SILVER LAKE  —  The Cultural Heritage Commission voted in favor of declaring The Roberts Apartments, a 1965 apartment complex designed by architect Allyn E. Morris, a city historic monument.

The nine-unit apartment at Griffith Park Boulevard and Landa Street has been described “as an excellent example of a Mid-Century Modern multi-family apartment building," according to its historic landmark nomination.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the nomination at its Thursday meeting. However, the apartments won't become an official city historic cultural monument until the full City Council votes on the matter. 

The Roberts Apartments, which step up a hillside, were built in 1965. The property 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.

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