Untold LA

Photographing the Astonishing Homes of LA's West Adams District

In 2012 photographer Jett Loe encountered the forgotten Los Angeles District of West Adams, the original wealthy area of town, the “Beverly Hills before Beverly Hills.”  Filled with an astonishing collection of Victorian and Craftsman homes in vibrant, diverse neighborhoods West Adams proved to be a revelation.  Following a successful Kickstarter campaign Jett spent two years producing this mammoth delight of a book that documents the variety of homes and people in the area.

Totaling a fully interactive 365 pages with 500 photos, 70 oral history audio clips from West Adams residents and two hours of behind-the-scenes video commentary, Untold LA is a massive treasure trove for lovers of Los Angeles, American history and architecture.

The MacGowan Mansion

[As part of the remit to make the Untold LA iPad Book available to as many people as possible I'll be posting photos from the book in sequential order on a regular basis until it is completely online.]

Our last stop on West Adams Boulevard is the MacGowan Mansion, named after the first Commissioner of Los Angeles' Health Department, Dr. Grandville MacGowan. He had the home built by architects Hudson and Munsell in 1912 and though it looks like it's joined to it in the photo above the building to the right is actually the Briggs Residence posted about yesterday. Below you can see the Main Staircase.

The exterior of the home is covered with 'grotesques'; expressive stone faces.

In the oral history audio clips below you can hear Carol Jones, (also heard on the Guasti blog posts), describe the Grotesques and the restoration of the MacGowan.

Below: detail of the Chevron above the Grand Salon Fireplace.

The Dining Room continues the mixture of styles seen in the MacGowan. In the gallery below you can see Art Nouveau encroaching on Tudor Revival.

We swerve back to Craftsman for the intimate Library seen below.

We end today with two more closeups of the MacGowan, showcasing its beautiful attention to detail.