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Silver Lake apartments nominated as Mid Century landmark

Roberts Apartment in Silver Lake designed by Allyn E Morris

By BARRY LANK

Silver Lake  —  The Roberts Apartments complex on Griffith Park Boulevard has been nominated as a historic landmark,  according to a filing with the Planning Department.

Department staff recommended that the Cultural Heritage Commission take the property designed by architect Allyn E. Morris under consideration “as an excellent example of a Mid-Century Modern multi-family apartment building.”

The nine-unit apartment block that steps up the hillside was built in 1965. It last sold in July 2017 for $3.85 million.

The monument application cited  the building’s cubic window patterns, the use of materials and the simplified exterior as some of the property’s prominent architectural features.

The apartments were one of several residential projects in Silver Lake and Echo Park that were designed by Morris. Before starting his own firm, Morris, who lived in Silver Lake,  had worked for Lloyd Wright, Risley and Gould, and Daniel, Mann, Johnson, and Mendenhall.

He was eventually recognized by the Los Angeles architecture community “for his sculptural, cubic aesthetic, and cost-effective designs,” according to the monument application.

Author and architectural historian Alan Hess told The L.A. Times that Morris was inspired by the much better known modernist architect, Rudolph Schindler:

“At a time when most Southern California architects were favoring Richard Neutra, Morris was learning from the ideas of Schindler and developing them,” Hess said. “The more mainstream idea was to make simple, rectangular boxes, which were very graceful. But Morris added a complexity to define certain spaces or living areas within the house.”

Morris, who left Los Angeles in the early 1980s, died in 2009 at the age of 87.

The Cultural Heritage Commission will decide whether to consider the nomination at its meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7.

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3 comments

  1. It looked better before the balconies were enclosed.

  2. Just because it’s old, doesn’t make it a cultural landmark. The homeless encampments are still growing and coming to a neighborhood near you.

  3. The Morris designed Lago Vista overlooking Echo Park Lake. Think it will be landmarked at some point?

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