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.

Filtering by Tag: Kinney Heights Chapter

Last Page of the Kinney Heights Chapter

[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 all of them are online.]

We end the Kinney Heights Chapter on Paqe 90 with this candid shot; a front lawn birthday and graduation party as described in the Chapter Intro Video. As always I sprinkled actual human events throughout the book to give some sense of the people, life and culture of West Adams. I love the fact that a young woman's party grew to include several homes on block and so many neighbors - you can see this more clearly in the unused photo below.

West Adams in the Movies: TRANSFORMERS

[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 all of them are online.]

On page 89 of the Kinney Heights Chapter we see this Craftsman which took a lot of fictional abuse as the home of Shia LaBeouf in the Transformers films.

The rear shot of the home is one of my favorites in the book; I love the lazy, languid hose laying in the pool.

The South Seas House

[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 all of them are online.]

On Page 88 of the Kinney Heights Chapter we see this playful 1902 concoction of the Victorian and Craftsman, the 'South Seas House', currently serving the community as a recreation center.

The Amazing Clark Library, Part 3 of 3

[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 all of them are online.]

Continuing on from the last two posts, (Part 1, Part 2), today we finish our look at UCLA's Clark Library with some shots of the Chalk Repertory Theatre performing Oscar Wilde's Lady Windemere's Fan, (the Clark has one of the world's great collections of Wilde material).

In every chapter of the book I tried to capture some of the life of West Adams - wasn't interested in an 'Architectural Digest' presentation of the buildings - wanted to see them warts and all - and people and all! Hence these photos from Lady Windemere, staged on the grounds of the Clark; above you can see an actress preparing to go on. Below some more photos taken during a production:

The Clark section of the Kinney Heights Chapter ends with the two photos below: the rear of the Clark and one of my favorite photos from the book, a view of Gramercy Park as seen from behind the walls of the Library.

The Clark personifies much of my West Adams experience so far - in the sense that it's a prominent example of a beautiful structure and resource in the area that is so unknown to so many.



The Amazing Clark Library, Part 2 of 3

[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 all of them are online.]

Following on from yesterday's post today we go inside the Clark Library. Above, in a montage of several joined photos, you see the Music Room also known as the Reading Room.

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Here's another photomontage; the marble hallway, complete with Allyn Cox murals, separating the two libraries.

Another photomontage, this time of one of the libraries, as well as a library ceiling detail. 

Tomorrow we'll take a look at a Chalk Repertory Company production at the Clark.

The Amazing Clark Library, Part 1 of 3

[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 all of them are online.]

On Pages 75-87 of the Kinney Heights Chapter we look at the amazing Clark Library. Designed in 1926 by architect Robert Farquhar in the Renaissance Revial style, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is run by UCLA and occupies an entire block of Kinney Heights.

Above you can see one of the outdoor seating areas in the Clark; below is the front exterior - you may notice a slight moiré pattern in the photo below, one of only two instances of this in the Book, brought about by the repetitive use of bricks in the facade and absence of an anti-aliasing filter in the X-Pro 1 Camera used to shoot Untold LA

Below are some more photos of the Clark, including a closer look at the statues found on the grounds. Over the next two days we'll go inside the Library and as well as take a look at a production of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windemere's Fan staged there.

Six Feet Under House, Kinney Heights

[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 all of them are online.]

As seen in the post The Real Life Homes of Neighbors West Adams provides ample location opportunities for movies and television. On Page 74 of the book we see the August Marquis residence, a 1904 Eastlake Queen Anne, which provided the funeral home headquarters for the protagonists of the TV show Six Feet Under.

Above is the photo used in the book, below is an unused shot.