Vincent Price, Turner Classic Movies "Star of the Month" wraps up his vintage spook fest this Friday, Halloween but the site of his famed scream-fest film, House on Haunted Hill is coming back from the grave.
The famed Ennis House, whose Mayan textile block design was featured as exteriors for the 1959 film was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Charles and Mabel Ennis in 1923. The house, in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles is a state and national landmark and was also featured in the movie Blade Runner.
In the past ten years, though, it truly became bedeviled, first deteriorating because of the action of famed LA smog on its distinctive concrete bricks and then through the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and heavy rainstorms in 2004 and 2005. The building was actually listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and seemed to be slated for a sad decline into a phantom of its former self.
In 2011, Ron Burkle, founder of the Yucaipa Company (an investor in Morgans Hotel Group), purchased the house for $4.5 million. Part of the deal was an agreement to keep the house open to the public for tours on a limited basis, at least. Burkle is spending more of his millions to renovate the Mayan temple-like structure (Burkle is a Frank Lloyd Wright fanatic and once trained in architecture) and its foundations and it seems like the effort will have to continue for some time.
The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced a house tour of the renovation work-in-progress on September 15, which sold out quickly.
Perhaps by next Halloween, well-heeled architecture lovers will be able to pay $ 10,000 to spend a night in the original House on Haunted Hill!