Saturday, January 30, 2010

Heritage Square

This small area located in Los Angeles has been a work in progress for about thirty years, and it still has a long ways to go until completion. Presently it features five architecturally significant homes that were located in different parts of the city from the years 1865-1914. They were moved to this area in the late 1960s. Besides the homes there is also a church and a carriage house built in the Queen Anne style. We had a very friendly guide, Matt who has a thick British accent. He came to live in the states four years ago. He has a history major but is a film maker. On Fridays he volunteers as a guide for Heritage Square. We were fortunate to be here on a Friday! There are also volunteers who work on the restoration of the homes, which explains the slowness of the completion of the buildings. Each of the buildings have their own  unique features . In the Queen Ann style home below note the bolsters on the porch indicative of that architectural style. This home's restoration has been completed and the inside is furnished with furniture of the period. It was the first time we saw lincrusta, or what looked like wood carvings on the walls. It is a heavily embossed material that when painted or highlighted resembles wood or leather or metals ( Matt used the word papiermache to describe the material). It was created by Frederick Walton in 1877, the same man who invented linoleum. I have a picture of that home below.
The next house I want to show here is unique for its wood carvings, both outside and inside the house. This house was built by a woodcarver who did all the carvings himself.

The last house I want to show is very unusual for its day and time. It is an octagonal home. This one is still in the process of restoration. The inside has a winding open staircase all the way up to the cupola. There are transoms above the doorways which ,when opened, allows a warm breeze to flow upwards. It is a very energy efficient home and, as Matt expressed it, was forward thinking on the part of the builder. It was built in 1860. It was a fun place to tour as it has square rooms but in its odd shaped corners are different sized built- in cabinets and closets. We enjoyed touring all the homes and would like to come back in a few years perhaps when more restoration has been done. The church will also be interesting to see. At present we could not even enter it.

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