Posts in category Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument
At a time when Hollywood screenwriter Elinor Glyn helped to make a star of actress Clara Bow, for whom she coined the label “the It girl” in 1928, little is remembered of her co-star, Antonio Moreno who appeared with Bow in the film It in 1927. It was Clara Bow’s first starring role; Moreno had already appeared in dozens of films, beginning in 1912, the year of his arrival in Los Angeles during which he appeared in seven films.
Moreno grew up in Gibraltar where he grew up knot a handsome lad of impressive charm, impressive enough to attract the attention (in more ways than one) of two important tourists: Benjamin Curtis, son of US Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis, and Enrique de Cruzat Zanetti (also known as Sheikh Birbal), a leader in the Sufi branch of Islam. Curtis and Zanetti invited the teenager to accompany them on the remainder of their travels with Moreno serving as interpreter to the ailing Curtis. Arriving in New York in 1902, Moreno wasted no time in attracting more patrons, including Charlotte Morgan, a wealthy widow who invited him to live her at her home in Northampton, Massachusetts.
In Northampton, Antonio caught the acting bug after playing in a summer production of the resident stock company, after which he moved with the company to New York City. Charming his way into the company, he made his Broadway debut in 1910, and by 1912 was doing Shakespeare with the touring Southern and Marlow Company. When English director Walter Edwin suggested he might do well in motion pictures, he moved to Hollywood in 1912 and appeared in seven films during the year of his arrival.
In all, Moreno appeared in 140 films, rising to fame as an exotic romantic hero, benefitting from the “Latin Lover” craze begun by Rudolph Valentino. He appeared alongside every dramatic star of the silent era including Mary Pickford, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Norma Talmadge, Greta Garbo, Pola Negri, Gloria Swanson and the aforementioned Clara Bow.
In 1923 Antonio married oil heiress Daisy Canfield, daughter of Charles Canfield, who with Edward Doheny discovered Los Angeles’ black gold in the 1890s. The marriage was one of convenience, given alleged same-sex inclinations on the part of both. A perception of normalcy in sexual relations would have been especially important for a macho-playing movie star, who like Valentino, had to constantly fend off rumors about his sexuality.
With unlimited funds acquired through the divorce from her first husband, oilman J. M. Danzinger, Daisy hired noted architect Robert Farquhar to design a Mediterranean style villa on the crest of the highest hill in Silver Lake. Christened the Crestmont, the estate would become famous for its lavish parties attended by celebrities, socialites and prominent members of Los Angeles’ Spanish and Mexican era land grant families.
For more on the life of Antonio Moreno, the book, Silver Lake Chronicles: Exploring an Urban Oasis in Los Angeles makes for excellent reading.
The Silver Lake home of Rev. Malcolm Boyd, the Episcopal priest, author and gay activist, who passed away on February 27, 2015 is on the market and listed for sale as of November 2015 for $898,000. Boyd, who came out of the closet in 1976 at an Episcopal convention in Chicago, was shunned by the church for many years until he was invited to join the staff of St. Augustine by-the-Sea in Santa Monica by longtime friend and the church’s rector, Rev. Frederick Fenton.
The Silver Lake home that he shared with Mark Thompson, who became his husband in 2013 after Proposition 8 was overturned and same-sex marriages became legal in 2013 is filled with memorabilia of Boyd’s remarkable life and is a “must-see_ for anyone interested in the history of the Gay Rights movement. Given its history, the house would seem to be a prime candidate for designation as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. If you would like to see the house before its contents are moved, please give me a call, Michael Locke, Realtor and I would be delighted to accompany you on a visit. I may be reached at (323) 533-3161 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Boyd-Thompson house is located at 2517 Hyperion Avenue on the border of the Silver Lake and Los Feliz neighborhoods of Los Angeles, California.
The Villa was dedicated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monumnet in 2010 No. 971), located at 2508 Mayberry Street in the Mayberry Heights neighborhood of Silver Lake.
The dramatic parlor/living room of the Villa Palombo-Togneri, complete with hand-painted walls and ceilings and art deco chandelier and wall sconces recalls the glamour of old Hollywood. Declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, January 27, 2010 (No. 971).
Gregory Ain studied architecture at the University of Southern California during the years 1927-28. While the fashion of architectural training of the day was for the ‘beaux arts’, the movement towards modernism was beginning to make its impact at all levels of life, including architecture. These revolutions in our understanding of any human endeavor often have their beginnings on the campuses of the world’s universities. As a youth, Gregory Ain was acquainted with Rudolf Schindler’s Kings Road house, and this ‘new style’ of architecture definitely had an impact upon him.After graduation, Gregory Ain went to work in the office of Richard Neutra in Silver Lake, already established as one of the ‘young lions’ of the emerging modernist movement. Early in his career, Gregory Ain developed an interest In group housing for low and middle income families. In 1937, he began the development of Dunsmuir Flats, which became his signature work, and which through the photography of the great Julius Shulman, established his reputation.
