For years I had heard stories about this cluster of homes on Shenandoah Street, down a tree lined path from an old sign that says “Casa Rocha.” So finally I decided to do an Internet search and I was delighted to find a website page about “Rocha Adobe” with a lengthy description of the history of this house, which was built in 1865 by Jose Antonio Rocha, designated Historical-Cultural Monument in 1963, and restored in 1979.
There are many fascinating stories about the history of our neighborhood, Reynier Village.
Please send us the ones that you know and we’ll post them.
Your front door is the gateway to your home. What does your front door say about you? Are you traditional or adventurous? What color is your front door? Why did you paint it that color? We’d love to hear from our neighbors.
Burgundy-red door compliments the gray color scheme of this mid-century house
Bright blue-green door is exciting next to its neutral exterior paint
Natural wood compliments Spanish architecture
Weathered driftwood is serene and harmonizes with the plantings and irregular stepping stones
- – DM
The 1930s Spanish homes in our neighborhood used to have gorgeous hardwood floors. Unfortunately, decades ago, many of them were covered up with carpeting.
A couple of weeks ago, with the new year, I finally decided to remodel a spare bedroom and turn it into a TV room. I wondered what was under that tired old carpet and I discovered something even worse, ugly linoleum tiles glued on top of the original wood. I consulted some floor experts and was given little hope of finding anything salvageable underneath, we would have to rip it all up and install a new wood floor; but then a dear friend recommended Danny, a wonderful craftsman who lives in our neighborhood. He was confident that it could be done, so one rainy morning he showed up with 4 of his long-time workers, and in 48 hours the old wood was uncovered, stripped, sanded and stained. It feels fantastic to have the floor back to the way it was intended by those builders way back in 1931.
You may want to try doing something like this in your own house and you could discover some gems, such as these lovely corner inlays.
Danny’s number is 323-937 3563, and the name of his 25-year-old company is AMA Hardwood Floors.
Please let us know your experience with other old-fashioned craftspeople in our neighborhood: carpenters, electricians, handy-men, masons, painters, plumbers, etc.
This dramatic front yard on David Avenue is an early adopter of Xeriscaping, showing colorful ways to conserve water while enhancing your home. - – DM
Low maintenance, HIGH style
We recently met new residents of Reynier Village. Huli and Raphael Sloane, a wife & husband of considerable artistic talent are transplants of Mar Vista. They brought with them 28 of their mature rose bushes and a large Bird of Paradise. They are going to replant them in the yard of their colorful 1914 Craftsman bungalow which is a rare sight in Reynier Village as most homes here were erected in the mid 1920′s-late 30′s. Rumor has it that this house was moved to Reynier Village from some other part of the city. (Anyone with information, please let us know!).
What is particularly special is that Mr. Sloane is a fine art photographer, whose specialty is an expansive study of flowers that also includes blossoms from endangered plants.
Craftsman style built in 1914
“1 out of 3 plant species in the United States is under threat of extinction! Non-native, invasive species are the No. 2 threat to native plants.These facts have instilled an urgency in the direction of my work to include more endangered plant species as subjects and ultimately heighten peoples awareness of their plight.” –Raphael Sloane, photographer
– - EL
We are pleased to have permission to publish two of Mr. Sloane’s photos.
Do enjoy, and be sure to visit his delightful Website.
Green fig © Raphael Sloane 2009
Squash blossom © Raphael Sloane 2009
“Exactly what you’re looking for – Close in, low priced, Westside lots”
“Westview Park is the real estate opportunity of 1924″
Los Angeles Times advertisement, January 6, 1924
As shown on the map, it appears that Robertson Blvd. was first named Arnaz; then called Preuss Rd. By 1927 however, it was already renamed Robertson Blvd. (see post below).
Anyone with information about Westview Park is welcome to email us as we’d like to publish more!
In the meantime, here is the entire David & Co. real estate ad from 1924. - – DM
In doing a little historic research on our area, check out this Sanborn map of our neighborhood in 1927.
Our neighborhood in 1927
Beverlywood Street used to be Emmalee Street;
25th Street was Henry Butt Avenue;
24th Street was Kelson Avenue;
and it looks like Sherbourne (just North of Cadillac) used to be Kalamazoo.
Note that south of Cattaraugus was considered Culver City back then.
Now, Robertson Blvd. wasn’t always called Robertson. In a 1924 real estate ad (I’ll post later). it was called Preuss Rd (Arnaz). Go figure. – - DM
To our delight, not all houses in Reynier Village are ‘Spanish Colonial Revival’. We have some fine examples of Tudor/English Revival, Transitional Arts & Crafts, and lesser known as ‘historic’ but nevertheless is, a style called Minimal Traditional, homes that were built in the late 1930′s-1940′s (and lasted until the early 1950’s).
You’ve seen Minimal Traditional all over Beverlywood and Beverlywood-Adjacent and Reynier Village has a few as well.
Here’s a typical Minimal Traditional home (location: Glendale)
Typical Minimal Traditional style home Late 1930's-1940's
The style was loosely based on the Tudor Revival and Eclectic Revival styles of the 1920s and 30s, but with much less ornamentation and decorative detailing. Although they are simplified versions of historic styles, they were still built with high quality materials (lathe & plaster walls, traditional fireplace mantles, crown moulding, paneled doors, and wood cabinetry). Exterior architectural detailing is restrained – the use of ornament is kept to a minimum. This type of house was built in great numbers in the years immediately before and after World War II.
Features: bay windows, multi-paned windows, sand-finish stucco,attached or detached one and two car garages, intermediate hipped, gabled or gabled on hipped roofs. Minimal Traditional features are sometimes mixed with later Ranch styles.
Sources of information:
City of L.A. Office of Historic Resources
Glendale Historic Preservation
- – DM
Here is a beautiful example of how to preserve the character of a Spanish Colonial Revival home.
This new second-story remodel is only a few years old and yet it looks all original, thanks to good planning by an architect and homeowners who have a keen sensitivity for historic design and details (see the wrought iron work in their front yard) .
Spanish Colonial Revival with a new 2nd story addition
The Spanish Colonial Revival period style (1915 – 1940) features:
1. Stucco surfaces
2. Low pitched pantile roofs
3. Use of decorative iron work for windows, doors and balconies
4. Glazed tile used for wall decoration
- – DM
Reynier Village, as described by Los Angeles Times columnist Martha Groves, “contains fine old houses, many of them Spanish Revival in style, loaded with original charm and relatively affordable, at least by the current dizzying standards”.
For a delightful overview of Reynier Village and its history, read Martha’s 2006 real estate article
“Spanish style still defines central pocket”
Thank you Martha! - – DM
It is truly amazing, when you go for a walk around Reynier Village, to see how many of our neighbors have replaced the water-wasting green lawns with colorful and inventive arrays of drought-resistant plants and flowers. It makes you wonder what’s behind those charming 1930 Spanish facades and tiled roofs… Probably backyards just as creative, and hopefully some organic gardens where fruits and vegetables are grown.
Please post a comment and let us know where those hidden gems are located, so we may organize a garden tour of the neighborhood, like the Mar Vista Neighborhood Association did recently.
– EL & DM