Barnsdall Park


Early Hollywood history would not be complete with out mentioning Olive Hill. Barnsdall Park had its beginning in 1919 when Aline Barnsdall came to Los Angeles and purchased thirty six acres of Olive Hill for the purpose of developing an art center. The site had some of the most panoramic views in the Cahuenga Valley. Aline Barnsdall was a native of Bradford, Pennsylvania. William Barnsdall, her grandfather, drilled the second largest oil well in the United States, establishing the fortune that would finance Aline's philanthropy and her extensive travels. She was an unconventional, independent woman with a passion for the arts. In the 1910s, her interest in the future of the American stage led her to Chicago, Illinois, where she co-directed an experimental theatre company. While in Chicago, she met the equally unconventional Frank Lloyd Wright, whose recently completed Midway Gardens she admired. She hired Wright to help her develop Barnsdall Park as an innovative theatrical community on the nation's cultural frontier and design her own residence, which she would call Hollyhock House. Hollyhock House was Wright's first Los Angeles project. Built between 1919 and 1921, it represents his earliest efforts to develop a regionally appropriate style of architecture for Southern California. Taking advantage of the area's mild climate, Hollyhock House is a combination of house and garden. It is a remarkable example of the architect's love of nature and how he incorporated it into his designs. The House takes its name from Aline Barnsdall's favorite flower. At her request, Wright's abstract hollyhock pattern was incorporated into the decoration of the House. In 1927 Aline Barnsdall gave Hollyhock House and eleven surrounding acres of Barnsdall Park to the City of Los Angeles for use as a public park in memory of her father, Theodore Barnsdall. Additional buildings including a modern theatre, an art gallery and studios have been built on the property. Now known as Barnsdall Art Park, its mission is the presentation, promotion, enrichment, and development of the arts and artists of the Los Angeles region. On this site are many historic Barnsdall Photos, Barnsdall Pictures and Barnsdall Images. Portraits of some of Hollywood's early pioneers appear in the Portraits category of this web site.

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Aerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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Aerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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Aerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Park
Barnsdall ParkAerial photo of Barnsdall Park
BP-001
1921
Barnsdall ParkAerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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1925
Barnsdall ParkAerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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1929
Barnsdall ParkHollyhock House at Barnsdall Park
BP-004
1935
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Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Park
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Aerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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Aerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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Aerial photo of Barnsdall Park
Barnsdall ParkHollyhock House at Barnsdall Park
BP-005
1935
Barnsdall ParkAerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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1947
Barnsdall ParkAerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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1953
Barnsdall ParkAerial photo of Barnsdall Park
BP-008
1954
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Aerial photo of Barnsdall Park
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Hollyhock closed due to structural deterioration
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Looking south from Olive Hill (now Barnsdall Park)
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Panorama view of Hollywood from Olive Hill (now Barnsdall Park)
Barnsdall ParkAerial photo of Barnsdall Park
BP-009
1958
Barnsdall ParkHollyhock closed due to structural deterioration
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1974
Barnsdall ParkLooking south from Olive Hill (now Barnsdall Park)
PAN-003
1895
Barnsdall ParkPanorama view of Hollywood from Olive Hill (now Barnsdall Park)
PAN-004
1895