Thursday, June 28, 2007

No. 39 - Lewis House

Lewis House

Lewis House
c. 1890 – Joseph Cather Newsom
1425 Miramar Street – map
Declared: 6/15/66

You know, out of the several dozen Los Angeles landmarks I’ve visited so far, this is one of my very favorites.

Lewis House

First of all, it’s lasted in Los Angeles for about 120 years, no small feat (from the house, the view of downtown is good; it must've been awesome a century ago). Second, it’s still in pretty good and un-altered shape on its original site (though Gebhard and Winter, in Los
Angeles: An Architectural Guide, bemoan the fact the second-story porch above the entrance has been enclosed). Third, by all appearances, it’s still being used as a single-family home (it hasn’t been turned into a museum or converted into an apartment building.) Fourth, situated in an area of down-trodden apartment buildings, the Lewis House stands out like [something really nice] in the thick of [something a lot less nice]. (I’m no good at similes.)

Lewis House

Samuel J. Lewis’s California Style/Queen Anne home was designed by Joseph Cather Newsom (1858–1930), who, along with his brother Samuel (1854–1908), moved from Montreal to the Bay area to open up an architectural firm. Later on, Joseph set up a branch of the company in Los Angeles, in which the firm is credited with more then 650 executed commissions. In Paul Gleye’s 1981 book, The Architecture of Los Angeles, he wrote the brothers “were probably the masters of Queen Anne architecture” and that “they built homes one could not avoid looking at”. Joseph gets design credit for a handful of other L.A. landmarks, including a couple on Carroll Avenue. The brothers’ most famous building, though, is the Carson Mansion in Eureka, CA, put up in the mid-1880s.

Lewis House

Joseph authored a lot of pattern-books, too, including Artistic Buildings and Homes of Los Angeles (1888), California Low Priced Cottages (1888), and Picturesque and Artistic Homes and Buildings of California (1890).

Lewis House

Up next: Hale House

4 comments:

Victor Atomic said...

Wow, I need to check out this place!

Rare to find a home that hasnt been converted into units.

Anyone know of an old lady who has a great old home who needs some yard work done in exchange for me being nosey and taking pictures? :)

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much. I drive by this house daily, for about four years now, and always wondered if it is historic / preserved- as there is no plaque.
It is truly truly beautiful, the original carriage house still stand behind it.
:)

Darius Lundberg said...

You might not believe this, but...
I LIVED THERE! Yes, in the late 1970's this incredibly gorgeous house was in Probate, and some attorneys needed someone to live there just temporarily. I was there for about six months. I recall hours spent in the main living rooms downstairs, listening to old jazz. The music seemed to melt into the walls and then come out again, sublimely. One night while dozing off upstairs in my room, I hallucinated that Jean Harlow was in the house walking towards me smiling. A dream? Probably. I could tell you much more, but I don't want to hog the comments section. Miramar House (as I called it), I miss you so much!

Mark Dorman said...

I lived there too, in the spring of 1980, and it was still in probate. The stain glass transoms were incredible, no two alike. The one over the front door bears the address number: 1425. In the center of the house is a large carved column which joins three sliding panel doors that either separate the living are into parlor, living and den, or open up for entertaining. The brass finery and beautiful wood in this house is top notch. I spent many an evening in the third story tower (accessed vi the unfinished attic) reading. Great memories of this house. Glad to see it still standing.