Posts tagged Treasures of Los Angeles Architecture
Escher’s partner, Ravi GuneWardena trained at California Poly Pomona and spent a year studying Art and Architectural History in Florence Italy. He currently serves on the Hollywood Public Art Advisory Panel for the CRA. Mr. Escher and Mr. GuneWardena have lectured on their work in various forums, including The Cooper Hewitt National Design Conference, The San Diego AIA, the 2006 Architectural League�s �Emerging Voices� series, (National Building Museum, Washington D.C., and The Urban Center, New York), at Cal Arts and at Cal Poly Pomona, where they have both maintained posts as visiting faculty. In the summer of 2009 Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena were invited by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa to serve on the Mayor�s Design Advisory Panel to the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission.
Located at 2327 Baxter Street.
Architect Bob Teubner’s design for a sustainable green home for Realtor John Seffker is about 60% complete; the architect invited me for a preview on September 14, 2010. It’s an entirely exposed modular structure with absolutely no drywall. It the first residential project for the architect in Silver Lake; his reputation was built in high rise design. Located at 2117 Apex Avenue. More details as soon as they become available.
The John Seffker Residence is located at 2117 Apex Avenue.
The architect, who passed away in 2002 aged 94, was friends with other non-conformists of the period, including architectural photographer Julius Schulman, landscape designer Garrett Eckbo, and fellow ‘radical’ architect Gregory Ain. He was a card-carrying Communist whose political activism made him a target of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Shulman photographed the Jenkyns House for his friend, but never allowed them to be published, citing privacy issues. The house is located at 1973 Redesdale Avenue.
In the How House, Schindler has addressed the challenges of a steep hillside lot in Silver Lake with the needs of his client, physician James Eads How, and has created a remarkable composition. Rather than the typical arrangement of placing the house squarely in line with the curb, Schindler has it placed on a diagonal. The ingenious interplay of glass and redwood provides a sense of transparency while affording privacy that harmonizes with the setting.
The How House is located at 2422 Silver Ridge Avenue in Silver Lake. It has undergone extensive renovation since purchased in late 2003. The property hit the market in September 2008 for almost $5 million. Owner Michael LaFetra redduced the price in June, and then the house went off the market last September. It , came back on the market in November 2009 priced at $2.795 million; as of May 2010 it was listed for sale for $2.495 million. Motion picture executive Brad Kembel and his partner Jimmy Ferrareze purchased the landmark in May 2012 for $1.3 million.
For more information about the architect, the book ‘R.M.Schindler’ by James Steele is highly recommended.
Edward Fickett graduated from the University of Southern California in 1937, after which he continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning graduate degrees in three disciplines: city planning, architecture and engineering. After serving with the U.S. Naval Construction Batallion (Seabees) during WWII, he returned home to Los Angeles with the mission of ‘building a home for every returning g.i.’Although he built homes for the rich and famous (his list of clients included Jack Benny, Charlie Chaplin, Dick Clark, Joan Crawford, Irene Dunne, Jimmy Durante, Groucho Marks and former L.A. Rams owner Georgia Frontiere), his great contribution was making modern home design accessible and affordable for a larger population.
The Jacobson Residence, located at 2313 Moreno Drive in Silver Lake is an excellent example of his work. It has been lovingly restored by its current owner, artist Michael Giaimo. The house is situated on a street-to-street lot, with the house set at an oblique angle across the lot, to take advantage of the magnificent city lights view to the southwest. Giamimo, the artist-in-residence, has taken Fickett’s design and brought it to the 21st Century while retaining a 1950’s ambiance. An exquisite collection of mid-century furnishings and Michael’s art bring drama and perfectly compliment the architecture.
Patrons of the Committee to Save Silver Lake’s Reservoirs (CSSLR) ‘Silver Lake Modernism- Then & Now’ will get a rare opportunity to see this exquisite home as part of the tour coming up on September 30, 2006.
One of the most striking and unusual homes in Silver Lake, Architect David Hyun designed his palace-by-the-lake for his personal residence in 1993. The style is reminiscent of the Japanese Village Plaza, David Hyun’s pioneering work that propelled Little Tokyo from an urban slum into a chic inner city success story.
Born in Korea, David is the son of the late, great Rev. Soon Hyun, Korean Patriot. Rev. Hyun was a college student in Korea at a time when Korea was under the dominion of Imperial Japan. In his American history studies, he idealized America in its struggle to gain independence from the British. Rev. Hyun rejected colonialism, adopted Western ideas and converted to Christianity. Within time, he became pastor of the largest Protestant church in Korea. As Sunday School Superintendent for his denomination, he traveled extensively throughout Korea, preaching Christianity and its revolutionary ideas. He encouraged Koreans to reject the serfdom imposed by their Japanese overlords and to seek a new life of freedom. He encouraged his people to adopt Korea’s Declaration of Independence on March 1, 1919, leading to demonstrations throughout Korea in the world’s first non-violent pacifist revolution.
Rev. Hyun continued to lead his people by founding the Republic of Korea, adopting a national constitution and electing a parliament for the provisional government. David Hyun, Soon Hyun’s youngest son, keeps his memory alive with a vast collection of his memoirs and papers in a wing of this large magnificent home overlooking Silver Lake. It is a great story and one that may never be told.
The David Hyun Residence is located at 1954 Redesdale Avenue in Silver Lake. The home showcases a magnificent art collection, memorabilia from ancient Korea incredible views from three levels, over 4,000 sq. feet of living space, and is a treat to visit.
The Cathedral is located at 650 Micheltorena Street.
If any of our readers know about the development of Hathaway Estates, details about the original owner, architect or builder, please feel free to contact the editor of this column.
