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Alvarado Terrace Historic District Tour – Part 1

Feb 06, 2011 by Lisa Newton

In 1979, recognizing the need to identify and protect neighborhoods with distinct architectural and cultural resources, the Los Angeles’ City Council adopted the ordinance enabling the creation of Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZ). Today, Los Angeles has 27 designated HPOZs, with many more under consideration.

One of these HPOZ is Pico-Union.

Featuring a broad range of architectural styles including:

  • Late 19th century Victorian-era cottages
  • Early 20th century Craftsman
  • Mission Revival bungalows
  • Larger homes in Period Revival or Classical styles

Not only are the homes architectural gems, but many of them were designed by well-known architects and builders of the period such as Frank Tyler, Hunt and Burns, Stiles O. Clements, and Elmer Grey.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Pico-Union HPOZ contains two much smaller Historic Districts within its boundaries; Alvarado Terrace Historic District and Bonnie Brae Historic District.

For the next several days, I’ll going to give you a little tour of a few of the homes you’ll find in the Alvarado Terrace Historic District.

Within Alvarado Terrace, six homes and a church were designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments in 1971, and the entire district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Of course, the six homes and church will be featured, but also several other homes located within a few block radius.

With each article, I give you a little more background about the Terrace. Before I even start, I’d like to thank the Los Angeles Conservancy for their in depth information (PDF) about each of these houses.

With each article in this series, I’ll add icons to the map below, so you’re able to take this walk and enjoy knowing a little more history about the glorious city I call home: Los Angeles.


View Alvarado Terrace Historic District in a larger map

So, let’s get started:

Located at 1317 Alvarado Terrace and built in 1905, the Boyle-Barmore House, a Tudor influenced Craftsman house, is the only one on the Terrace to have a street access driveway. Originally built by architect Charles E. Shattuck for Calvin A. Boyle, who was active in the founding of the Hollywood Board of Trade, the Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Landmark No. 83, was purchased in 1908 by Edmund H. Barmore, the President and General Manager for the Los Angeles Transfer Company, a moving and storage company, which at the time, employed about 70 men and boasted 30 teams. Did you notice the stained glass windows?

Right next door to the Boyle-Barmore House sits the Cohn House, Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark No. 84. At 1325 Alvarado Terrace, you’ll find a 2½ story Craftsman and Shingle Style home called the Cohn House. Built in 1902 by Hudson and Munsell, the original owner was Morris R. Cohn, who in 1897 became the first textile manufacturer in the city. Cohn and his partner, Lemmel Goldwater built the first modern Class A steel reinforced concrete factory building in LA which is now Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark No. 119.

And the grandeur of this house doesn’t stop with the owners. The architects, Hudson and Munsell , in 1912, also designed the California Museum of Science and Industry, now part of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, the first museum at Exposition Park.

Following along these two houses heels is the Gilbert House, located at 1333 Alvarado Terrace. Using a Victorian composition, with a little Shingle Style and Craftsman design, this house was built in 1903 for Wilber F. Gilbert, who was a successful investor and operator of Texas oil fields. As of 1982, Gilbert’s daughter, Carolyn, still resided at the house. She was known both a researcher of the Terrace and a member of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency’s Project Area Committee. Gilbert House is Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark No. 85.

Tomorrow I will feature a few more of these magnificent houses in the Alvarado Terrace Historic District.

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Architecture, Culture, Family, Los Angeles, SoCal
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