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: st. james park

The Seyler 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 311 of the iBook, (North University Park Chapter), is an 1894 Victorian, the Seyler Residence, designed by Abram Edelman; that's the Burkhalter you can just make out in the left of the frame.

The Burkhalter Victorian

[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.] 

Right up the street from the Seaman House is this gorgeous Victorian built by the Superintendent for the Southern Pacific Railroad, Dennis Burkhalter, in 1895.

Parking is a always a problem in St. James Park. In the photo below, (taken behind the Burkhalter), we see the solution offered up a new residence, an underground lot for cars.

The Seaman 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 it is completely online.] 

On Page 308, (North University Park Chapter), is the 1888 Queen Anne Seaman House by architect Joseph Cather Newsom, with Bird of Paradise in the foreground.  

Below: two additional photos of the home, as used in the iBook's Introduction.

Los Angeles Apartment Courtyard with Moreton Bay Fig 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.] 

One of my favorite shots from the book, page 307: "There are purpose built apartment buildings in North University Park, not just large homes divided. Here in St. James Park we see a courtyard connecting apartments on three sides."

The Colonel Stearns 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.] 

Adjacent to the Doheny Campus of Mount St. Mary’s College is the St. James Park area of North University Park.  The grand home of St. James, is the 6,000 square foot Colonel Stearns Residence, a Colonial Revival built in 1900 sitting on three-quarters of an acre.

Even though the home’s exterior is Colonial Revival, the photo below from its early life shows the interior originally seems to have been, in part, Art Nouveau-influenced Victorian.

Below: the Drawing Room, which features a rarity for West Adams, style that tends towards the French.

Below: the Living Room, with Library beyond on the left.

In the 1930’s the Billiard Room, Den and Powder Room were combined to form this Library.

The Stearns has long been known by Hollywood. We see its exterior in the 1919 Mary Pickford hit Daddy-Long-Legs as the home of the wealthy Daddy himself, Jervis Pendleton.

The interior of the home has been used as well, right up to the present day. Below you can see the Library in January 2014 standing in for the New York townhouse of a severe Police Captain in the television comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

The still-working Kitchen Annunciator used to notify servants when they were needed.

On the grounds we find additional buildings, originally for servants, now rented to USC students.

Preservation Problems in Los Angeles

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

Page 13 of the Introduction finds us looking at a Neoclassical home, the 1896 Margaret T. and Bettie Mead Creighton Residence, in St. James Park with audio commentary from Victoria Park resident Ulrik Theer on historical home preservation issues in Los Angeles.

Below is the original photo used, followed by the two audio clips of Ulrik and then the page as you see it the finished book.