Despite its significance, the Ennis House suffered from deferred maintenance, deterioration of its concrete blocks, the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the record rains of winter 2005.
The situation grew so dire that the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed the house on its 2005 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
It became clear that the Ennis House needed more stewardship than a small nonprofit could provide. Given the lack of philanthropy available to support ongoing work on the house, the Ennis House Foundation placed the house on the market in 2009.
Business executive Ron Burkle purchased the house in July 2011, to the delight of the Conservancy. Mr. Burkle, with a successful record of stewarding important historic homes that includes the Greenacres estate purchased in 1993.
During Burkle's ownership, the Ennis House underwent much-needed repairs that included replacement of 4,000 textile blocks and sealing of the blocks, new roofing, flooring, and general maintenance. Because the Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the Ennis House that includes interior and exterior spaces, all work had to be reviewed by the Conservancy staff to ensure no integrity would be lost.
Burkle's commitment to the property earned him a Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Award in 2008.
In October 2019, the Ennis House was sold again to new owners, as reported in Variety.
The Conservancy holds a detailed conservation easement that protects the Ennis House in perpetuity. The easement also provided for some form of public access at least 12 times a year. We will work with the new owner to determine exactly what type of public access for the house.
L.A. Conservancy archives