Howard Hughes lived in a Coates-designed local home

| November 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

HISTORIC Monterey-style Fudger House on Muirfield Road.

Roland E. Coate was among the architects hired to build dream homes for oil titans, bankers and film moguls in the robust real estate expansion of the first half of the 20th century.

Coate was — in what is considered a golden age for home design — a stand-out.

Many of his homes are in Hancock Park, and among the houses’ earlier residents were an eccentric aviator and a girl who would later marry into the powerful Chandler publishing dynasty.

SECOND in a series co-authored by Bret Parsons.

Four local houses are among 36 featured in a new book, “Master Architects of Southern California 1920-1940: Roland E. Coate,” published this month by Tailwater Press.

The 204-page book is the second in a series co-authored by local real estate agent Bret Parsons along with architect Marc Appleton and historian Steve Vaught.

Coate, an Indiana native, and his bride moved to California in 1920, where he had a position with noted residential architect Reginald Johnson and an instinct that the land was brimming with opportunities.

REGENCY REVIVAL-style Goldwater home is on S. Hudson Avenue.

He was soon promoted to partner in the firm of Johnson, Kaufmann, and Coate. By 1924, the partners amicably separated, and Coate’s private practice “got off to an auspicious start with his highly regarded design of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills.” (Kaufmann would go on to design the Greystone estate in Beverly Hills and the 1935 Los Angeles Times building on First and Spring streets.)

Like his contemporaries, Coate was drawn to the architecture of the Andalusia region in Spain; its “climate, landscape and sharp, clear light” being similar to Southern California’s. Throughout the 1920s Coate was partial to Mediterranean-inspired houses.

Homes in Hancock Park

Among the homes he designed in Hancock Park is the Fudger House at 211 Muirfield Road. The nearly 9,000-square-foot, 30-room home evokes historic Monterey and takes full advantage of its vistas of the Wilshire Country Club.

Two years after it was built in 1926, the homeowner, heiress Eva Fudger and her two daughters, moved out.

The new renter was aviator, industrialist and motion picture producer Howard Hughes. He ultimately purchased the house for $135,000, and it remained his principal residence between 1928 and 1942.

Coate also designed a Regency Revival-style house in 1929 for Lemuel “Lem” Goldwater, who co-founded Cohn-Goldwater and Company, famous for its Boss brand of overalls and considered a pioneer of the Los Angeles garment industry.

ENGLISH TUDOR on N. Hudson Avenue was built with an enormous budget of $100,000 in 1928.

The rectangular-shaped home includes a series of cubes of different widths and heights, and the home on Hudson Avenue runs lengthwise on its lot, perpendicular to the street, to allow for vistas to the north (until other houses were built — including the next-door house owned for many years by Kay and Walter O’Malley).

That same year, Coate was given an “enormous budget of $100,000” to create an English Tudor mansion on Hudson Avenue at First Street. Only the finest materials were used, including mullioned windows, cut stone, brick and slate roofing. An oriel window over the Tudor-arched doorway added to the desired effect. Designed for Gertrude K. and Gerald C. Young, the 11,100-square foot home was built in 1929.

At the home, a formal English garden added to the Elizabethan mood, and a champion tennis court was probably a favorite of Gerald’s, who was the first winner of the Los Angeles Junior Tennis Tournament in 1903 and president of the Southern California Tennis Association from 1932 to 1954.

FUTURE IN-LAW of a publishing dynasty grew up in this Monterey-Revival style home on S. June Street.

A year later, on June Street, Jane and Robert Brant chose a Monterey Revival style for their Hancock Park home, which today is the residence of the Turkish Consul General.

Built in 1930, the smallish-by-comparison (5,000 square foot home) welcomed the Brant’s daughter Marilyn, a few years after the Brants moved in. She eventually became the first wife of Otis Chandler of the “Los Angeles Times” publishing dynasty and the mother of their five children.

Other books

Previously published in the writing team’s planned 12-volume series was “Gordon B. Kaufmann.”  The third volume will be on Wallace Neff, and the fourth volume will feature Paul R. Williams.  “We are working on those now,” said Parsons, associate manager of Pacific Union Hancock Park and founder and executive director of the firm’s architectural division. (At some point in November the signage on Parson’s office will change to Compass Realty. The office is upstairs at 156 N. Larchmont Blvd.)

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Category: Real Estate

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