Tagged: San Luis Obispo

Some Frank Lloyd Wright in California


Remember when I thought that I recognized the house in the 1959 film The House on Haunted Hill? It turns out that the house is famous for a few reasons. Although it has appeared in a ton of films, including Bladerunner and L.A. Confidential to name but two, I “recognized” it because it looks like the Hollyhock House, which I toured with Sarah and my mom in May 2010. The Hollyhock House and Ennis House, the house from Haunted Hill, were both designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are both sited in Hollywood.


Since seeing House on Haunted Hill, I made visiting Ennis House one of my priorities when visiting Los Angeles. On the day after Christmas, my parents, Sarah, and I drove to the Hollywood Hills to see the house. Regrettably, one cannot tour the house. It was sold to a private owner in July 2011. The house needs a lot of work, but it’s not clear when the house will be open to the public once the new owner takes possession.

Visiting the house is easy with a car. Take Vermont Avenue north past Los Feliz Boulevard. Turn left on Cromwell Ave, then a quick right onto Glendower Ave. Follow the winding road up, up, and up, and then after about a quarter mile you will see the house. Mind the parking signs and take a walk around the house and, obviously, don’t disturb the adjacent properties.

After gawking at Ennis House, we drove back down the hill and stopped at Barnsdall Park to show my dad Hollyhock House because he had not seen it.

Kundert Medical Clinic, Frank Lloyd Wright

A day after we visited the Ennis and Hollyhock Houses, we stumbled on another Frank Lloyd Wright property. This was the Kundert Medical Clinic in San Luis Obispo. Unlike the other two properties, this was still in full operation. It sits along a creek on Santa Rosa Avenue, which was a main road connecting some important towns in San Luis Obispo County. After running around Hollywood looking at two (of many, many) Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Los Angeles, it was nice to find one by accident en route to our next destination.

Do You Know the Way to Morro Bay?

As part of our Christmas–New Year’s vacation, Sarah and I spent about a week traveling to a few spots in California. One of our stops was in Baywood Park, which is technically in Los Osos and adjacent to the Morro Bay. We stayed at the Back Bay Inn, on a friend’s recommendation, and found a comfortable inn, and our room had a great view of the bay.

View from the Back Bay Inn window

One of the novel things about this trip was that we took the train instead of driving. We surprised everyone when we told people we met at the inn that we got there by just taking two buses. You can do it, too.

We took the 7:45 AM Pacific Surfliner from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo. The train arrived just before 1:00 PM. We walked to the transit center, which is about five blocks away. If you take Santa Rosa Road, you can see a Frank Lloyd Wright house along the way. We had about an hour layover between our arrival in San Luis Obispo and ate lunch at Luna Red in town.

Kundert Medical Clinic, Frank Lloyd Wright

At the Transit Center, you can take the 12 bus to Morro Bay’s transit center, which takes about 20 minutes. From there, connect to the 13 bus that goes to Los Osos. The stop on Santa Maria Ave and 2nd St stops about two blocks from the inn.

The Way to Morro Bay

Getting back is just as easy. You have to catch the 11 bus from Los Osos, which becomes the 12 bus and continues to San Luis Obispo. From there, we caught the northbound Coast Starlight. We had about an hour layover and ate lunch in town. Also, if your train is late, you can go to Meze, a wine and cheese shop, that is about a five-minute walk if you follow the rail tracks in the southbound direction.

This was my first time taking this trip with the train, and you can count me as a convert. Yes, the schedules are limited and it takes a lot more time to ride than it does to drive, but I’m on vacation. I’m not in a hurry.