Frank Lloyd Wride “Wright-Up”

When I arrived at our meeting place I found past morning riders David, Hap, Helen, Jared and Ian, along with two first-timers Steven and Hanna gathered there and soon the eight of us we were off on the Frank Lloyd Wride for the climb up to Ennis House, the architect’s most dramatic and stunning of his three textile block homes, completed in 1924.

Steven who was riding a foldie got near the Silver Lake/Los Feliz border and realized his choice of cycle was not well-suited to the upcoming elevations involved and bid me farewell at the turn from Griffith Park Drive onto Rowena, and us seven remaining cranked onward north of Los Feliz Boulevard to the winding incline.

From there we came downhill and back across Los Feliz Boulevard south to Franklin where we stopped at Sowden House, built in 1926 by Frank’s son Lloyd Wright.

Staying on Franklin (ha: FRANKlin), which was disappointingly a bit more crowded and thus more bike unfriendly than I’d been hoping, we made a stop at the Monastery of the Angels where I procured a loaf of the nuns famous pumpkin bread, before getting back on Franklin across Highland where we navigated the steep grade up Hillcrest to Glencoe Way where Wright’s Freeman house stands, the smallest and perhaps most dilapadated of the four.

Back on Franklin  to where it deadends into Wattles Gardens, we then took Hollywood Boulevard across Laurel Canyon and up the least taxing of the climbs to Storer House, which is privately owned and seemingly in mint condition thanks to the efforts of previous owner the movie producer Joel Silver.

Ian split off at this point, and the remaining six got on Sunset where we backtracked east. Poor planning on my part getting us off Sunset and up to Musso & Frank’s on Hollywood Boulevard led to a left turn pulled in not the best of places, but everyone made it safely — even my friend David who scared the crap outta me by boldly asserting his right to the roadway and cutting across two lanes of moving vehicles who were not at all happy at the maneuver.

Upon arrival at Musso’s Hap headed for home to Sherman Oaks, with David, Hanna, Helen, Jared and myself adjourning inside for the landmark eatery’s signature flannel cakes. Then it was east along Hollywood Boulevard to Barnsdall Park and the climb up Olive Hill to Wright’s magnificent Hollyhock House, completed in 1921. Hanna and I said goodbye  to Helen and Jared and David and stayed to take the guided tour of the interior, which is looking far far better than the last time I saw it more than 15 years ago.

After that Hanna headed for home while I stayed to take a walk around the home’s exterior before calling it a day.

No timelapse video, what with my cam in for repairs but:

  • The latest addition to Hap’s always excellent photo essays can be viewed here
  • David’s pix, exhibiting his ever-keen eye for detail are here
  • And my collection mostly of the building exteriors is here