Southern California and iconic buildings perched dramatically atop hills are a rather classic twosome. There's Griffith Observatory, and the Ennis House, and a host of Beverly Hills mansions that sit high above the flats and at the center of our civic imagination.
We mean ... it's hard not stare at those places, right? It can't just be us.
Count the Hollyhock House in that storied bunch, but bump it up a few notches on the "lore-filled" list. Why? Because the Frank Lloyd Wright gem, which is a prime example of the California Romanza style, has been shuttered for a few years for various renovations.
Adding to its mystique is that the elegantly austere, finished-in-1921 abode is in the metro-middle of everything, just a short stroll away from the shops and restaurants of Los Feliz's humming heart.
What to do, where to go and what to see
So close ... but so closed.
The closed sign is coming off the Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park on Friday, Feb. 13, however, with a ribbon-cutting and a grand, lover's holiday of a hello (again). Meaning this: The landmark will remain open for 24 hours beginning at 4 o'clock in the afternoon on Feb. 13.
Open to all and free of charge through 11 o'clock the following morning, let us add. Plus? Photos are A-OK.
The house was nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage List and is "now among a group of 10 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings to have become the first modern architecture buildings" to receive that honor.
Big stuff for the big house on the hill, a structure so many of us pass daily, zipping down Vermont or heading along Hollywood Boulevard.
But do we take the house for granted, even though we live in a city filled with perched-high icons? We do not. Did we miss it while it was under renovation for three years? We did.
Will a throng of romantic, landmark-loving twosomes make a visit to the reopened Hollyhock House the first thing they do on Valentine's Day, at 2 or 3 o'clock in the AM on Saturday, Feb. 14? They certainly can, since it'll be open.
Perhaps it is fitting that Valentine's Day will be the Hollyhock's first full day back in the swing. It's OK to feel a fervor for the buildings that connect us to the bygone days. It's OK to have the heart patter over places of importance.
And that "Romanza" is officially part of its very style? The truth is out: We're feeling a little romantic toward the Hollyhock House's stately sashay back onto the SoCal architecture scene.