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AA West Adams Los Angeles

AA West Adams Los Angeles

West Adams Los Angeles

The building has a long, narrow facade like the blade of a lawn mower. It was built in a different era, which gives it a certain timeless quality. The only sign of the era is that one of the windows has been replaced with a windowless door. Nothing inside the building looks old, even though it has as many as 8 stories. Except maybe the elevator.

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West Adams is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles, with most of its buildings erected between 1880 and 1925, including the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. West Adams was developed by railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington and wealthy industrialist Hulett C. Merritt of Pasadena. It was once the wealthiest district in the city, with its Victorian mansions and sturdy Craftsman bungalows, and a home to Downtown businessmen and professors and academicians at USC. Several historic areas of West Adams, namely, Harvard Heights, Lafayette Square, Pico-Union, and West Adams Terrace, were designated as Historic Preservation Overlay Zones by the city of Los Angeles, in recognition of their outstanding architectural heritage. Menlo Avenue-West Twenty-ninth Street Historic District, North University Park Historic District, Twentieth Street Historic District, Van Buren Place Historic District and St. James Park Historic District, all with houses of architectural significance, are located in West Adams.

In South Los Angeles, West Adams—one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city—spans from Culver City to Downtown. Historic homes built in a dizzying array of styles from Georgian Revival to Alpine Craftsman, Queen Anne and Dutch Colonial line the streets. The Glen Lukens Home and Studio (designed by mid-century modernist Raphael Soriano for ceramicist Glen Lukens) has been painstakingly preserved by its new owner. A Beaux Arts Italian Renaissance palace is home to the Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens. The Britt Mansion and Gardens houses the Helms Athletic Foundation library for sports research. Yet another mansion is the site of the Ray Charles Foundation and Library. On Adams Boulevard, the charming Art Deco venue Fais Do-Do has hosted performances by the likes of the Fugees and Kamasi Washington, as well as community arts groups including the Shakespeare Youth Festival.

Almost every house is a hidden gem, even those that have been disregarded or stuccoed over. You're very much apt to find leaded glass in a built-in cabinet and wood beams, etc. In the way of architectural hidden gems, the surprise that lives in West Adams is a [Raphael] Soriano house, just south of Adams Boulelvard, built for Glen Lukens, the California ceramicist. This was his studio and home. It was very much abandoned and headed for the bulldozer, and it's been now taken over and restored and is in absolutely pristine condition once again. No one really looks to West Adams as a Mid-Century Modern neighborhood, and it's certainly not as a neighborhood, but [the Lukens house is] certainly a hidden gem amongst all these century-old houses.

 

 

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