Let us dive into the history of architecture and seek inspiration in somewhat older architectural layers. I invite you for a short journey to the glorious times of the American Modernism, namely the Mid-Century Modernism.
You can find many grand design examples and famous names that represent this style. In an earlier article I wrote here about John Lautner and his beautiful Sheats Goldstein Residence. This time our Architectural Classics Column is dedicated to A. Quincy Jones and the Crestwood Hills Project.
Crestwood Hills is a series of private houses built in Santa Monica by the Mutual Housing Association – the organization, which was initially founded in 1946 as a cooperative housing group by a few musicians, who came back from war and whose intention was to buy land and build houses with a common pool and playground in the center.
This social initiative resulted in a neighborhood of 150 houses, a park, a swimming pool and a nursery school, completed by the design team of two architects, Whitney R. Smith and A. Quincy Jones, and an engineer, Edgardo Contini. The house you see in the pictures – 990 Hanley Avenue – was the Association’s office, where the designers had worked for about 10 years, until 1956, when the project was over and the office building was converted into a home.
This house belongs now to Cory Buckner and Nick Roberts. Cory is an activist of preserving the Crestwood Hills modernistic heritage, of which only 30 houses remain. Owing to her activity, 15 of them have been declared Historic-Cultural Monuments by the City of Los Angeles. Her own house has also been declared a monument and renovated by her husband and herself, so that now it plays the role of a community center once again. We wish Cory success and appreciate her efforts!
Now let’s take a closer look at the house itself… The famous American organic style is felt throughout the house. The vast floor-to-ceiling glass walls tend to blend the interior with the exterior spaces, being helped by the cozy stone-cladded yard and generous California vegetation. In a word, all famous Wright-spirit features, so beloved by all architecture fans, are gathered together here! And the interior design looks more beautiful with the refined renovations and installations of Cory – the timeless qualities of really good, recognized, eternal architecture are revealed even more in a renewed, finished, or – I would even say – polished manner. The owners are fascinated with Jones’ design details and are delighted to spend their lives in this house… Share their passion for good architecture. Enjoy.