Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sam Lewis House, Joseph Cather Newsom, Architect c.1890

One of the first residences built with financing from our California Bank was the Sam Lewis House. Sam Lewis served as a captain in the Civil War, where he participated in the siege of Chattanooga, battles at Peachtree Creek, Chattahoochee River and Jonesboro.

The Sam Lewis house still stands today at 1425 Miramar Street in Los Angeles, around the corner from Witmer Street and the Witmer estate, which is on the national register of historic properties. The home has been used throughout the years for different movie sets and backdrops.

The architect was one of the great builders of early California; many of his best known projects may still be seen, including the Carson Mansion (Eureka); Fitzgerald House, and the Severance House, both in Los Angeles.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Granada Buildings, Franklin Harper, Architect 1927

Granada Shoppes and Studios, also known as the Granada Buildings, is a Spanish Colonial Revival courtyard complex designed by Architect Franklin Harper in 1927.

When the architect announced plans for the $1 million project in 1927, the Los Angeles Times described the structure as "something entirely new in Los Angeles, resembling the design of European specialty shops". The complex was designated a Historic Cultural Monument (HCM # 238) by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission in April 1981 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

A courtyard running between four separate structures functions as both a pathway between the suites and a garden providing shade. Located at 672 S. Lafayette Park Place in the Westlake District of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Hagy Belzberg Architect 2011

In observance of National Holocaust Week, Donna and I joined a group of friends for a tour of the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum on April 28, 2011. Set on a wedge of parkland between Pan Pacific Park and Farmer's Market, you might actually miss seeing it. Barely rising above ground level, the museum is mostly below grade, reminding me of the megalithic passage tomb mound I observed on a visit to Newgrange on the eastern side of Ireland. The undulating walls and walkways of the museum mimic the rolling landscape of the park. Inside the exhibits are a sober reminder of the evils mankind is capable of. Everyone should experience it!

Located at 100 South The Grove Drive in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Union Station, John & Donald Parkinson, Architects 1939

Opened in May 1939, Union Station is known as the 'Last of the Great Railway Stations' built in the United States. Designed by by the father and son team of John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinson, with the assitance of Architect Jan van der Linden and others.

The architecture blends Spanish Mission and Art Deco styles in a harmonious mix. with the original light fixtures, inlaid stone floors, painted celings and tiled walls.
The station has been featured in many films, including Blade Runner, Silver Streak and The Italian Job.

Located at 800 N. Alameda Street east of downtown Los Angeles.

Monday, April 25, 2011

First Congregational Church Los Angeles, Allison & Allison, Architects 1930-32

Founded in 1867, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is the oldest Protestant church in continuous service in Los Angeles. The present English Gothic style building is the church's fifth home, designed by James E. and David C. Allison, and completed in 1932. Built of reinforced concrete; imbedded in the concrete are over 500 tons of steel bars.

When you enter the nave from the narthex, you see ahead of you a beautiful slender window on the east chancel wall. It depicts the life of Christ in a series of 15 medallions and is topped by the trefoil with the traditional symbols of the Trinity — the hand of God, the Lamb of God, and the Dove — grouped about the Bible. The other two chancel windows also show scenes from Christ's life.

The entire structure, including Shatto Chapel and the Seaver Building, encompasses an area of 157,000 square feet. At its apex is a massive tower, which rises to a height of 157 feet. Its design is reminiscent of the tower of Oxford University's Magdalen College.

The church is located at 540 South Commonwealth Avenue (Northwest corner of West Sixth Street).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lovell Health House, R. Neutra Architect 1929

Richard Neutra was introduced to Dr. Phillip M. Lovell, a strong advocate for a holistic approach to life by his colleague Rudolf Schindler. Dr. Lovell hired Neutra to remodel his medical and consulting office, and later gave him the commission to build his famous Health House in Los Feliz. Visiting it today, (February 2006) it looks as fresh and new as it did when Neutra completed it in 1929. Built entirely of glass and steel, the Lovell House is considered one of Neutra's greatest achievements.

The Lovell Health House is located in Los Feliz at 4616 Dundee Drive. In 1974, it was declared an Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles (No. 123).
It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Friday, April 15, 2011

North Glendale Methodist Church, Harry W. Pierce, Architect 1941

Gothic Moderne in style. The congregation dwindled in recent years and merged with the United Central Methodist Church of Glendale. The facility was sold to the nearby Church of the Incarnation, and renamed "Incarnation Community Center" in 2009. More recently, the evangelical "Church of the Nations" has been the principal tenant.

Monday, April 11, 2011

First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, April 10, 2011

The great Gothic Tower of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles was rededicated today, Sunday, April 10, 2011. The concrete finials, shown in the foreground, toppled from the tower during one of Los Angeles' earthquakes. They were replaced with a lighter weight plastic material. The church, which was completed in 1933 stands in stark contrast to the mirrored glass Superior Court tower designed by Langdon and Wilson in 1972.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Grey House, Elmer Grey Architect 1911

Distinguised Architect Elmer Grey, FAIA (1872 – 1963) chose an Italianate theme for the design of his personal residence in the upscale Oak Knoll neighborhood of Pasadena. During a long and distinguished career, the architect designed many noted landmarks in Southern California, including the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Huntington Art Gallery, the Pasadena Playhouse and Wattles Mansion. He was a pioneer in the development of an American style of architecture, with an emphasis on harmony with nature. Located at 1372 S. El Molino Avenue in the Oak Knoll neighborhood of Pasadena.

Post Family Summer Retreat House, Wallace Neff, Architect 1923

Wallace Neff designed the 7 bedroom French Eclectic style home as a summer retreat for the Post Family in 1923. Located at 1235 S. Oakland Avenue in the exclusive Oak Knoll neighborhood of Pasadena.

