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Cruzing to the Skinner House in Silver Lake

Sep 09, 2010 by Lisa Newton

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Silver Lake for a quick jaunt.

It was quick because at the time, I was test driving the Chevy Cruze for three hours. However, before I took the test drive, I researched where I wanted to go.

Of all the locations to choose from in the LA area, on this special day I chose to travel to Silver Lake.

Why Silverlake?

Because I wanted to test the Chevy Cruze on some of the narrow hilly roads which are quite prevalemt throughout the Silver Lake area. I also wanted to cruze some historical landmarks, which are plentiful there.

But most importantly, I wanted to visit a part of Los Angeles that I haven’t had a chance to visit much previously.

The Chevy Cruze proved to be the perfect car to drive all of the narrow streets of Silver Lake; it’s small, compact, stylish and most important of all, it’s maneuverability and great road handling made it the perfect car for my Silver Lake drive.

Located at 1530 North Easterly Terrace is Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #856, the Skinner House.

Crafted by architect William Kesling in 1937, Skinner House is built in the Streamline Moderne Style, which often incorporates:

  • Horizontal orientation
  • Rounded edges, corner windows, and glass brick walls
  • Glass block
  • Porthole windows
  • Chrome hardware
  • Smooth exterior wall surfaces, usually stucco (smooth plaster finish)
  • Flat roof with coping
  • Horizontal grooves or lines in walls
  • Subdued colors: base colors were typically light earth tones, off-whites, or beiges; and trim colors were typically dark colors (or bright metals) to contrast from the light base. Source: Wikipedia

Even more amazing about this particular house is that it has a twin that sits right next door:

Kesling, because he was “unschooled,” was able to experiment more freely than his architectural counterparts like Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra, until he plead guilty to fraud in 1937. He served time in prison, but after World War II, he restarted his passion for architecture, but this time, he went to San Diego.

Kesling designed many houses around LA, and for me, it’s a shame he didn’t receive more recognition.

The funniest thing that happened this day, was while I was taking pictures of 1530 North Easterly Terrace, a construction worker who happened to be working nearby asked me, “Taking photos of the Twins?”

If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s definitively worth a look, preferably in a Chevrolet Cruze……………………

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Architecture, Culture, Northeast LA, Silver Lake, SoCal
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