Friday afternoon, a press release announced the sale of Frank Lloyd Wright's 'Ennis House' to celebrity billionaire businessman Ron Burkle for just shy of $4.5 million. In a statement released by The Ennis House Foundation, Marla Felber expressed,
We are excited that Mr. Burkle has purchased the Ennis House and is committed to complete the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable icon... Mr. Burkle has a track record of preserving important historic homes, and we know he'll be an excellent steward of the Ennis House.
Christie’s International Real Estate confirmed the sale. Neil Palmer, Christie's CEO, exclaimed, "I am thrilled that this masterful execution of textile block design is now in the stewardship of Mr. Burkle, a well-known custodian of important architecture.”
Ron Burkle has been listed by Forbes as having an approximate net worth of $3.2 billion. He also owns Greenacres, the legendary 50,000-square-foot Harold Lloyd estate in Beverly Hills.
Since the initial listing of the house back in 2009 for $15 million, rumors have surrounded the property. Substantial price reductions and questions of livability caused the property to sit on the market for two years.
Frank Lloyd Wright had originally designed the house for a retailer and his wife: Charles and Mabel Ennis. Built in 1924, the "textile block" house is one of the most recognizable properties in the world. Radio star John Nesbitt owned the property in the early 1940's, and it was later purchased by August O. Brown and his wife. The Browns are responsible for setting up the preservation trust, according to Christie's International Real Estate.
The Ennis Foundation notes that the home is designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #149 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Per the sale agreement, the home must remain open to the public twelve days a year.