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: oral history

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.

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.

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.


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.