I Want Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House in L.A.

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Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House in L.A.Looking for a fixer-upper with architectural pedigree? Frank Lloyd Wright's 1924 Ennis House is one of the most unique homes in the world and in need of a buyer with discerning taste and deep pockets. A recent price reduction means the 6,000-square-foot house, one of five Wright homes in Los Angeles, is just $10,495,000. Set on a ridge in the Los Feliz hills, at $1,749 per square foot, the house is well above surrounding comps.

However, consider your bragging rights ...

The house is one of L.A.'s architectural landmarks with an exterior of interlocking textile-blocks with its own singular pattern; the only glass mosaic remaining by Wright above the fireplace; jetliner-like views; and much Hollywood history as a prominent film location ("Blade Runner" most famously).

But like a film noir heroine, the house has a bit of a tragic past: neglect (former owner Gus Brown deferred maintenance and allegedly siphoned off funds donated for restoration), damage (the Northridge earthquake weakened the house's retaining wall so badly it was red-tagged and subsequent rains all but finished it off) and ill-will (neighbors on the house's narrow winding street have vehemently stood in the way of public tours and use of the house by film companies or for private events).

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House in L.A.Once on the World Monument Fund's watch list for endangered landmarks, the non-profit Ennis House Foundation which owns the property and has overseen its recent repairs (much of it funded by FEMA), decided to sell it in order to save it. Christie's Great Estates, Dilbeck Estates and Hilton & Hyland are representing the property. In summer 2009, it went on the market for $15 million. Despite the recent price reduction, a minimum of $10 million more in funds may be required to fully restore the property calculates the foundation. Further complicating matters, a conservation easement is attached to the property, meaning future owners are prohibited from selling off Wright-designed embellishments (or those porous concrete blocks) on a piece-meal basis.

Is it realistic to expect a private buyer to take on this architectural icon with a past? Blockbuster film producer Joel Silver previously restored Wright's Storer House in Hollywood.

Another Wright house on the market sounds like a better deal. The Millard House in Pasadena is going for $5,950,000 and it underwent a multi-year restoration by a commercial producer.

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