Dave Goldstein, the “Duke of Art Deco” spoke to the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society recently at their 41st annual meeting at the historic Hancock Park home of Bob and Brenda Chandler Cooke.
Goldstein recounted tales of his years buying, restoring and selling homes and apartments in the area. An LA native, Goldstein grew up in the Fairfax neighborhood and started to acquire classic apartment buildings from the 1920s and 1930s. His company, ArtDeco Apartments manages mostly buildings of the revival style of architecture (Spanish Mediterranean, Tudor) and Art Deco that once housed film and tv stars. In addition, he began collecting old lighting sconces, door knobs, old stoves, brass fittings and other vintage fixtures that would fit into his buildings. Prospective tenants are required to write an essay to qualify to help Goldstein find tenants who match his historic preservation sensibility.
Two of his buildings, the Mauretania on Rossmore and the another building on South Mansfield have received Historical Society Landmark award. This year, Goldstein home on South Lucerne was given a Landmark Award. The home was build in the 1920s in the English Tudor Revival style and designed by architects Harley Corwin and Everett Merrill. Goldstein purchased the home in 2009 at which time he undertook a complete renovation restoring and upgrading the entire home.
“The Wright/Moore house at 501 South Lucerne stands as a beautiful example of Tudor Revival architecture, a popular style of architecture for suburban homes in the 1920s and early 1930s. Features include exterior walls of multi-hued brick with half-timbering; a steeply pitched, multiple gabled roof, covered in slate tiles; diamond-paned and eight-light casement windows; a tall stepped-back brick wall chimney complete with chimney-pots and carved brackets supporting a slightly cantilevered second story, and it’s arched main entry with a port recessed into a descending gable. A casement window set into the chimney provided a touch of whimsy.” – Carol Henning and Gary Marshall for the WSHP HS.
The Gilmore Gas Station reborn as Starbucks was awarded Award Number 9 for Respectful Renovation and Adapted Re-Use, from the WS-HP Historical Society. The former gas station at 859 N Highland Avenue, a small Art-Deco building, built in 1928 as a real estate office. The Gilmore Oil Company adapted the building in 1935 to build a gasoline service station, one of the first constructed by the Gilmore Oil Company.
In 1880, Arthur Fremont Gilmore and Julius Carter started out as dairy farmers on part of the Rancho La Brea, which they bought from Sheriff James Thompson who purchased the land from John and Henry Hancock. When Gilmore drilled wells to water his cows, he found oil instead. By 1905 the dairy business was gone, replaced by the Gilmore Oil Company which started selling gasoline in 1913. Earl Gilmore took over when his father Arthur died in 1918, creating one of the largest independent oil companies on the west coast.
In 1945, Gilmore was bought out by Socony-Vaccuum and eventually became Mobil. In 964, the station was modified by then owner the Texas Company (Texaco) to a combination automotive service and gasoline sales.
In 1992 the station was designated a Historic Cultural Landmark by the City of Los Angeles but shortly thereafter fell into disrepair.
In 2014, Starbucks converted the historic gas station into a drive through coffee shop with a walk-up window and 100 square foot outdoor dining space. Thanks to the efforts of architect Niccolo Valerio, engineer Gregory Panek and KDC Construction, the “little Art-Deco landmark has been transformed from a station where cars would guzzle gasoline to a coffee shop where humans can guzzle frappucinos,” wrote Carol Henning for the WS-HP Historical Society.
The Labiner-Moser home at 555 South Irving was awarded Landmark Award #117. The home was built by contractor Harry Belden in 1923, designed by architect Raymon J. Kieffer who built model h omed for the Flintridge company. He designed Italian, Spanish and English style in the $30,000 to $100,000 price range at the time.
Kieffer was later described as the “high society architect who built many Hancock Park and Beverly Hills mansions,” according Carol Henning and Carol Wertheim for the WS-HP Historical Society.
The Labiner-Mosers, who acquired the home on 2004, have thoughtfully restored the original colors and features of the Tudor Revival Style home. Interesting, there is rumored to have been a secret tunnel during Prohibition from the Getty Mansion (home of the Mayor of Los Angeles) across the street to 555 South Irving.
The Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society was founded in 1976 to preserve and collect the rich and illustrious history of the Greater Rancho La Brea, encompassing the recognition of its architectural landmarks, historical sites and finely appointed homes, while generating a supporting community spirit.
Today, the Society serves as a source of information about our unique Los Angeles neighborhood, supporting its preservation and mining its rich history for our special events. Everyone who loves history, old houses and historic preservation are welcome to become members.
Membership costs only $35 for an individual, $50 for a couple or family and $7.50 for a full time student under 23. Click here for more information.
Save the date: September 17, 2017 from 12 to 4pm for the next WSHPHS home tour of historic bungalows in St Andrews Place between 2nd and 3rd streets.