THS Ushers in Spring the “Wright” Way

View of Wright Ranch in the Malibu Hills, the venue for the April 2nd Topanga Historical
Society potluck picnic, Photo courtesy of Mary Wright

The magnificent Wright Ranch in the Malibu Hills is the site of the Topanga Historical Society’s (THS) annual potluck picnic and program that begins at 12 noon Sunday April 2.  

Mary and Eric Wright will relate the history of the property that has been their home since 1988, and describe their personal histories and passions. Eric is an architect and the grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mary is an accomplished watercolor artist.

Though now happily perched in their aerie on the Santa Monica Mountain bluffs, Mary and Eric first settled in Topanga in 1964 where they lived for 24 years raising their sons Devon and Cory and putting down strong roots.  

“Topanga,” Mary says firmly “is still our community.” This connection remains strong despite their move almost 30 years ago to the 24-acre property that Eric inherited from his father, architect Lloyd Wright, who had purchased it in 1956.

Even before they moved to the property, the Wrights had begun to develop the land with the intent of holding public gatherings that would reflect their spiritual ideals. They built a large deck and an outdoor kitchen, and their son, Devon, enlarged a natural pond to make a beautiful stone-lined pool.

In 1987, they held a world peace festival to celebrate the harmonic convergence that drew 650 people. And to reflect their deep interest in Native Americans as well as acknowledging their land’s sacredness to the native people, they installed a stone medicine wheel designed by Dijeli Hamilton that is used at equinox and solstice gatherings that commonly attracts 100 to 200 people. They also built a sweat lodge where Miguel Rivera, a man deeply trained in Native American rituals, regularly conducts Sweat Lodge Ceremonies as well as the solstice and equinox celebrations.

Soon after the family moved to the land, Eric began to construct the family house, which he designed to be earthquake- and fire-resistant. Made of poured concrete, the dramatic, monument-like unfinished structure appears to grow out of the crown of the hill and is the site of many gatherings.

The Wrights formed a non-profit organization that enables them to hold weddings, gatherings, photo shoots and community events on their property. The Topanga Historical Society is honored to hold their April meeting on this beautiful site.  

The event will begin at 12 noon with a.  Bring your best dish to the potluck picnic to share. Organic coffee, water for tea and cold lemon water will be provided. The program that follows will be held in the unfinished house. Following the program there will be time to explore the property and enjoy Mary’s watercolor paintings displayed in a natural setting.

The parking area is ample but please park responsibly, leaving room for all.  Dress appropriately for the terrain, the season and the outdoor activity. The address is 24680 Piuma Road, Malibu 90265

Directions–From Topanga:  Fernwood Pacific to Tuna, left on Schueren, right on Piuma to 24680. From PCH: Los Flores Canyon to Rambla Pacifico, right on Rambla Pacifico to Piuma to 24680. From the valley:  101 to Las Virgenes exit, to Piuma and left on Piuma to 24680.

 

By Ami Kirby

 

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