Friday, January 28, 2011

Apartment Building, 4230 Franklin Avenue, J. Knover, Architect 1939

The thirties marked the high-water mark of the Streamline Moderne movement; this handsome apartment building in Los Feliz incorporates the signature elements of the style, including porthole windows, curving rooflines wth matching ship style railings, and horizontal bands of windows.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Albers Residence, Nomland & Nomland Architects 1955

The Albers Residence, designed by Nomland & Nomland, Architects in 1965. The house has undergone an extensive restoration under the supervision of architect Mark Rios (2006), and is currenlty on the market for $1,395,000.

Kemper Nomland Sr. and Kemper Nomland Jr. were a father-son architectural team; together they designed one of the Case Study Houses (711 San Rafael Avenue, Pasadena, in 1947).

The elder Nomland studied architecture at Columbia University before practicing in New York, Seattle, and then Los Angeles. He worked for Albert C. Martin (1922), Marston Van Pelt & Maybury (1923–1925); Austin, and Martin & Parkinson (1926–1927); Kemper Nomland Jr. after 1928; and Hunt & Chambers from 1942-1944.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Elvad House, Paul Kingsbury, Architect 1927

The quintessential Spanish villa, The Elvad House was designed by Architect Paul Kingsbury for Danish immigrant Peter Elvad in 1927. Kingsley (1893-1949) had an illustrious career. After graduation from the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture (1916), he joined the firm of John T. Windrim in Philadelphia. When war broke out in Europe, he joined the effort in France (1918-19). Returning home, he found employment at the firm George B. Post & Sons (New York City 1919-1921), before moving to Los Angeles in 1921. After brief stints with William Lee Woolett (1921-1922) and Allison and Allison (1922-23), he formed a partnership with Architect Thomas P. Barber in 1924, together they designed the Gothic Revival McCarty Memorial Church in 1932. Kingsbury also designed the art deco La Marquise Apartments (LACHM # 853) and the Little Country Church of Hollywood (LACHM #567). Located at 3428 Amesbury Road in Los Feliz

Beaton House "La Casa Contenta" c.1929

Los Angeles Historian Charles E. Fisher, on a recent visit to the house speculated that the Spanish Revival style house may be the work of Architect George Wyman, most noted for the design of the Bradbury Building. The house was built by Durex Quality Homes, a division of the F.P. Fay Company, headquartered at the Third and Hill F.P. Fay Building, where, according to Charles Fisher, George Wyman kept his office, a stone's throw from the Bradbury Building.

When the home was built in 1929, Durex was already a thirty-year old company founded in 1899. A 1929 sales brochure calls the home, "The Home of Your Dreams", recalling the days of the Dons, when ranchos stretched from the mountain to the sea, when life was leisurely and the end of the day of sheep-shearing meant "Fiesta". (It was apparently a model home; the brochure furthur indicates that the house was "staged" by the Broadway's Home Furnishing Studio).

The home became the property of the Beaton family at some point in time. William Beaton was President and Chairman of the Board of KIEV AM Radio from 1961 until his death in 1985. Beaton's two sons, Fred and Ron, took control of the station after their father's death. I purchased the home from the Beaton family in 1992 and renamed it "La Casa Contenta" in 2010; the house is the "Home of My Dreams."

Located at 3410 Amesbury Road in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Widner House, Arthur E. Harvey, Architect 1934

Monterey Colonial Style residence designed by Architect Arthur E. Harvey for W.P. Widner in 1934. Located at 3599 Griffith Park Blvd. in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Cadman Drive Mediterranean Revival c.2008

Recently-built (2008) Mediterranean Revival home in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles. The four bedroom, five bath home has 4700 sq. feet of living space and is currently (October 2010) for sale for $1,595,000. Located at 3636 Cadman Drive, a cul-de-sac street that adjoins Griffith Park.

