Posts in category Treasures of Los Angeles Architecture
Mid-Century gem located in the highlands of Silver Lake, a neighborhood of Los Angeles with a high concentration of noteworthy homes of the period. The house at 1887 Lucile Avenue I would have thought had a distinguished architectural pedigree. A visit to the Records Department at the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety proved me wrong. No architect was listed on the original building permit; instead the house was built for a Mr. William Tom by Hilltop Builders, a contracting firm located at 9059 West Sunset Boulevard at an estimated cost of $20,000 in 1962.
The three bedroom, two bath house in 1590 sq. ft. is currently (October 2013) on the market listed for sale at a very reasonable $808,888. I expect it will be gone shortly with multiple offers, given the hoards of people that were at the Open House today.
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Originally a duplex, Schindler’s design evolved into a single family home to fit the owner’s changing circumstances. Sleeping quarters, a studio and library were added above the garage. The overall design reflects Schindler’s late de Stijl influence.Located at 1805 Maltman Avenue, the home is currently on the market for $1,095,000 (November 8, 2009).
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).
Driving by this elegant modernist home on my way to visit a friend on nearby Dillon Street, I first thought I had stumbled upon a heretofore-undiscovered Rudolph Schindler original. The architect, as it turns out, relates to Schindler in a fascinating way. After earning a B.F.A. degree in Sculpture from Pomona College, Robert Nicolais received his Master’s Degree at the Yale School of Architecture. Arriving back in Los Angeles in 1978, he volunteered at Schindler’s King’s Road House, where the master architect established his reputation as one of the leading modernist architects. Applying his knowledge of sculpture to furniture and working from old photographs, Nicolais created outstanding reproductions of Schindler’s furniture designs for the Kings Road House. Nicolais makes and sells furniture of his own design in addition to his Schindler reproductions to clients across the U.S. and in Europe.
When Steve Robinson decided to build his home on a steep downslope lot in Silver Lake, he turned to his partner, Robert, for the design. Nearly every room in the house takes advantage of the dramatic Downtown L.A. views. The home is strongly reminiscent of Schindler’s work and employs some of his practical ideas as well. The orientation of the south facing windows and the dramatic overhang of the roof provide shade during the hot summer months and sun during the winter. Convective venting allows hot air to escape from the top-level electric windows while drawing in cooler air from the lower levels. A passive solar thermal mass system allows a phase-change salt formula to melt and freeze at 81 degrees, as a way of soaking up energy from the sun. A recently added active solar hot water system in another of the many ‘green’ features. The light filled home includes many examples of Nicolais’ furniture and paintings. The landscaping is mostly natives, requiring minimal water.
The Steven H. Robinson Residence is located at 1700 Rotary Drive
There is a excellent book on William Kesling entitlted: ‘Kesling Modern Structures: Popularizing Modern Design in Southern California’ that makes for fascinating reading. The book chronicles the man and his work, beginning in Los Angeles in the 1930’s his downfall and fall from grace, and his later re-emergence in San Diego during World War II where he experienced a new appreciation for his talents.
‘Kesling Modern Structures: Popularizing Modern Design in Southern California 1943-1962’ by Patrick Pascal, with photographs by Julius Shulman and David Sadofski, Balcony Press, Publisher, 2002.
One of Lautner’s iconic works, ‘Silvertop’ as it is affectionately known, sits atop Micheltorena Street at No. 2138. As the Canfield-Moreno Estate defines the best of Beaux-Arts Architecture in Silver Lake, ‘Silvertop’ sets the high water mark for the Modernist Style. Totally unique in its structure and design, this magnificent property reflects both the influence of his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright (whom he worked under at Taliesin between 1933 and 1939) and his own daring and inventive ideas. Pictured are Martin Shall (you-are-here.com) with friend Rita Wirth on a visit during November 2006.
The Shields House was designed by Venice-based architect Glen Bell, DEX Studio for John Shields, a landscape architect and concept site planner for theme parks, and his artist/illustrator partner, Nat Reed, re-imagining a single story stucco box on Redcliff Street in Silver Lake. The restyling involved reorienting the first floor, adding a second floor, and altering the facade to bring in more natural light and highlight the home�s panoramic views.. Hand-crafted screens on the exterior provide texture while visually tying the main house with a separate studio. The pattern continues throughout the home with suspended acrylic orange-colored panels suspended from the ceiling, enclosing the stairway and at the same time creating a fantastic prism of color in the interior spaces. The collaboration between the principals (landscape architect and artist) and the architect is evident everywhere, from the rectilinear pattern rug in the downstairs bedroom to the design of the exterior spaces. A tiered system of poured concrete steps and planters, enhanced by native and drought-tolerant plantings progressively reveals the connection between the architecture and gardens reducing water usage, while the terraces allow rainwater to seep into the soil rather than run off to the street.
The hilltop home was one of six homes featured on the 2011 Dwell on Design home tour. Shields studied landscape architecture at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Located at 1855 Redcliff Street in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Built on a steep hillside in Silver Lake’s architecturally-significant Silver Ridge Avenue, the multilevel Sharlin House represents a significant departure from the architect’s typical single story home. Projecting trellises, shown here, contribute handsomely to the building’s overall design.Gregory Ain designed the house for the Sharlin family. Rose Scharlin was the moving force behind the very first cooperative nursery school in the City of Los Angeles c.1939, and the model upon which local schools patterned themselves. Beginning as the Echo Park Cooperative Nursery School, using the facilities of the Echo Park Playground, a number of its members decided to start a similar school for the Silver Lake area and broke away from the original group, taking with them as the new school�s director Mrs. Rose Scharlin in 1946. The new school began as the Lakeview Cooperative Nursery School at the present school site, which was then an abandoned tennis court. Rose Scharlin fostered the concept of parents and children growing and learning together within the group. When Rose Scharlin died in 1948, the name of the school was changed in her memory. In 1955 it merged with the old Echo Park School to become one again.Located at 2363 Silver Ridge Avenue in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Silver Ridge Avenue has some of the most storied monuments to Modernist architecture to be found in the world, including works by Harwell Hamilton Harris, Rudolph Schindler, J.R. Davidson and Allyn E. Morris. Visiting there recently, I was struck by a number of exciting new architectural projects being infilled in a few of the steep, remaining hillside lots, and some interesting remodels.
A real eye-catcher is this stunning architectural statement at 2358 Silver Ridge. Designed by Sean Briski, Principal of the architectural firm ChromaAD, Briski has created something very special as the accompanying photos will attest.
The exterior of the house is a series of experiments in wall construction that have been organized into a composition. The screen wall at the stair is made up of tire ‘alligators’ sandwiched between panels of glass. The light-transmitting wall panel in the living room is made with packing peanuts laid between twin wall lexan.
The interior of the house is a voluminous open space, organized around a two story living room. A series of three basketball backboards are used as a guardrail and are the focus of the living room. Just as the television replaced the fireplace as the main focal point of earlier homes, this house seeks to make basketball the focal point. A large operable window opens to the outside; exposed steel and concrete connect the interior to the exterior.
Sean Briski is a principal of the firm ChromaAD. He has degrees in architecture and art from California Institute of the Arts and the Pratt Institute. The Briski Experimental House is located at 2358 Silver Ridge Avenue.
A prized view of Silver Lake Reservoir as seen from Michael Clifton and Maryann Kuk’s home ‘Salishan’, A Peaceful Place for Friends to Meet’.
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.