LA City Council Votes to Fund Virtual Reality Project for Hollyhock House

Hollyhock House

Previously inaccessible areas of historic landmark will be accessible to visitors with disabilities

CITY HALL - The Los Angeles City Council approved $133,000 in funding for a virtual reality tour of the Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Park, making the historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home more accessible to everyone, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell announced today.

The Hollyhock House was recently renovated and reopened to the public for tours in 2015. The facility was built before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and has limited access, however as a National Historic Landmark, the structure cannot be altered. This virtual reality tour will be web-friendly, and accessible to anyone with a computer or mobile device.  

“This vote by the City Council will allow everyone, everywhere, the opportunity to visit the Hollyhock House,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “The video project will make the amazing historic landmark accessible to more people than ever before, shattering the notion of limited access due to challenges because of its unusual design or obstacles inside the structure."

Hollyhock curator Jeffrey Herr says the video tour will utilize three-dimensional camera work, and provide a near virtual view due to the camera angle, helping people navigate through the house as if they are on a tour.

“We are grateful to the City Council for approving this new project funding for Hollyhock House so we can serve people with mobility or physical issues,” said Danielle Brazell, Department of Cultural Affairs General Manager. “We will now be able to make all of Hollyhock House virtually accessible to both on- and off-site audiences interested in this treasure, increasing creative engagement and economic development.”

The Council action on Tuesday approved $133,000 to cover the costs associated with the Virtual Reality Accessibility Project. The funds will pay for filming, post production, website design and implementation, as well as docent training on the digital platform. The monies will be derived from the City’s Innovation Fund 2016-17 available balance, and the project should be complete later this year.

Mitch O'Farrell represents the 13th Council District where Barnsdall Park is located. He also serves as Chair of the City's Arts, Parks, and Los Angeles River Committee which oversees operations at city-owned parks facilities.

Additional information, including tour availability, can be found at http://barnsdall.org.