Sunday, October 30, 2011

La Quinta Architecture

Last week my Realtor friends K and T invited me to join them in La Quinta to look at a house on San Pedro (see below) that may have been designed by architect William Cody. The invitation was irresistible partly because I’m always interested in finding previously undocumented Cody projects. But also, I rarely turn down access to a gated community when I know of other architectural treasures located areas that I would otherwise not have access to.

The San Pedro home that I looked at with my friends indeed has many of the hallmarks of a Cody design. Built in the 1960s, it compares favorably with the Goldberg Residence on Southridge and also the Sieman Residence on Camino Monte. It’s really a cool house and is quite possibly a Cody design.

While I was in the (gated) neighborhood, I took the opportunity to drive by the Pepper Residence (above), a beautiful 1961 home designed by A. Quincy Jones that once sported original interiors by Arthur Elrod. Don’t know what the interiors are like today, but the front fa├žade is still great looking and beautifully maintained.

The last discovery behind the gates is a famous house Cody designed for the W & J Sloan Furniture Company to showcase their furniture. Sloan’s started in New York around 1900 and later had important stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Many an important California interior designer started their career by selling draperies, etc. at Sloan’s. The Sloan Residence has rarely been seen, but judging from these photos, it has been fastidiously maintained and is one of Cody’s best.

After leaving the Country Club, I drove over to the La Quinta Hotel, a 1926 Spanish design by Gordon B. Kaufmann, one of the Southern California architects most skilled in Spanish style work. The architect's monograph states: "The original buildings were built of Adobe bricks manufactured on the site, with tile roofs and floors. Kaufmann’s signature details are here: the loggias, arches, chimneypots of a multitude of forms, Ramadas for dining, and private patios enclosed by walls, low and high." Although surrounded by later development, there is still much of Kaufmann’s work to admire here.

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