Historic Architecture of Modern Day Los Angeles – a short photo essay
I recently rediscovered my interest in architectural design. I suppose I should be grateful to live in Los Angeles where the city’s eclectic history and architecture is seemingly endless. But one thing that I find most appealing is Los Angeles’ historic landmark homes. You name we have it here. From 100+ yr.old craftsmans, Frank Lloyd Wrights, Spanish style villas, and…a witch house in Beverly Hills and Victorian style homes!? Wait.. what do you mean a witch house and Victorian style homes??
I thought to do some online research to see what “out of the ordinary” homes are in LA. And to my (somewhat) surprise there’s a bit of everything architecturally here. When I came across the “Witch House” (also known as the Spadena House named after the family who first resided there) I thought I HAVE to check this place out. I saw photos and video about the home, so I was curious once I arrived what to expect. It was very surreal walking through a Beverly Hills neighborhood surrounded by million dollar homes to then come across a fairy tale like home. It’s very whimsical and coiffed in its appearance. The front garden has various kinds of greenery and a small bridge that takes you over a koi fish pond. “No Trespassing and “Keep out” wooden signs are placed at the entry of the garden. I walked to the back part of the house and saw an arched door entrance that was something out of the Hobbit series. Not much else to see as the house is secluded by a high wall and trees in the back. The origins of the house can be read here. Definitely an interesting home but the exterior is nothing to impressive as its original design was as a movie set/office space. Though the interior looks pretty incredible based on a few images I’ve seen. Still keeping with a hobbit/witchy organic design with its curved and crooked entrances.
The Victorian style homes have always held a soft spot for me. I used to reside in the Bay Area and to see Victorian homes was the norm. I lived in a Victorian converted into 6 apartments. It was small but it had an adorable fireplace that was perfect for those cold SF winters. The Victorian landmark homes in the Angeleno Heights area of Los Angeles are just astounding to see. The Carroll St.Victorians are extremely well-preserved and maintained. The detail in the exteriors of each home is awe-inspiring. Each Victorian has its own unique design and color scheme, with no two homes looking a like. From angular slated A frames roofs, ornate detailed trimming, arched and rounded design corners, large bay windows, duo toned colored exteriors, and wrap around balconies make these homes a backdrop for the film industry and eye candy to those who enjoy these turn of the 19th century homes.
In my research I found a few other areas in LA that share similar historic architecture styles. The West Adams neighborhood is one of Los Angeles’s oldest neighborhoods and the first to be one of the wealthiest for its time, pre-dating Beverly Hills. I will hopefully soon venture into this neighborhood and document some of the various historic architecture styles there.
After living in a city and seeing the same kind of environment day in day out it’s best to explore what else there is to offer. For a city as expansive as Los Angeles, there are still plenty of areas that many have yet to discover and with it a rich history.