KCET Studios, 4401 West Sunset Boulevard

Prior to its purchase in 1970 by KCET's parent company, Community Televison of Southern California, the studio was one of the earliest movie production studios in Los Angeles and was the home of several motion picture firms including Monogram, ColorVision and Allied Artists. The Keystone Kops, Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle all made movies here. A few of the notable films produced here include 'Friendly Persuasion', 'Hurricane' and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. The property has been the home of KCET, a public broadcast station since 1971.

The KCET Studios are located at 4401 West Sunset Drive in the Los Feliz Village area. Due to its historic significance, the property was declared an Historic-Cultural Monument in the City of Los Angeles in 1978 (No. 198).

Vista Theater c.1923

Vista Theater c.1923
Originally uploaded by Michael Locke
The Mission Revival Theater was originally called "Bard's East Hollywood Theater when it was built in 1923. The interior, lobby and ticket booth are designed in an Egyptian Revival Style, popularized by the discovery of King's Tut tomb in Egypt, the year before. Located at 4473 Sunset Drive in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles..

Elvira Alexander Residence, C. W. Christianson, Builder 1940

Contractor C. W. Christianson built the French style for R. V. & Elvira Alexander in 1940. Located at 5001 Finley Avenue in the Los Feliz Neighborhood of Los Angeles..

Alice & Webster Miller Residence, E. P. Chapton, Architect, 1927

Elmer Ralphs, Miller’s son-in-law in 1930, lived here. Ralphs was a son of Walter Ralphs, grandson of the Walter Ralphs that founded the Ralphs Grocery chain in 1873. Ralphs was living with his in-laws while another home was being built for him at 2401 Nottingham Avenue. Located at 4941 Finley Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles..

Barney Morris Residence, M. C. Drebin, Architect 1941

Late Colonial Style residence designed by Architect M.C. Drebin in 1841. Located at 4944 Finley Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles

Lawrence Gray House, Paul R. Williams, Architect 1927

Williams designed the house for Henry and Mamie Gray, parents of Lawrence Gray, a leading man in films between 1925 and 1936. The actor lived with his parents while working as a production superintendent at Paramount Studios when friends (including Bebe Daniels) suggested he take up acting. He got his break in 1925 when he landed a starring role in “The Dressmaker from Paris.” His credits include 45 films, appearing opposite Marion Davies, Joan Crawford, and Louise Brooks. After 1936, he was involved in production and acted as a liaison between American and Mexican film companies. He passed away February 2, 1970 in Mexico City.

An elegant lap pool with cascading fountain has the effect of a reflecting pool The house. The house was listed for sale in October 2010 for $3,295,000.
Located at 5112 Ambrose Avenue.

Glendower Avenue House, 2002 Remodel

Located at 2681 Glendower Road in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, the house underwent extensive remodeling between 1997 and 2002 according to building permits. I'd love to know who is responsible for the highly sculptural design.

Arthur Holliday Residence, Arthur Holliday, Builder 1924

Contractor Arthur Holliday designed the Egyptian Revival style home in Los Feliz for his personal residence in 1924. Located at 2700 Glendower Avenue.

John Philip Law House, "The Castle", A.F. Leicht, Architect 1924

Known as a "rocker road house" throughout the 1960s and 70s, Actor John Philip Law leased the house at various times to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol and Barry McGuire of the New Christy Minstrels.

Located at 2630 Glendower Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Skolnik House, R.M. Schindler, Architect 1951

Rudolph Schindler designed over 500 homes and buildings during a long career beginning with his own house in West Hollywood in 1922; the house for Samuel Skolnik was one of his last, completed in 1952. He died on August 22, 1953. The Skolnik House is located at 2567 Glendower Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Tryon Castle c.1928

Tryon Castle c.1928
Originally uploaded by Michael Locke
Castles always hold a special fascination; I guess it's the British in me! I have always wanted to get a closer look at the old (1928) castle on Tryon Road; it has that forbidding look, perched on a steep hillside, looking a bit forlorn and maybe even haunted. The opportunity arose recently; the house has been repossessed from its most recent owner (Actor Nicholas Cage also owned it recently), and is now listed for sale for a mere $1.249,000 (as of November 2010). The house is large; 4 bedrooms and 5 baths in 5,367 sq. feet of living space. It needs some work but seems like a bargain to me. Located at 5647 Tryon Road in the Los Feliz Oaks.

