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: interior

The Richard H. Alexander Home

[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.] 

Near Bonsallo Avenue is the Richard H. Alexander Home, an Eastlake Victorian built circa 1888.

Above: the downstairs Hallway of the Alexander is the spine of the home.

Below: the Main Living Room, to the left of the downstairs Hallway.

In the audio clip below Art Sencion, the owner of the home, talks about the properties in the West Adams District.

Below: the Dining Room, to the right of the Hallway past the Main Staircase.

Below: one of the Victorian's four Fireplaces.

Below: 1) Art Sencion sitting in the Main Living Room. 2) In the Hallway looking towards the front of the home.

The Horatio Cogswell House - Country Club Park

[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.]

Today we go inside the Horatio Cogswell House built in 1911 in the Craftsman style with a hint of Swiss Chalet. You can see the exterior below, (above the Living Room paneled in redwood).

Commissioned by Horatio Cogswell, a teacher at the old College of Music at 30th and Figueroa, the home comes with a raised performance platform just off the Living Room.

Below you see a band performing on the platform during a social gathering. 

Here's a nice little shot of the Dining Room; as with the rest of the house it is stocked with period antiques.

1906 Craftsman Home

[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.]

We end the Harvard Heights Chapter with this beautifully proportioned 1906 craftsman.

The interior has been fully restored, (on ongoing weekend project for the owners for many years).

Above and below we have clearer view of the home's striking fireplace.

The last photo of the chapter is below; still-working gaslight!

Craftsman Stained Glass

[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.]

Today's shot from Harvard Heights: light through an eight-foot-by-eight-foot stained glass window in illuminates the Wilson House, a 1911 Craftsman.

Henry Jensen Home in Harvard 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 it is completely online.]

In the Harvard Heights Chapter, pages 242-249, we have the Henry Jensen home. Built in 1909 by LA movie theatre magnate Jensen the home is a collision of styles; note the paired classical columns and closed second story porch in the photo above.

Opening the front door we see one of the Jensen's many brick fireplaces amongst other things.

Original fixtures can be found in every room.

We descend towards the home's unique basement with hits hand-painted tapestried walls and elegant tiles.

Other aspects of the Jensen: a sitting room just off the main living room; you'll find original stained glass throughout the home.

Inside a Harvard Heights Craftsman

[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.]

As we continue on in the Harvard Heights Chapter we get to go inside a home - in this case a shingled 1912 Craftsman designed and built by architect William Polkinghorn for himself and his family.

Click on the gallery below to see inside the home, full of fine details and filled by the current owners with collectibles gathered from around the world.

Here's the rear of the Polkinghorn in which the unusual-for-the-area shingles can be more clearly seen.

Steve Wallis on Harvard Heights

Long-time Harvard Heights resident Steve Wallis was my entry into the world of West Adams - I rented my first place in the neighborhood from him and as far as Untold LA goes he was instrumental in getting the word out about it when it was in its Kickstarter phase and beyond.

On today's post we see excerpts from Pages 223 to 232 of the iBook which focus on his beautiful craftsman home and includes his thoughts about the neighborhood; (above you can see Steve sitting on the porch of his home one fine Los Angeles evening).

Below, Steve and Eileen's home.

Below - a corridor on one side of the Wallis' house leads to a workshop dedicated to building restoration.

Below - the workshop and supply area.

Above, Steve restoring a home in Harvard Heights.