Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crime of the Week

Larchmont-adjacent gemisch.

The taste for pre-fab Corinthian columns is not limited, it seems, to Encino's nouveau riche enclaves. This house is Larchmont-adjacent (to use the parlance of real estate agents) and on a street with many nicely maintained cottages and bungalows.

Here, however, the builder opted for an inarticulate stucco box with a hodge-podge of mail-order "features" slapped on: skinny, entasis-free fluted columns which, fortunately, don't really have to support anything; an off-the-shelf Georgian-style door surround, surrounding a vaguely Mediterranean door; a crude balcony befitting a '50s public housing project; an afterthought of an oeil-de-boeuf;
prison-like gratings on the lower windows.

When it tuned out that this malproportioned mess lined up perfectly on the grid with the unattractive (although better designed) office building behind it, I felt I had to include the latter as well.


  1. I live in this area and saw this house for the first time a few weeks ago. Yes, it is that bad, but it was done sometime in the 70's I'd guess. There are actually some very nice bungalows on that block. Too bad they have to contend with this monstrosity, and the Larchmont Medical bldg, which towers over everything (and is an eyesore in its own right).

  2. There's a couple houses like this in the area. When I was house-shopping in the area 9 years ago or so, we saw a number of just utter monstrosities - for some reason the streets just west of Larchmont seem to have more of them than, say, Irving or Windsor or Norton.

    But yeah, the 321 building is an eyesore, one that I can see out my bedroom window every day. I'm still sort of astonished that people got all sniffy about a proposed cell antenna on top, because what was going to happen, it was going to make the building ugly? Too late for that, man.

  3. I believe the office building is by Welton Becket, the guy behind Capitol Records, Cinerama Dome, Music Center, Beverly Hilton... on & on. Not one of his best building but c'mon!

  4. It looks like the "after" on some of your photoshop projects.

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