Two Silver Lake properties move closer to becoming historic landmarks; a third property loses out

Landmark applications approved


Silver Lake — The Cultural Heritage Commission voted today to declare two Silver Lake properties — including one designed by Modernist architect Rudolph Schindler — as historic cultural monuments. But it turned thumbs down on the nomination of a Craftsman bungalow that was once home to a Silent film era actor and director.

It’s now up to the City Council to decide whether the two Silver Lake residences that received the commission’s backing will officially become historic landmarks. Such a designation would make it harder to remodel or change the buildings’ architectural details.

These are the Silver Lake properties the commission voted on today:

Ralph G. Walker House

Ralph G. Walker House

The landmark nominations approved by the commission included the Ralph G. Walker House in the 2100 block of N. Kenilworth Avenue. The home has been featured in magazine articles and research studies over the decades thanks to its Schindler connection. The International-style home steps down a hillside and is angled to take in views of the Silver Lake Reservoir and mountains beyond.

Walter Daniels Duplex

Walter Daniels Duplex

Also approved was the Walter Daniels Duplex, a two-story Streamline Moderne building on West Descanso Drive near Micheltorena Street. Unlike the Walker House, the Walter Daniels Duplex does not have an architectural pedigree nor is there any indication that anyone of historic or cultural significance ever called it home.

Yet, the duplex, according to city historic surveys,  “exhibits a high quality of design” and  serves as an “excellent and rare example of a Streamline Moderne duplex in Silver Lake.”   The building has retained  many elements from the era,  including phoneniches, rounded door frames, Deco-style heater grills and an original intercom.

Charles Avery Residence

Photo by L.A. Cultural Heritage Commission staff

The commission rejected an effort by the Silver Lake Heritage Trust to win landmark protection for a bungalow that once served  as the home silent film actor and director Charles Avery  The home on the corner lot is considered a development site

Avery acted in about 127 films, including the original Keystone Cops series. But city staff said the one-story Craftsman in the 1900 block of Benton Way was not a particularly significant example of its type. As for Avery,  the staff determined that he “did not achieve the level of notoriety necessary to be considered an historic personage,” having “spent his career relegated to minor roles.”

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