LOS ANGELES TIMES: HISTORY
Storied past, uncertain future
Rupert Pole’s labor of love in the hills of Silver Lake stands airy and empty, yet echoes with the vibrancy of free spirit Anais Nin.
September 07, 2006|Janet Eastman | Times Staff Writer
THE glass-and-concrete house on a hilly Silver Lake street appears tired and forlorn. The sensual violet fabrics inside are now faded; a stillness surrounds the emerald swimming pool, which had once been used every day. The gathering place of weekly chamber music concerts and numerous masquerade parties in the 1970s, the property is empty and quiet, as if in mourning.The future of the contemporary house is uncertain now that its occupants — Anais Nin, a free-spirited writer who chronicled her passions in diaries, and Rupert Pole, a forest ranger who scrimped to build her a place where she would feel safe — are dead. Its legacy, however, is clear. “This was a nest for a little bird,” says Eric Lloyd Wright, a third-generation architect who designed the house for his half-brother, Pole, and Nin.The famous couple’s longtime residence was Wright’s first solo project, completed in 1962 for $22,000. “The one thing we do want to do is get it registered with the city of Los Angeles as a historic landmark,” says Wright, 76, the executor of the estate. His mother, actress Helen Taggart, a divorcee with son, Rupert, married his father, architect Lloyd Wright. “My brother and Anais were very much involved in designing this house, from the preliminary plans to the working drawings to getting the contractor,” says Wright, the grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright. “I met with them and heard what their dreams were. Rupert felt that she should have a sense of security, a place that was permanent. I got to know them better by doing their house.”