McTernan House., David Hyun Architect 1960; DesignVidal (remodel) 2010

Korean-born Architect David Hyun designed the house for John T. McTernan in 1960. The house is currently (2010) undergoing an extensive restoration under the direction of Karen Vidal (DesignVidal). Located at 2226 Wayne Avenue in Los Feliz.

Ley House, George W. Ley, Architect 1923

Architect-builder George W. Ley designed and built the Spanish-Moorish style residence as his own personal residence in 1923. Located at 2300 Wayne Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Margaret Warner Residence, Charles A. Gault, Builder 1926

Another magnifcent Mediterranean style home, located at 2400 Nottingham Avenue in Los Feliz.

Hopperstead House, A.F. Leicht, Architect 1925

Architect A.F. Leicht designed the house for E.W. Hopperstead in 1925. The architect designed approximately 24 homes in the Los Feliz and Hollywood neighborhoods during the 1920's, including John Phillip Law's "Castle" (1929). He also designed Angelus Temple in Echo Park for evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Located at 4171 Cromwell Avenue in Los Feliz.

Rolland A. Voss Residence, Wright-Dukes Construction Company, Architect & Builder 1929

Mediterranean Villa in Los Feliz; since 1989 the home of Actor Ron "Hell Boy" Perlman and his wife Opal. Located at 4025 Cromwell Avenue.

3601 Griffith Park Blvd. c.1932

The Los Angeles home of French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. The artist has performed with most of the world's leading symphonic orchestras including: the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Orchestre National de France, among others. He also frequents the great concert halls of Europe and North America and is quite fond of travelling to Australia, where he has a strong fan base. Thibaudet's virtuosity is such that he even impressed the great Vladimir Horowitz.

In 2001, the French Republic made Thibaudet a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Sherwood House, Ben Sherwood. Builder 1938

The intersection of Griffith Park and Rowena Avenue might well be called the "Storybook Corner" of Los Feliz; Builder Ben Sherwood also designed the nearby "House of the Seven Dwarves" (2900-2912 1/2 Griffith Park Blvd.). The equally famous "Snow White's Cottage" is located diagonally across the street.

The Normandy "castle' is located at 3212 Griffith Park Blvd.

Hamerlund House, J. Hamerlund, Builder 1926

The Los Feliz district has a great many of these English Tudor Revival homes. The style was very popular with the affluent beginning in the 1870s; furthur interest was sparked by GIs returning from the front at the end of World War I. Interest in the style peaked in the 1920s and continued until the advent of World War II. The Hamerlund House is one of my favorites, set in a lovely garden at 3434 Waverly Drive.

Silverman House, Theordore J. Scott, Architect 1927

Spanish Revival Style house designed for William Silverman in 1927, by Theodore J. Scott, Architect.

The 5-bedroom, 4 bath house is located at 2030 N. Edgemont Street in Los Feliz.

Levin House, Rudolph M. Schindler, Architect 1925

Schindler remodeled an existing house for Hyman Levin in 1925, adding more rooms as the family grew. The house was restored by Stephanos Polyzoides in 1984. Original landscaping designed by Richard Neutra has matured to the extent that the house is barely visible from the street. Located at 2673 Dundee Place in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Hodges Station

Hodges Station
Originally uploaded by Michael Locke
Fine old Craftsman home, part of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

Mary Priest Residence, Arthur R. Kelly, Architect 1929

Architect Kelly originally designed the Monterey style home for Mary E. Priest, a legal secretary in 1929. In the 1990s, it was the home of Actress Kate Hudson. Currently the home of rock singer Princess Tatiana Desirée zu Fürstenberg, daughter of fashion designers Diane and Egon von Fürstenberg.

The house is located at 2332 N. Catalina Street in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles.

