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A century-old home designed by one of the architects responsible for Los Angeles City Hall was demolished Friday, after city leaders rejected an attempt by neighbors to preserve it.
Developer Elan Mordoch plans to build a six-unit townhouse over the Bartlett Residence site at 1829 N. Kenmore Ave. in Los Feliz. The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday decided against declaring the Bartlett Home a historic- cultural monument.
The demolished home was designed by architect A.C. Martin, noted for designing the City Hall building with architects John Parkinson and John Austin, and served as the residence for Oswald Bartlett, a Hamburger Department Store executive.
Martin also designed the Million Dollar Theater, the St. Vincent de Paul Church and the Wilshire May Company building, which have all been designated city landmarks.
John Schwada, spokesman for neighbors who opposed the demolition, said it is “a sad day for all Los Angeles when a cultural treasure is lost.”
“The Bartlett house was — according to most experts — a cultural- historic treasure, a rare example of the early work of A.C. Martin, a leading architect who significantly contributed to the built-environment of this city during the first half of the 20th century,” Schwada said.
City officials acknowledged Martin’s achievements as an architect, but said the 1914 Colonial Revival-style building was not a significant nor representative work. The developer’s consultants described the home as a “minor work” that was built for a client who was not especially notable in Los Angeles’s history.
Charles Fisher, a historian representing the preservationists, said the 1914 house is a rare example of residential design representing a “very correct Colonial Revival” style. The home also allowed the architect to “coalesce ideas” for other work he did, Fisher said.
He said the building has a colonnade, which is an “unusual feature” for houses, and an eyebrow-shaped roof that indicates some influence from the Arts and Crafts style.
— City News Service
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