Textile Block from the Samuel Freeman House, Los Angeles
USA, 1923
Frank Lloyd Wright

Cast concrete
16 × 4 × 16”

Wright’s resulting $10,000 commission (which would ultimately cost $23,000) takes advantage of the steep Hollywood Hills site and creates a textile block home that appears from street view to be one level, but actually extends two additional levels down the slope. The Freeman House clearly expresses the design rationale of Wright’s textile block construction system, incorporating the openness and central hearth of Wright’s earlier Prairie houses with the extensive ornament of the textile blocks. The walls, constructed of 12,000 cast concrete blocks, are textured on both the interior and exterior to create a unified decorative scheme. Large windows, balconies and terraces make the modest home feel expansive. The Freemans ran their house as an artistic and political “salon” from the time of its construction until the 1980s, which adds to the building’s cultural importance in the history of Los Angeles. In 1986, after 61 years of residence, the Freemans donated their house to the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. Maintained by the University, the building was stabilized in 2005 and is undergoing additional renovations due to earthquake damage. —Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

(Photo: Wright & Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)