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  #43541  
Old Posted Yesterday, 1:05 PM
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GaylordWilshire GaylordWilshire is offline
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Forget the natural and political disasters we're living through--the outrage against them pales in comparison to the negative reaction in some quarters to the interior makeover of the Higgins-Verbeck house...which is pretty awful, as if done by someone who took a vocational-training course and then copied--badly--an outdated Pottery Barn catalog. Anyway, stripping the finish off 115-year-old woodwork (and replacing vintage lighting) is a desecration--but then it was clearly a depressing, dark old house that needed lightening. I'm wondering what NLAers think, not so much in terms of aesthetics--but of the question of--what to do with a white elephant?

The house has been unsellable--it is definitely unsuited to modern times, with awkward spaces, ancient bones, undoubted inefficiency in terms of its infrastructure...not to mention being on a lousy block in an old, relatively high-crime neighborhood, next to an office building and close to noisy Wilshire Blvd.... It seems to have been on the market forever...6 mil down to 4, now, with this atrocious and obviously cheap makeover, it has amusingly zoomed up to 9 million.

Oh well. I don't blame the owner for trying to unload the old girl by making it appear up-to-date--it's his house to do with as he pleases. It's always interesting how the dissenters in these cases never seem to come up with the money to save such a house. What are these unrealistic expectations that this kind of artifact should be preserved for their personal enjoyment with no financial risk of their own? A wish that life was the way they want to imagine it was in 1902 (in the case of this house)--or a fantasy that they would ever have been living like the Higginses & Verbecks?

Any thoughts?




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  #43542  
Old Posted Yesterday, 1:52 PM
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odinthor odinthor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire View Post
[...] but then it was clearly a depressing, dark old house that needed lightening. [...]
I always think, "What are my shortcomings, that I can't appreciate [something]?" A depressing dark old house only lacks someone with the depth to understand and treasure its ethos. A lightened house with crappy fixtures and obnoxious furnishings only lacks background music of Yakety Sax to bring it to perfection. Selah.
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  #43543  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:56 PM
Earl Boebert Earl Boebert is offline
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Well, you could always use the new version as a set for a Lady Gaga music vid. I can easily visualize her coming down that staircase in an aluminum foil ball gown.

Cheers,

Earl
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  #43544  
Old Posted Yesterday, 3:35 PM
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CityBoyDoug CityBoyDoug is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odinthor View Post
I always think, "What are my shortcomings, that I can't appreciate [something]?" A depressing dark old house only lacks someone with the depth to understand and treasure its ethos. A lightened house with crappy fixtures and obnoxious furnishings only lacks background music of Yakety Sax to bring it to perfection. Selah.
When it was moved to this ignoble location, nothing mattered. The house has basically been trashed, both inside and outside. The new price? Laughable.

The owner took a silk purse and turned it into a sow's ear.

Oh, imo there was nothing depressing about the original dark wood stain. Its of an era. The new ''lightened look'' is depressing. Its now reminiscent of the smelly tobacco stained Bunker Hill flop houses. The once elegant entry and parlor now look like a decrepit tenement.....congratulations.


https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4497/...2fe354_z_d.jpg

Last edited by CityBoyDoug; Yesterday at 4:57 PM.
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  #43545  
Old Posted Yesterday, 3:59 PM
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GaylordWilshire GaylordWilshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odinthor View Post
I always think, "What are my shortcomings, that I can't appreciate [something]?" A depressing dark old house only lacks someone with the depth to understand and treasure its ethos. A lightened house with crappy fixtures and obnoxious furnishings only lacks background music of Yakety Sax to bring it to perfection. Selah.

Well, apparently the seller couldn't find a well-adjusted buyer with a deep understanding of his soul who happened to like the heavy style (appreciation of which I wouldn't say necessarily made for superior taste, not by a long shot). At least--none came along who had deep enough pockets to pay for all the nostalgia. There was a reason that the architecture of the Higgins-Verbeck house was considered hopelessly dated within less than a decade of its construction on Wilshire Blvd. Eastern and Midwestern transplants liked the familiarity of the architecture early on--this house was a last Victorian gasp of busy domestic design overstuffed with dusty antimacassared furniture and bric-a-brac--and soon came to understand that practically the whole point of having moved to SoCal was the weather--so they began to let the light in. Enter the Green brothers etc.

Unfortunately, this house has too much going against it besides its impractical architecture. Maybe someone will get it at an eventual auction and move it still farther west. (It wouldn't be the first time a Wilshire-corridor house was moved twice.)

