Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Streamline Moderne Elegance of the Richardson Apartments

The Richardson Apartments (also known as the E.R. Richardson Apartments) in Country Club Heights at 3919 West 8th Street was designed by Milton J. Black and built in 1940. (Photo from Eric Evavold)


We love learning about local multi-family buildings in the neighborhood. Built in the 1920s-1940s, these stunning buildings, constructed during the last housing crisis the city faced, contribute mightily to the character of our historic neighborhoods. They also offer inspirational solutions to our current housing crisis.

Local architecture guide and Hancock Park neighbor Eric Evavold pointed out the Richardson Apartments in Country Club Heights at 3919 West 8th Street designed by Milton J. Black and H. Guthrie Thursby. Black was a prominent Los Angeles architect known for several significant multi-family courtyard apartments in the Streamline Moderne style. The Richardson Apartments was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 847 because it embodies the “distinguishing characteristics of an architectural-type specimen, inherently valuable for a study of a period style or method of construction,” according to the Commission.

“I just love these streamlined ships in the neighborhood,” Evavold told the Buzz. “This building features the sweeping streamline style curves reminiscent of a ship with a large, generous courtyard. It also has these wonderful art deco flourishes and inset deco plaster work on the building which is a little unusual since it was built later in the period when many buildings were being simplified.”


Streamlined Moderne plaster details at the Richardson Apartments. (Photo from Eric Evavold)


The building features a generous courtyard to welcome residents and guests. (Photo from Eric Evavold)


These Streamline Moderne architectural details distinguish the building as an outstanding example of the style of architecture and worthy of Historic Cultural Monument Status. (Photo from Eric Evavold)


Evavold said he loves pointing out these neighborhood treasures that we might not otherwise see as we are driving along.

“Eighth Street is a wonderful street with a wide range of housing styles, both single family and multi-family residences,” said Evavold. Ours is one of the oldest areas of the city with many historically significant properties in the nearby Windsor Square, Hancock Park, Country Club Park, Wilshire Park, Windsor Village HPOZs.

Black also designed notable buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style in the 1920s and “kept up with the times,” wrote architectural historian Robert Winter in his indispensable guide to city,  An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles. Black also designed Chateau Rossmore, another multi-family residence at 555 N. Rossmore, in the Chateauesque style of architecture in the 1930s. The vastly different style illustrates his design versatility.

No, they don’t build them like that anymore, but maybe they should!


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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