Phillips House, Elmer Gray, Architect 1930

Architect Elmer Grey (1872-1963) designed the Norman syle chateau for Dr. Charles E. Phillips in 1930. Grey designed many noted Southern California landmarks, including the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Huntington Art Gallery, the Pasadena Playhouse and Wattles Mansion. He is credited with being a pioneer in the development of a new American style of architecture with a focus on harmony with nature and eliminating features not belonging to the local climate and conditions.

The house is located at 4803 Cromwell Avenue in the Los Feliz District of Los Angeles.

Walker House, Clarence J. Smale, Architect 1924

Architect Smale designed the Mediterranean style house for Haberdasher Harry W. Walker in 1924. Located at 2230 N. Catalina Street in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Smale also designed the Gustave Larson Residence on Nottingham Avenue, the Italianate Mediterranean style mansion on Ambrose Avenue for W.O. Boston (1924), the Mediterranean Revival style Monsignor O'Brien Residence on Catalina Street (declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (#861) in 2007, the historically-designated Loyola Theater in Westchester (recently converted to an office building) and the Smith House at Second and Hudson Avenue in Hancock Park, as well as numerous other movie palaces most of which have been demolished.

Delmer Daves House, H. Genser, Architect 1925

The architect originally designed the Italianate style house for William W. Beerman. By 1930 it was the home of Film Screenwriter Delmer Daves. After studying civil engineering and law at Stanford University, Daves worked as a prop boy on the movie set, "The Covered Wagon" in 1923, and developed a fascination for Native Americans while working on the film. He quit a promising law career to live among Arizona's Navajo and Hopi Indians. Later he would take acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse. After appearing in three early "talkies", he turned to screenwriting. By 1965, he had scripted 44 screenplays, including "The Petrified Forest" (1936), "The Farmer's Daughter" (1940), "Stage Door Canteer" (1943), "Dark Passage" (1947) and "Youngblood Hawke" (1964).

Stratmere House, Sam Melgard, Builder 1941

Contractor-built late Colonial style house designed for E. Stratmere in 1941. The house last sold in 2001 for $1,850,000; the listing described the house as a "magnificent walled and gated home in prime Los Feliz with the quality, attention to detail and refined taste you'd expect to find in the 1930's from (Architect) Paul Williams".

Located at 2245 N. Berendo Street.

Bailenson House, Wallace Neff, Architect 1936

Celebrity Architect Wallace Neff designed the house in an eclectic Colonial Revival style for Lawrence W. Beilenson, General Counsel of the Screen Actor's Guild (since its founding in 1933). The house is currently (January 2011) in foreclosure and listed for sale for $1,849,000.

Located at 1946 N. Gramercy Place in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. If you have a keen interest in the work of Wallace Neff and would like to see this house, let me know and I'll give you a guided tour.

Los Feliz: My Neighborhood

Donna and I packed our bags and moved from Silver Lake to Los Feliz in November 2007. We were fortunate to relocate to a fantastic old Spanish Revival house, formerly the home of the Beaton Family of radio fame. William Beaton was President and Chairman of the Board of KIEV Radio 1961-1985 (his sons Fred and Ron took control of the station after his death). Shortly after moving in, Donna and I attended a New Year's Eve party in Silver Lake at the home of Dave Keitel and Shelley Marks">(Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy). Tom LaBonge was among the guests that evening; as we shared about our move from Silver Lake to Los Feliz Tom inquired, "Where in Los Feliz?" After giving him our new address, he immediately replied, "Oh, you live in the Beaton House, I used to go swimming there as a child."

While we still have a great affection for Silver Lake, Los Feliz is our new home and we are really enjoying being on a "perpetual holiday"! Living at the foot of Griffith Park with its unspoiled trails and living in our dream home and appreciating the beautiful architecture as well as our neighbors has been a dream come true.

Walking the neighborhood, I plan on bringing my camera along as often as possible. I trust you will share my appreciation for Los Feliz in the pictures and stories about our community. Visit us regularly and enjoy the journey!

Pictured is the Blackburn Residence, designed by Paul R. Williams, Architect 1927