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: adams boulevard

Red Flowering Gum Tree

[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.]

Every chapter of the iBook ends with a full-bleed photo without caption. For the end of the West Adams Boulevard Chapter we have this Red Flowering Gum Tree.

I've taken repeated photos of this tree over the years and have never been quite happy with the pics - the iBook updates like an App so depending on which version of the Book you have you'll get a different photo! The one at top is from Version 1.0 and 1.7; below from Version 1.6.

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.

The Briggs Residence

[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.]

On Page 197 of the West Adams Boulevard Chapter we see the Briggs Residence, built for the mother-in-law of Dr. MacGowan whose home next door, constructed in a similar style, will be seen in tomorrow's post.

The Guasti Villa - Part 4

Over the next few days I'll be posting images and oral history audio clips from pages 186-197 of the iBook, focusing on the Guasti Villa. Here's Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

At top you see the ceiling of the Gentlemen's Parlor - listen to below to the Guasti's Carol Jones discuss the Parlor and the restoration process that went into restoring the Villa.

The Guasti is also home to the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens. Below are shots of the Labyrinth and Gardens as well as more thoughts from Carol.


THE GUASTI VILLA - PART 3

Over the next few days I'll be posting images and oral history audio clips from pages 186-197 of the iBook, focusing on the Guasti Villa. Here's Part 1, and Part 2.

At top is the Chandelier in the Dining Room, (possibly the most elaborate room in the Villa).

In the Gallery below you can have a view of the Dining Room and two closeups of the ornate Fireplace carvings.

I leave you today with the photo below of one of the Guasti's Newel Post Lamps; it seems there's nothing in the Villa that's not hand made and assertive of wealth and status.

The Guasti Villa

Over the next few days I'll be posting images and oral history audio clips from pages 186-197 of the iBook, focusing on the Guasti Villa.

The Guasti, built between 1910 and 1914, is a Beaux Arts, Italian Renaissance Revival villa restored by the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness and is home to the group’s Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens.  Below and over the next several days you can hear Carol Jones, Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens Program Director, talk about the history of the building.

Pictured at top the Grand Ballroom or Foyer, the first room you encounter after entering through the door seen below.

Above you can see the exterior of the Guasti on a postcard, date unknown.