NOTES: I recently received an e-mail from Michele Martin informing me that ‘the Estate belonged to a Charles Hathaway, a director/studio head from the silent screen era. His great granddaughter, Robin Clarke, was my best friend and neighbor when I lived at 2400 Micheltorena Street.’
SLN Subscriber Ken Puchlik writes: ‘From 1950 to 1965 I lived on Redesdale Ave. on the west side of the valley looking east at the Hathaway house on top of the hill. It was always vacant and never a light on. One night, the mansion was ablaze with light and everyone came out to wonder what was going on. It was simply the moon rising behind the home and the light was passing through the windows and out the other side. Obviously, it was devoid of furniture or curtains.
I also remember that there was another large building or home next to it; people said it was another mansion. It apparently was demolished during the construction of the ‘tract’ homes that I believe were a poor use of the viewscape. Having half the number of lots with higher end-well designed homes, taking better advantage of the pre-existing topography, would have been better use of the land. The developer should have used the axiom of ‘less is more’ and probably realized more investment return by developing premium lots on what was a rare piece of land. Paradise lost.
Mr. Hathaway had good reason to fear fire. In the early 50’s a grass fire at the end of summer burnt up to the edge of the estate. Every local fire unit was on the scene. Dry summer grass was prevalent with all the vacant lots at the time. After that, the fire department started controlled burns of the lots every summer.
Before the hum of the freeways diminished the neighborhood’s ambient sound, you could hear the trains switching in the yards off Fletcher Dr. late at night. The greatest chili dogs in the world were sold out of the old Signal Gas station at Effie and Silver Lake Blvd. Across the street, the 7/11 was a Union Oil Gas station with the friendliest guys who took good care of you at 20 cents a gallon of gas. And a kid could walk the 0.75 mile to catch the PE and go to the Ramona and see a 25 cent movie without any concern for safety, even at night.
Craig Collins writes ‘When I moved here in 1982, the subdivision was just being built. The land had been bought by CalTrans for continuation of the Glendale Freeway, which was to connect with the Hollywood Freeway (near Vermont…where there’s that very wide median), then on to Beverly Hills, which was to be the name of the freeway. As a result of that unfortunate choice of name and alignment, one of the very first successful opposition to a California freeway project was mounted, and the freeway ended at Glendale Boulevard. After many years, CalTrans began selling off the property, and you can pretty much trace the path by much of the newer construction, especially on the south side of Sunset.
I had heard about an effort to create a park on the Hathaway hill, but know nothing further about it. How spectacular that would have been!
Anyway, Peggy Stevenson was City Councilperson at the time, was a fervent supporter of the development community, and she evidently got quick approval of the housing project. After the development was completed, it mysteriously became a gated community. It’s worth noting that Stevenson was defeated in a reelection bid by Michael Woo, who shepherded many of the pro-planning and more progressive changes in the city (such as getting a moratorium on the explosive development of mini-malls that was then in full swing). Upon her defeat, Stevenson systematically destroyed all the district constituent and project files in her office, forcing Woo to begin his office with nothing to aid projects and constituent concerns. That was the good old days in the LA City Council!
Well, that’s what I know, subject to verification by others who may have a better historical perspective.
Veteran Silver Lake activist Maryann Kuk writes ‘My recollection about Hathaway is that it had nothing to do with the #2 freeway. It was before I participated in any community stuff. The Hathaway estate (they are old money LA Athletic club, Riviera Country club, CA yacht club) sold it to a developer who wanted to build 100’s of condos. SLRA got heavily involved opposing along with the immediate ‘hood and the developer backed down to the 40+ or so [ugly, tract, crappy] houses. He promised to leave all of the mature tress, but the day after he got his permit he cut them all down. The Hathaway family had been collectors of specimens and I’m told it was beautiful.’
The Garbutt House is located at 1809 Apex Avenue. To learn more about the Garbutt-Hathaway families, the book, Silver Lake Chronicles: Exploring an Urban Oasis in Los Angeles makes for compelling reading.
The Silver Lake News thanks our readers for their generous contributions of history and insights of Silver Lake!
A commanding view of Silver Lake Reservoir observed from the balcony facing north.
As seen from the front entrance of the estate.
The Steinberg Residence is located at 3209 Windsor Avenue in the Primrose Hill Section of the Moreno Highlands of Silver Lake. It is currently (June 2007) listed for sale for $1,399,000. Kiyohara & Moffitt also designed the Michael Roos Residence at 2105 Kenilworth Avenue (1989). Ko Kiyohara, in association with architect Walter Abronson (EDC, Inc. Architects)also designed the Silverview Condominiums at 2330 Duane Street.
View of the Rear Terrace.
The Master Bedroom, Bath & Dressing Room are ensuite and feature abundant use of glass, skylights and a separate entrance to the rear terrace.
The Upper Gallery, as seen from the front entrance.
The Living Room, as seen from the Upper Gallery
The ulta-modern commercial kitchen.
The Hansen House is an excellent example of the unique Harwell H. Harris style. Located at 2305 West Silver Lake Drive, the home was part of the CSSLR Home Tour ‘Silver Lake Modernism- Then & Now’ held in 2006.
The Hansen House is located at 2305 West Silver Lake.
For more information on Harwell H. Harris, the book entitled, ‘Harwell Hamilton Harris’, by Lisa Germany, (University of California Press, 1991) makes for excellent reading.
As with most lakeview homes, the windows are large and arranged to take advantage of the view. The room above the garage is most likey a later addition inasmuch as it does not appear in the original Shulman photograph. Located at 2107 West Silver Lake Drive.
Thanks to reader Steven E. Finkel for his excellent scholarship in identfying the Hancock Residence for our readers.