There seems to be no great hurry to sell the place--take an overpriced $4 mil house in a bad location in an aging neighborhood, do a $1.98 makeover, and mark it up to $9 mil? Strange.
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  #43546  
Old Posted Yesterday, 4:14 PM
Retired_in_Texas Retired_in_Texas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire View Post
Forget the natural and political disasters we're living through--the outrage against them pales in comparison to the negative reaction in some quarters to the interior makeover of the Higgins-Verbeck house...which is pretty awful, as if done by someone who took a vocational-training course and then copied--badly--an outdated Pottery Barn catalog. Anyway, stripping the finish off 115-year-old woodwork (and replacing vintage lighting) is a desecration--but then it was clearly a depressing, dark old house that needed lightening. I'm wondering what NLAers think, not so much in terms of aesthetics--but of the question of--what to do with a white elephant?

The house has been unsellable--it is definitely unsuited to modern times, with awkward spaces, ancient bones, undoubted inefficiency in terms of its infrastructure...not to mention being on a lousy block in an old, relatively high-crime neighborhood, next to an office building and close to noisy Wilshire Blvd.... It seems to have been on the market forever...6 mil down to 4, now, with this atrocious and obviously cheap makeover, it has amusingly zoomed up to 9 million.

Oh well. I don't blame the owner for trying to unload the old girl by making it appear up-to-date--it's his house to do with as he pleases. It's always interesting how the dissenters in these cases never seem to come up with the money to save such a house. What are these unrealistic expectations that this kind of artifact should be preserved for their personal enjoyment with no financial risk of their own? A wish that life was the way they want to imagine it was in 1902 (in the case of this house)--or a fantasy that they would ever have been living like the Higginses & Verbecks?

Any thoughts?

"Any thoughts?"

Yup, quite a few without looking at the exterior. Interior wise this dwelling was an interior design abortion from the git-go. Obviously an attempt to emulate much larger and more luxurious homes of the era. A mess, including what is possibly the fugliest fireplace I have ever seen.

Then we come the first photo that indicates what we are seeing may not be 100% original to the 1902 construction. Lighting fixtures appear to be more consistent with a 1930's conversion to some sort of office use evidenced by a dated door closure device on the front door.

As for the so called upgrades I think you may have given more effort credit than due. I'll suggest nothing was striped but was given a sufficient spray coating of something like Zinzer's 123 to allow latex based paints to stick to the old finish. Flooring looks like the markdowns of Chinese crap from Lumber Liquidators. And then comes the question of when the electrical and plumbing were last addressed.

Unless the land this mess sits upon is valued at the $4 million price, there is no use that could justify the price. Glad it's not mine to worry about!
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  #43547  
Old Posted Yesterday, 5:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired_in_Texas View Post
"Any thoughts?"
Flooring looks like the markdowns of Chinese crap from Lumber Liquidators.
Its always a good idea to ''modernize" an old house as cheaply as possible. I'm sure the cheap new flooring added at least 5 million to the new sale price.
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  #43548  
Old Posted Yesterday, 6:03 PM
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ethereal_reality ethereal_reality is online now
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Speaking of houses...

Here are two I don't believe we have seen on NLA.

The first is one of Mary Pickford's earliest homes, a bungalow at 5218 Sunset Hollywood.


new movie magazine 1931



The second is one of Norma Shearer's early homes at Highland and Franklin Avenue.


new movie mag. 1931










Here is the complete article.


New Movie Magazine 1931











from archive.org
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  #43549  
Old Posted Yesterday, 6:57 PM
Retired_in_Texas Retired_in_Texas is offline
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Originally Posted by CityBoyDoug View Post
Its always a good idea to ''modernize" an old house as cheaply as possible. I'm sure the cheap new flooring added at least 5 million to the new sale price.
Sounds like a line from one of those "flipper" programs advertised on late night TV. LOL

I can't recall how many times I've seen people jump on to a fixer upper or trying to restore a 100 year old house that in reality didn't end up being a worse money pit than owning a boat.

A number of years ago a friend bought a modest late 1930's home on N. Curson three or four doors off Hollywood Blvd. that was in desperate need of modernization, which it didn't get. It was livable. She lived in the house for three or four years and sold it to some damn fool for over $1 million and moved back to Chickasha, Oklahoma. She still owns the theater on Vine that is currently known as Avalon. Now somewhat of a problem area thanks to the State Law prohibiting new construction within 300 feet of a known fault line.
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  #43550  
Old Posted Yesterday, 7:15 PM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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So Xorin Balbes (currently domiciled in the Sowden House) struck again did he? I'm not really up with the doings of the latest Southland charlatan, but here's Yer Mama™'s take on one of the celebrity house-flipper's other projects.

