrential rains caused the retaining wall to buckle in March 2005, sending several of the building’s patterned blocks down the hill.

 

It was completed for men’s clothing store owners Charles and Mabel Ennis. Sold in 1936, it has changed hands several times and has seen various alterations, including the addition of a lap pool on its north terrace.


 
In June 1968, Augustus O. Brown, the last private owner, bought the estate for $119,000 and made extensive repairs. He donated the property in 1980 to the group that would become the Ennis House Foundation.

The group listed the home for sale at $15million about two years ago after deciding that private ownership was the best way to assure preservation. It later lowered the price to $5.9million.

 

Burkle has an estimated net worth of $3.2billion, according Forbes 400.



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