The L.A. Times on Sunday took a look back at when the Garvanza section of Highland Park served as a hub of the local arts and craftsman movement. At the center of this artistic activity was British painter and teacher William Lees Judson, who in 1893 moved to Los Angeles and built a house in Garvanza overlooking the Arroyo Seco. Judson co-founded the Arroyo Guild, a group of artisans and craftsman, and also helped started USC’s College of Fine Art in a building located across the street from his Garvanza home. That building would also serve as the headquarters of the Arroyo Guild and its collective of home builders that Judson had organized. The fine art building burned down in 1910 but Judson had a new structure (pictured above) constructed in its place .
In a few years, however, the guild was out of business and the fine arts school moved to the main USC campus. But the old college and guild building on Avenue 66 still remains and now serves as the home for the Judson Studio, a stained glass business operated by David Judson, a great, great grandson of William Lees Judson. The slogan of the Arroyo Guild - “We Can” – can still be seen above the entrance to the building. Judson told the Times:
“We’re still trying to invoke the ideals of the Arroyo Guild … “I hope the original members are looking down and approving of what we are doing.”
Photos by Martha Benedict