Folks with more money than sense flock to the pretentiousness, but all his projects, of whatever era, end up looking pretty much the same.

The "award-winning architectural conservator" explains the virtue of utter banality here

While Oprah details the "design wizard's" 8 steps to your own "Soul Space" (also the name of his best-selling book).




LA's survived worse.




I'm actually surprised that the Ebell or that museum in the old Scottish Rite temple (both just steps away) didn't snap up this square footage for some kinda annex.

If you can stand it, Zillow's got 42 pix of the property (omg, that meditation room is enough to make one scream). I can't bear it, this much beige makes me feel like I'm being smothered in cold oatmeal:





ETA: Balbes did the interior of the little black & gold building (Morgan, Walls and Clements, 1929), formerly a Security Pacific Bank branch, at 5209 Wilshire. It is, as you probably guessed, beige:


Temple-Home (projects)

There's a sucker born every minute and no one knows it better than Xorin Balbes, former president of Global Vision for Peace and 15 other companies over the last ten years, all now defunct. He seems to have finally found his niche:


temple-home

Last edited by tovangar2; Today at 1:05 AM.
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  #43551  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:00 PM
Retired_in_Texas Retired_in_Texas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post
ETA: Balbes did the interior of the little black & gold building, formerly a Security Pacific Bank branch, at 5209 Wilshire. It is, as you probably guessed, beige:
"Beige?" You are too kind. I refer to that color as Baby Poop Tan, with variants. The color of no imagination! It's everywhere, including automobile interiors. Who the hell wants to live in or drive a dirty diaper?
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  #43552  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:05 PM
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GaylordWilshire GaylordWilshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
Does anyone recognize this steep street?


http://pre-code.com/what-no-beer-193...jimmy-durante/

This is from a Buster Keaton-Jimmy Durante movie titled "What, No Beer!" (MGM 1933)


....and here's a view of what's waiting at the bottom of the hill.


http://pre-code.com/what-no-beer-193...jimmy-durante/

I can't tell if the small grocery store is a facsimile or the real thing. (also note the Grand Hotel billboard)







What brought my attention to this film was the GIF below.


http://pre-code.com/what-no-beer-193...jimmy-durante/

Also note the people walking along the street behind the grocery store. (that makes me think it's a regular neighborhood)
__





Re this, the estimable--to say the least--John Bengtson has a great new post:

https://silentlocations.wordpress.co...rel-avalanche/
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  #43553  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:30 PM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired_in_Texas View Post
"Beige?" You are too kind. I refer to that color as Baby Poop Tan, with variants. The color of no imagination! It's everywhere, including automobile interiors. Who the hell wants to live in or drive a dirty diaper?
With Drew Barrymore, Leonardo DiCaprio and Sharon Stone as acolytes, we mere mortals can probably save our breath regarding huckster Xorin Balbes. Just ignore him. This too shall pass.




Thx for the "Then and Now" e_r. That was fun.
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  #43554  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post
So Xorin Balbes (currently domiciled in the Sowden House) struck again did he? I'm not really up with the doings of the latest Southland charlatan, but here's Yer Mama™'s take on one of the celebrity house-flipper's other projects.

Folks with more money than sense flock to the pretentiousness, but all his projects, of whatever era, end up looking pretty much the same.

The "award-winning architectural conservator" explains the virtue of utter banality here

While Oprah details the "design wizard's" 8 steps to your own "soul space" (also the name of his best-selling book).




LA's survived worse.




I'm actually surprised that the Ebell or that museum in the old Scottish Rite temple (both just steps away) didn't snap up this square footage for some kinda annex.

If you can stand it, Zillow's got 42 pix of the property. I can't bear it, this much beige makes me feel like I'm being smothered in oatmeal-cookie dough:





ETA: Balbes did the interior of the little black & gold building (Morgan, Walls and Clements, 1929), formerly a Security Pacific Bank branch, at 5209 Wilshire. It is, as you probably guessed, beige:


Temple-Home (projects)

There's a sucker born every minute and no one knows it better than Xorin Balbes, former president of Global Vision for Peace and 15 other companies over the last ten years, all now defunct. He seems to have finally found his niche:

]
Very simple....I call the woodwork....dirty white.
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  #43555  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:38 PM
Tourmaline Tourmaline is offline
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
Speaking of houses...


New Movie Magazine 1931






from archive.org
Curious about the purported Joan C. residence on Argyle Ave . North or south of Franklin? Anyone have a street number to go with it?


