It was constructed for Samuel and Harriet Freeman, two members of the Los Angeles avant-garde. They met Wright through Aline Barnsdall, who owned Hollyhock House. The Freemans asked Wright to design a home for them with a budget of $10,000. He seized the opportunity to create a concrete block house based on a 16-inch square that was estimated to cost $12,000. In a story that played out over and over again between Wright and his clients, the final bill was $23,000.
The Freemans lived in the house from the 1920s virtually until 1986 when Harriet Freeman donated it to the University of Southern California.
According to the USC School of Architecture (who now own the property), the Freeman House is among Wright's most interesting and enchanting small residences. Some people say its living room is one of his best rooms anywhere.
From the street, the Freeman House appears to be a single story, but it descends two more levels down its sloped lot. While it may be bigger than it looks from the street, it's the smallest of all Wright's textile block homes at about 1,200 square feet. It has an entrance, a living room, and a kitchen on the main floor, with two bedrooms, a lounge, and a bath downstairs.
The house was built with little support in the way of reinforcement or beams, probably not the best of ideas for a house on a hillside in earthquake country. The university is working to restore severe damage from earthquakes and water, but repairs are costly, and progress has been slow. They hope it will eventually be a residence for distinguished visitors, and a setting for small salons, seminars, and meetings.
Some people think the Freeman House block design looks a little bit like flowers. They are 16-inch squares. Some of them were perforated and glazed, allowing additional light into the house.
According to tripsavvy.com