Oak Knoll Pueblo Revival, Rossiter-Banfield Design c. 1915

The c. 1910 Pueblo Revival style house is located at 1205 S. Oakland Avenue in the exclusive Oak Knoll neighborhood of Pasadena, California.

Adams Square Building, Morgan Walls + Clements c.1928

The first commercial building in what is now known as Adams Square was the art deco 1120-1130 South Adams St. Building designed by the distinguished firm, Morgan Walls & Clements in 1926.

In 1945 Irvine Robbins opened his "Snowbird Ice Cream" store in the building; in the same year he teamed up with his brother-in-law Burton Baskin to begin the Baskins Robbins 31 Flavors ice cream chain. Located at 1100 S. Adams Street in Glendale, California.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Courville Residence, Jim Gelfat, Equinox Architecture 2004-2010

After purchasing the home in early 2004, Film and television Art Director Michael M. Couville brought in Jim Gelfat of Equinox Architecture to renovate and connect an existing main residence with a detached garage and Art Studio and add a hillside pool and spa.

The renovated Art Studio above the garage connects to the main house via an interior stair, which circulates and connects a new family room with the kitchen and breakfast rooms, which all overlook and take in the view of the outdoor spaces, including the terrace, pool and spa .

Located at 2018 Meadow Valley Terrace in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Michael M. Courville Residence

The house has undergone extensive alteration betwen 2004 and 2010, with a second story addition, retaining walls, pool and spa. The home of film and television Art Director Michael M. Couville. Located at 2018 Meadow Valley Terrace in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Castle Crags c.1888

Castle Crags c.1888 by Michael Locke
Castle Crags c.1888, a photo by Michael Locke on Flickr.

Designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2008, Castle Crags was designed by an unknown architect or builder in about 1888 in the Queen Anne style of architecture. Defining features of the style include a hip hipped roof and raised porch supported by simple square pillars and pediment. A bay turret with pointed finial rises from the partial third-story at the northwestern corner, demonstrating the asymmetry and irregular massing typical of Victorian-era buildings, according to Los Angeles Historian Charles J. Fisher who represented the owners in the historical designation process. The exterior has ship lath siding with fish-scale finishes on the upper levels, stained glass windows, decorative banding across all of the façades and the pediment, a wraparound porch extending from the front to the eastern façade, and ornamental corbels around the turret and shed window.

When built in 188, the surrounding area was almost entirely farmland and peach orchards, according to Fisher. In 1906. the house was sold to Charles Young and his wife Emma, a local booster who eventually helped to establish the Eagle Rock Historical Society. Emma remained in the house until 1957. Located at 5027 El Verano Avenue in Eagle Rock, California.

Norcross Residence, Bruce Warren Norcross, Architect 1960

I returned to the Bruce Warren Norcross House recenlty, a little earlier in the day, hoping for better light. "Discovering" the house tucked away on a buiet cul-de-sac in Eagle Rock is a great thrill for the architecture enthusiast.

Norcross Residence, Bruce Warren Norcross, Architect 1960

I returned to the Bruce Warren Norcross House recenlty, a little earlier in the day, hoping for better light. "Discovering" the house tucked away on a buiet cul-de-sac in Eagle Rock is a great thrill for the architecture enthusiast.

Rock Row, Heydey Partnership Architects 2009

Rock Row is Los Angeles' first project to be LEED- certified under USGBC guidelines for small lot subdivisions.

Developed by Heydey Partnership, the complex aims to demonstrate that modern sustainably built homes can also be affordable. The complex features permeable, grass-paved driveways preventing run-off. Each house is topped with a green roof planted with water-efficient, drought-tolerant landscaping.

Located at 1546 Yosemite Way in Eagle Rock, California

Eagle Rock Woman's Christian Temperance Union Home for Women, A. Godfrey Bailey, Architect 1927.

The Mediterranean Revival Style building has special significance as the sole physical reminder of the Temperance and Women's Suffrage Movement in Los Angeles. Built in 1927 to replace an earlier home in nearby Highland Park, the WCTU Home for Women was a spacious building with accomodations for 100 guests. Later a convalescent hospital wing was added. With the passage of time, major earthquake and other safety refiting became necessary and the Home was closed and the building sold to GLAD, an agency for the deaf, in the early 1990's. There was talk of razing the building, but the Eagle Rock Association filed a successful application with the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission to declare the building a historic monument. When GLAD purchased the property in 1994 (the agency's 25th anniversary), they set up offices in two single-story wings that had been added in the 1940s and 1960s and launched a fundraising campaign to renovate the building. After hosting a grand opening in September 1998.

Declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1992 (No. 562). Located at 2235 Norwalk Avenue in Eagle Rock.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Ralph J. Chandler House, Wallace Neff, Architect 1960

Greek temple designed by Architect Wallace Neff in 1960 for Ralph J. Chandler, perhaps a relative of the Los Angeles Times' Chandler Family. The house has the fluted columns and scrolled capitals characteristic of the Neo-Classical style. Located at 105 N. Rssmore Avenue in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Old Eagle Rock Branch Library, W.E. Kleinpell, Architect 1915; Newton and Murray (Remodel) 1927

The Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival Eagle Rock Carnegie Library was built in 1914. The original building was designed by W.E. Kleinpell and funded by a grant from the Carnegie Library Foundation. Architects Henry C. Newton and Robert D. Murray were selected for an extensive remodeling in 1927. When a new library was constructed in 1981, the library was transferred to the Department of General Services. The building now serves as the Eagle Rock Community Cultural Center, administered in partnership between the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and the Eagle Rock Community Cultural Association.

Declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM # 292) in 1985. Located at 2225 Colorado Boulevard.