Speaking of Argyle, N. of Franklin . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDiH View Post
My grandparents had a home on Fairfield Avenue, across from the Hollywood Bowl. The house was torn down for the Hollywood Freeway. My mother also lived at the Highland Towers at 1922 N. Highland and another time she lived at the DeMille Manor on [2034] Argyle.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2687/4...83168879_b.jpg


http://www.unreellocations.com/img_l...lledriveup.jpg


Argyle, near the De Mille, March 11, 1930

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/si...id/4257http://






Hollywood and Argyle under development, circa '27

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/co...ll170/id/70851





http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/co...ll170/id/70851




Said to be Argyle Ave, in Hollywood, ca 1930
http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics03/00011380.jpg


Quote:
View of Hollywood, looking north towards Vine (left) and Argyle (right). Middle foreground is Yucca, Franklin is beyond. Large apartment buildings are still standing.
Vine and Argyle, ca 1932
http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics39/00039327.jpg



Freeway sidewalks

Of course the Hollywood Fwy cut a nice swath out of the neighborhood tapestry. Some of the property owners could unabashedly boast of having a residence that was really freeway-close!

May '53

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/co...oll44/id/54357



1953
http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics43/00041090.jpg

Last edited by Tourmaline; Yesterday at 9:53 PM.
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  #43556  
Old Posted Yesterday, 10:51 PM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Thx for the great follow-up on e_r's post Tourmaline.

And check out those pepper trees:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourmaline View Post

Said to be Argyle Ave, in Hollywood, ca 1930
http://jpg2.lapl.org/pics03/00011380.jpg

Last edited by tovangar2; Today at 12:17 AM.
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  #43557  
Old Posted Yesterday, 11:00 PM
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ethereal_reality ethereal_reality is online now
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looks like a mud dauber/wasp nest wrapped around the base of the pepper tree

what is it.....just dirt?
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  #43558  
Old Posted Yesterday, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
looks like a mud dauber/wasp nest wrapped around the base of the pepper tree

what is it.....just dirt?
Just the base of the tree with dirt on it. Various species of trees develop this kind of basal swelling as they age. As I sit here in the keep of Schloss Odinthor looking out the window and listening to the minstrels tune up for tonight's banquet, I'm observing an olive tree with just the same sort of basal swelling. It gives the tree stability, and probably is also to some degree a resource for water storage.
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  #43559  
Old Posted Today, 1:54 AM
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CityBoyDoug CityBoyDoug is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tovangar2 View Post



So Xorin Balbes (currently domiciled in the Sowden House) struck again did he? I'm not really up with the doings of the latest Southland charlatan, but here's Yer Mama™'s take on one of the celebrity house-flipper's other projects.

Folks with more money than sense flock to the pretentiousness, but all his projects, of whatever era, end up looking pretty much the same.

The "award-winning architectural conservator" explains the virtue of utter banality here

While Oprah details the "design wizard's" 8 steps to your own "Soul Space" (also the name of his best-selling book).




LA's survived worse.




I'm actually surprised that the Ebell or that museum in the old Scottish Rite temple (both just steps away) didn't snap up this square footage for some kinda annex.

If you can stand it, Zillow's got 42 pix of the property (omg, that meditation room is enough to make one scream). I can't bear it, this much beige makes me feel like I'm being smothered in cold oatmeal:





ETA: Balbes did the interior of the little black & gold building (Morgan, Walls and Clements, 1929), formerly a Security Pacific Bank branch, at 5209 Wilshire. It is, as you probably guessed, beige:
[/img]
Temple-Home (projects)

There's a sucker born every minute and no one knows it better than Xorin Balbes, former president of Global Vision for Peace and 15 other companies over the last ten years, all now defunct. He seems to have finally found his niche:

[
I looked at all 40+ pics of this forlorn mansion. I really have to laugh, they did the entire house using one color scheme. Pathetic.
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  #43560  
Old Posted Today, 4:03 AM
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Thanks for posting all those interesting pics this afternoon Tourmaline. -much appreciated buddy.
_



I don't believe we have seen this before.


Los Angeles, the Old and the New (J. E. Scott, 1911) hathitrust

Sixth Street, 1903

"The building up the street was the first four-story building erected, and the occupants advertised they were over the line in high rents."

It appears the bungalow on the right is about to be moved.

...and I'm curious about the large building on the opposite corner. Is it an old hotel or a house? (and what is that rising above the roof?)
__

hmmm...could that be one of J.B. Hunter's tamale carts out on the street-

and what's the other transient business on that corner, a peanut stand? (at first I thought it was a trolley car that had jumped the curb)
__

OK I've asked too many questions. (if I hadn't..I would have asked about the four-story building down the street ) I have no idea what building they're talking about.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Today at 4:23 AM.
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