Julius Ralph Davidson was born in Berlin, Germany in 1889. He apprenticed in architectural offices in Berlin and London, England, and Paris, France, before opening his own practice in Berlin after World War I. He immigrated to Los Angeles and found employment with prominent architect Robert D. Farquhar (1923-24) and as an assistant to Cedric Gibbons, Art Director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (1924-1925) before opening his own practice. Among his most important achievements are included the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel (1919-1921); Case Study House No. 1 (1947-48); Drucker Apartments (1940); Hi-Hat Restaurant (1927); Thomas Mann House (Pacific Palisades, 1941); Perino’s Restaurant (1940) and the Rabinowitz House (Bel-Air 1960).The Sabsay House is located at 2351 Silver Ridge Avenue in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Posts in category Mid-Century Modern
The Otero Residence is located at 1986 Lucile Avenue. It is currently listed (September 2006) for sale for just under $1M)
Rudolf Schindler built this house on a hillside lot, on an angle away from the street to take full advantage of the sunset views to the west. Schindler furnished the house with his own signature ‘unit’ furniture, allowing assembly in a variety of combinations. It was built at a cost of $4 per square foot.The Oliver House is located at 2236 Micheltorena Street in the Moreno Highlands neighborhood of Silver Lake.
Once in a rare while, the opportunity comes along to visit a fabled treasure that is normally a well-kept secret and off-limits to the general public. I was familiar with stories about the house, where Eric Lloyd Wright, grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright and a distinguished architect in his own right, designed a home for his half-brother Rupert Pole and Anais Nin, the famous feminist and writer in 1962. It was the architect�s first solo commission; he returned to the site on November 20, 2010 for an interview with the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council History Collective (SLNCHC). Bob Herzog, Co-Chair of the Committee invited me along, to document and photograph the participants and the occasion. Also on hand were the architect�s son and daughter-in-law, Devon and Marion �Tree� Wright, and Jenifer Palmer-Lacy, who conducted the interview.The glass, concrete and wood house is located on the precipice of a hill on the east side of Silver Lake, overlooking the reservoir and the Moreno Highlands in the west. Wright, in the interview, reminisced about his relationship with his clients; his half-brother, Rupert Pole and Anais Nin, the famed feminist and author, who shocked the literary world with frank details about her sexual escapades, including her relationship with author Henry Miller and his wife, made public in the book, �Henry and June�. She lead a double life, being married to Pole, her �west coast� lover, and her New York husband, Hugh �Hugo� Guiler, with whom she kept an apartment in Manhattan. Neither spouse was aware of the other; although she married Pole in 1955, the marriage was nullified 11 years later after she confessed that she was already married. She would return to Pole, 16 years her junior, to spend her final years together with him in the Silver Lake house, until her death in 1977. The house was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (No. 892) in 2007.
Note the curving balconies and roof lines characteristic of Kesling’s preferred California Streamline Moderne design. A long, wrap-around window gives a sense of space and light. To the right is an eight-faceted master bedroom which enjoys the same magnificent canyon view.
Kesling’s Model Home is located at 1519 Easterly Terrace.
I had the opportunity to visit the Meyers House, situated at 1607 Angelus Avenue in Silver Lake as part of the photography work that I was honored to do for the Committee to Save Silver Lake’s Reservoirs (CSSLR)2006 Home Tour scheduled for September 30, 2006. (See related article in the ‘Community News’ Section of this website). Many of the owners of these fabulous homes were kind enough to give me the opportunity to photograph their interiors.For more information about the architect, Raphael Soriano, please refer to my original notes on the Meyers House (the first entry in the ‘Silver Lake Architecture’ page of this website) and additional notes regarding Soriano’s first commission the ‘Lipetz House’ also featured. For more reading on the architect, the excellent book entitled ‘Raphael Soriano’ by Wolfgang Wagner, makes for enjoyable reading. The Meyers House is also featured in Barbara Bestor’s new book ‘Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake’, published by Regan Books, 2006.
Meyers House, 1607 Angelus Avenue, Raphael Soriano, Architect
This lovely home built in 1938 is a classic example of Soriano’s work. He received his architecture degree from the University of Southern California and worked for both Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra before opening his own practice in 1936. Although he designed 150 and built 38 projects during his career, only a handful survive. He moved to Tiburon, CA in 1953 where he designed and built housing for developer Joseph Eichler as well as the IBM Research Laboratory in San Jose.His work is becoming better known since the publication of the book, ‘Raphael Soriano’ by author Wolfgang Wagener. Published by Phaidon, September 2002. Hardcover 224 pages.
*NOTE: There seems to be a bit of confusion about this house. It is listed in ‘An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles’ by David Gebhard & Robert Winter, published by Gibbs Smith, however, the definite book on Soriano’s work, ‘Rapahel Soriano’ by Wolfgang Wagener published by Phaidon Press, lists the Meyers House at 850 Avenue 37 in Los Angeles. Surely there is some explanation for this discrepancy! Did J.A. Meyers have Soriano build two houses for him, one in Silver Lake and one in Eagle Rock? While there is no mention of the Angelus house in Wagener’s book, I was able to obtain a copy of the building permit which verifies the fact that Raphael Soriano did indeed apply for a building permit for 1607 Angelus Avenue for a J.A. Meyers in 1938.
Another view of the interior.
An interior view, demonstrating the intimate relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
Built between 1937 and 1939 for Mr. and Mrs. Harry G. McIntosh, this small house has been described as ‘private and secluded’ from the lower street level and ‘open and exhuberant’ from the upper living levels where a wrap-around terrace and walls of glass take advantage of the view to the west and south.With its distinctive redwood siding, The McIntosh House is a departure from the ‘machine’ architecture associated with many of the Silver Lake homes designed by Richard Neutra.
The McIntosh House is located at 1317 Maltman Avenue in Silver Lake. It was built at a cost of $3,800. It is the home of Neutra expert-architect John Bertram, principal of Bertram Architects and his wife, actress-writer Ann Magnuson.
The McAlmon Residence is located at 2717-2721 Waverly Drive.
Rudolph Schindler designed Manola Cour for his client, artist/designer Herman Sachs over a 14-year period. They are an excellent example of Schindler’s abstract style. Located at 1811-1830 Edgecliffe Drive. The entire complex of sixteen residences ‘set within hilliside gardens on three adjacent street-to-street parcels’ was listed for sale (July 2008) for $3M. A dramatic 2-story owner’s loft connects directly to the original studio.
Photo taken from the 1800 block of Lucile Avenue.