July 16, 2011 in Nation/World

Supermarket tycoon Burkle buys Wright landmark

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis house is a hilltop masterpiece of patterned and smooth concrete blocks.
(Full-size photo)

LOS ANGELES – Billionaire Ron Burkle has snapped up Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark Ennis House at the relative bargain price of about $4.5 million, the building’s sellers announced Friday.

Ennis House Foundation chairwoman Marla Felber said Burkle, a supermarket tycoon, would continue rehabilitating the 1924 concrete block home, on which the foundation had already spent $6.5 million for repairs.

“Mr. Burkle has a track record of preserving important historic homes, and we know he’ll be an excellent steward of the Ennis House,” Felber said in a release announcing the sale of the structure, the last and largest of four homes Wright designed in an experimental “textile block” style.

Inspired by Mayan ruins in Uxmal, Mexico, the 6,000-square-foot estate is built from 27,000 blocks featuring 24 design variations and has breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hills. It has been featured in several movies, including “Blade Runner,” “House on Haunted Hill” and “Grand Canyon.”

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