The Ennis House, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most unusual private home designs, has captured the imaginations of Los Angeles residents for nearly a century now. This enigmatic house made headlines again last week, when it sold to an unknown buyer for $18 million — the highest price ever paid for a Wright-designed home.
Less than a week later, the mystery of the new owners was put to rest. Curious journalists just discovered that the landmark property was purchased by former PR executive Cindy Capobianco and her husband, environmentalist/philanthropist Robert Rosenheck. The couple are perhaps best known as the founders of Lord Jones, a luxury cannabis beauty company that creates CBD-infused cosmetics, body lotions, gels, candies, and bath products.
Lord Jones is now one of the country's best-known sellers of CBD-infused beauty products, after becoming the first cannabis company to sell its products in high-end retail chains like Sephora or Equinox. This summer, Canadian cannabis giant Cronos Group, the first weed firm to trade on the US stock market, took ownership of Lord Jones in a $300 million deal — which might just explain why Capobianco and Rosenheck can afford to snap up one of LA's most iconic real estate landmarks.
The Ennis House, located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of LA, near Hollywood, was built in 1924 by Wright and his son. The 6,000-square foot property was designed in a “Mayan Revival” style, drawing on influences from ancient South American culture, and was built almost entirely using 27,000 decomposed concrete blocks. The mansion's unique appearance has been featured in a number of major films, perhaps most notably as the residence of Harrison Ford's lead character in Blade Runner.
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This historic property suffered extensive structural damage during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and eventually slipped into a state of disrepair. In 2011, billionaire supermarket magnate and architectural preservationist Ron Burkle bought the house for $4.5 million. Burkle completely renovated the property at a reported cost of $17 million, partially offset by a $6.4 million FEMA grant and a $4.5 million construction loan.
Last year, the renovated property went back on the market at the eye-watering price of $23 million, but the buyer eventually settled on a sale price of $18 million. But despite the high price tag, the Ennis House will not remain off-limits to the public. The original contract that Burkle signed when he bought the property stipulated that he had to provide some form of public access to the house 12 days per month, and all future owners of the house are also required to agree to this contract.
The Ennis House is unique, but bears a strong resemblance to another of Wright's creations, the Sowden House, also in Los Feliz. Like the Ennis House, the Sowden House has been featured in a number of Hollywood films, including The Aviator, but the latter home also has a dark side. Police now believe that this majestic property is the site of the 1947 Black Dahlia murder, as well as a number of other brutal murders, and it is regarded as one of LA's most haunted homes.
In another striking coincidence, the Sowden House was also bought by a millionaire who made his money in the legal pot industry. Last year, Dan Goldfarb, founder of the Canna-Pet brand of CBD-infused pet medicines, purchased the property for a cool $4.7 million. The current owners are now using the home as a part-time event space, under the name Black Dahlia, and have already hosted several cannabis-themed events on its historic grounds.