City of Angels: Houses and Gardens of Los Angeles
by Jennifer Ash Rudick ; photography by Firooz Zahedi
would expect a book on tony LA homes to be dominated by Hollywood notables.
Refreshingly, the number of homes of those in the fields of architecture,
design, and art more than double those of producers and directors. Curious,
though, for a tome about LA houses are the very few ground-up projects, but
that is countered by renovations of Modernism’s greats—Rex Loterey, FAIA, Ed
Fickett, FAIA, Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, FAIA, Rudolf Schindler—and
numerous Revival homes. Myriad styles are duly represented as we get a glimpse
into the lives of noted Angelenos, from the classically modern vibe of art and
culture mavens Ann Philbin and Cynthia Wornham’s Buff, Straub & Hensman
(renovation: Chu + Gooding; landscape: SAH/SCC Life Member Lisa Gimmy), to the
wildly eclectic spread of Tony Duquette protégé Hutton Wilkinson, and the
surprisingly subdued and unmannered Malibu beach house of trendy interior
designer Kelly Wearstler. Given that the text stresses interviews and lifestyles
of the homeowners, seeing them in their habitats would have added another
layer. But, then again, it could hamper the reader/viewer’s ability to live
vicariously—and terribly elegantly—through the images of these 27 homes.
Personally, I see myself in the Garcia House by John Lautner, FAIA, even though
it’s owned by SAH/SCC Life Members John McIlwee and Bill Damaschke.
Press, 2018, 392 pages, hardcover, $75.