Monday, August 2, 2010

Silverlake Architecture Tour

There is a lot of famous and infamous architecture in the LA area. I have been lucky enough to see a lot of the buildings on various trips, but have never been on an official architecture tour there. I decided to go this time. Because there is so much to see, there are a lot of tours to choose from. After consulting with my friend, Geoff, I decided to take the Silverlake Neighborhood tour. This is where a lot of midcentury modern architecture was developed. Architects like Richard Neutra, Schindler and Lautner did a lot of work here.
It's hard for us to imagine how ground breaking they were at the time. Now it looks ordinary and passe. But simple, clean modern lines, lots of glass, floor to ceiling windows, indoor outdoor living, all of that was new then. I promise this is just HIGHLIGHTS! She showed us a LOT!
We started by looking at the Astro drive in. One of the many, "space age" designs that was supposed to be very futuristic. This one is pretty well preserved.

So this is a very famous house by Richard Neutra. It overlooks the Silver Lake Resevoir that the neighborhood is named for. You were meant to sit on the upper floor at floor level and look out at the view.

This is a new library in Silverlake, complete with a Richard Neutra quote.

New library.

Part of the Neutra Colony. He built homes on several adjoining lots. He sold to Japanese Americans right after WWII when they still weren't allowed to own land in California. He put their american born children's names on the deeds. This is two adjoining houses. His son, Dion Neutra built a few homes in the area too and he still lives in his. He is 86.

Neutra colony home.

A home by Schindler, the upper one with all the glass. The street side has no windows, looks like one story and is very plain and private.

Looks like the Brady Bunch house!

The view, Silverlake Resevoir.

An art deco decoration on an apartment house. The lady who comissioned the apt's insisted that her brother in laws art work be included. Notice the balcony railings, they wouldn't meet code today.

Goodwill store in the postmodern style, where industrial materials themselves are used in a way to be decorative. Inside the store, on the ceiling, even the shiny insulation is showing as a decorative element. This was from the 90's and the start of when duct work was left open and visible.

The Ennis house, by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is one of his textile block houses, not really a good choice for earthquake prone LA. He didn't have them use mortar or rebar. It's pretty cool though. It's huge, 5000 sq feet, with beautiful views. It's owned by the Ennis house foundation now, but the neighbors aren't allowing any tours. They need millions to restore and fix it, but not being able to do tours really cripples their ability to raise any money.

Gate at Ennis house.

Ennis house from below.

Los Feliz apt building. Notice effects of using different cultural elements. These apts are really tiny, like 350 sq ft.

Frank Lloyd Wright JR. Used roof tiles as window screen.

This high school was built to look "English". Many famous folks went here including Leonardo Di Caprio. She said he dropped out though. The outside, field scenes of the movie Grease were shot on the grounds here.

Schindler house.

Ocean liner style of architecture.

There are some homes in the area that they think were done by "set designers" and have a storybook look. One is called sleeping beauty's cottage. These are called the seven dwarves homes.

Hollywood High School

Fun mural

We had a fabulous dinner, here, in Chinatown after our tour.
Fun day!


Modernesia said...

Great photos! Must have been a cool tour. Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne Barker said...

Whoops, I misidentified one Lautner house as a Schindler. Can you guess which one?

Anonymous said...

So what kind of textile block is that, or what is it made from?

Bandanamom said...

I'm super jealous of this!!!!! How fun!

Scott said...

I too have taken the L.A Architecture tour. The lady who runs it is top notch! I love her! You took a picture of the front of a house (the one with the colorful fence) that wasn't included on the tour. I was shocked to see it posted here because I took a pic of the very same house during a visit to L.A several years ago when I was just driving through random neighborhoods in the Hollywood Hills (I think it was in the hills). Very cool.

Suzanne Barker said...

Thanks for visiting Scott!