Yesterday afternoon, as members of the LACMA Decorative Arts and Design Council, we took exclusive tours of two Lloyd Wright houses and the legendary Castillo del Lago. The first Lloyd Wright house we visited was the Lloyd Wright Studio on Doheny Drive in West Hollywood. The exterior cement surrounding the house has been recently restored, as well as the cactus detailing above the entrance. The interior was also repainted and restored with a kitchen to make the space more livable. The kitchen can be taken down very easily to maintain the purity of the original structure. The outdoor connecting patio also saw some minor adjustments with the help of Eric Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s grandson, who has authority over revisions to the house. The outdoor patio now features a sitting bench, designed by Eric Lloyd Wright in the style of his father Lloyd Wright. The second level has two bedrooms and one bathroom. The studio/home now acts as a production studio.
Next on the tour was the Lloyd Wright Taggart House, which was built for his wife’s mother in 1922. The house resides in Los Feliz and has also seen much restoration. The cement surrounding the house has been repaved, most of the redwood detailing on the exterior had been replaced, and various succulents were specially added to enhance the landscape. The interior has also been recently decorated with French 1950s furniture. We particularly enjoyed the living room space that flowed into the outdoor pool area. We also noticed that this house reminded us of the Frank Lloyd Wright Sturges House in Brentwood, CA.
The last house on the tour was the legendary Castillo del Lago famously tucked away in the Hollywood Hills. The house was originally built in 1926 for Patrick Longdon an oil explorer and then taken over by Bugsy Siegel, who reportedly turned the house into a speakeasy in the late 1930’s. In the 1950’s the house fell into disrepair, and in 1993 Madonna bought the house and with the help of her brother turned it into what it is today, a house reminiscent of an Italian church. The new owner had some minor changes, but left the original structure in tact. The views were breath-taking, especially from the top of the tower, it felt like we were in another world, definitely not Los Angeles. The furniture and interior decorating were also impressive. The most impressive furniture we saw was the outdoor furniture by Claude Lalanne. There were hidden chairs and benches, as well as a dining table set with chairs. At the end of the tour we had a small champagne toast and we could not be more thankful to the owner for letting us tour his beautiful home.
This tour is similar to many activities and group outings specially set up for members of the Decorative Arts and Design Council. If you are interested, please sign up here on the LACMA website.