Barnsdall Art Park (4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles CA) is a small park off a busy intersection on Hollywood Blvd that escapes the notice of most people visiting Los Angeles. The park is the creation of Aline Barnsdall, the granddaughter of an extremely wealthy oil tycoon. Way before her time she was a bohemian, outspoken feminist and generous patron of experimental arts.
She is also considered to be the mother of modern architecture, having brought Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra to California, to work on the groundbreaking theatre colony she envisioned for the park.
In the end, due to numerous scandals and finances, only two other buildings were built as well as the main home – Hollyhock House, named after her favourite flower. The house built between 1919 and 1921 is said to be a great example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s love of nature. Currently, the house is undergoing restoration but will reopen for tours in 2014 in the meantime you can admire the wonderful exterior of the house and the views of Los Angeles from the park.
Since 1927 the park has been owned by the city of Los Angeles as a gift from Alice Barnsdall and continues her passion for art holding classes in painting, sculpture, jewelry, bookmaking, weaving, photography, and ceramics as well as free family art workshops on Saturdays and Sundays.
The park is very much part of the community with a farmers market on Wednesdays, yoga classes, and through September very popular wine tastings on Friday nights. Check the website for details.