In 1940 Ain received a Guggenheim Fellowship for the development of low-cost housing. One of the most successful schemes was the Avenal Housing Project in Silver Lake, twenty attractive hillside units with private patios and living rooms with views, built for the members of a musician’s union whos members worked in the film industry.
Tierman House, located at 2323 Micheltorena Street in the Moreno Highlands was designated in 1974 by the City of Los Angeles as a Historic Cultural Monument (No. 124) and noted for its ‘architectural simplicity and elegance achieved through relationship between building and site.’
Other Gregory Ain homes in Silver Lake are Daniels House, 1856 Micheltorena Street and Orans House, 2404 Micheltorena Street. There is also an office building located at 2311 Hyperion Avenue in Silver Lake which was once the office of Gregory Ain and James Garrott, one of the few African-American architects in practice at the time.
Declared a historic/cultural landmark in 1981, the bridge is noted for its Romanesque arches. It is also one of the most troubling areas of Silver Lake in that it has become a symbol of the homelessness problem that exists within Silver Lake.The Sunset Boulevard Bridge is located where Silver Lake Boulevard intersects with Sunset Boulevard. It was declared a Los Angeles Cutural-Heritage Monument in 1981 (No. 236).
Los Angeles Times – July 30, 1904
“The plans for the reconstruction of the Sunset Boulevard bridge, as drawn by the City Engineer, were yesterday adopted by the Board of Public Works. The bridge will be built across Lake Shore avenue [now Glendale Bvld.] and is necessitated by the difference in grade between Sunset Boulevard and Lake Shore avenue. The tracks of the Glendale electric line run on Lake Shore avenue and those of the Los Angeles-Pacific occupy a portion of the roadbed of Sunset boulevard. The present bridge is so low that the tracks of the Glendale line had to be laid below grade in order to allow the cars of the system to pass under the bridge. In order to overcome this difficulty the grade of Sunset boulevard is to be raised five feet and the new bridge built. The new bridge will be eighty feet in length whereas the present sturcture is but fifty feet long. The City Engineer estimates that the cost of building will be about $ 17,200 and the railway companies $7850”.
Another view of the Romesque arches and details of one of our historic monuments, Los Angeles City Historic/Cultural Monument Number 236, declared on April 9, 1981.
Elizabeth Bougart-Sharkov, Chair of the Silver Lake Urban Design & Preservation Committee, recently informed that this unassuming duplex located at 944 Maltman Avenue is indeed the work of a young Rudolf Shindler! ‘During the course of research and digging through history and left-intact documents, we made this tremendous discovery. It was designed and built according to his plans’, an ecstatic Ms. Bougart-Sharkov exclaimed, ‘It was a stepping stone in terms of using cast concrete as a structural and architectural element.’Elizabeth related that Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti was personally involved and appeared before the Los Angeles Cultural and Historic Commission requesting the designation of the property as a Los Angeles Cultural and Heritage Monument (No. 844) which was successful.In an email received by Schindler’s son, Mark Schindler, I learned that ‘the Purviance Duplex is the small house to the north. The owner wanted Schindler to use brick, so the architect revised the plan and sold it to him. The rear section has the same slab cast tiles that my father used on the How House.’.
The Purviance Duplex is located at 944 Maltman Avenue.
The Cathedral is located at 650 Micheltorena Street.
Adams and his wife purchased the house in 1942. It was a small bungalow with a hipped roof, built around 1906. Over time, Adams altered the house significantly, hiring in succession, four different architects, as his vision for the house expanded.
instructors at the Art Center School of Design, Architects John Rex and Douglas Honnold, were brought in to add a garage, chimney and barbeque, and and a concrete and stone deck in 1955. (Honnold and Rex formed a partnership in 1953 that was to last until Honnold’s death in 1974. Honnold is best-known for his ‘Pans Restaurant’ designs, one of the first to popularize ‘Googie’ style).
In 1966 A. Albert Cooling, who was also an instructor at the school, completely re-invented the house into the style we see today. Cooling died before the final phase of the house was conceived; Adams turned to Taliesen Fellow James DeLong to complete the project.
The Edward Albert Adams House is located at 2331 Cove Avenue.
Canfield-Moreno Estate- Robert D. Farquhar, Architect 1923
These landmark apartments recently (June 2004) went on the market for $1.5 Million. Declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2006 (No. 831). Located at 2036 Griffith Park Boulevard.