BLOG: West Adams receives architectural nod

imageOnce the home of silent film stars and burgeoning banking and mining typhoons, the graceful streets of the West Adams neighborhood have lost their prestige. But they have not lost their architectural wealth.

This Old House Magazine listed West Adams eighth on its list of “Best Old House Neighborhoods 2010,” giving it the honor of the “best place for movie fans.”

It also ranked West Adams as the best neighborhood for city life and singles.

“West Adams seems like a studio backdrop for the set of a perfect small town,” the article read. “It’s become a shared secret among those of more modest means, who love its authentic feel in a city often chided for its artificiality.”

According to This Old House, the Craftsman and Mission-style architecture of the area is “glitzed to the max with detail.”

Yet when considering the area’s history, this “glitz” is hardly surprising.

West Adams was largely developed between 1887 and 1915, according to the West Adams Heritage Association.

Lawrence Doheny, Isidore Dockweiller and William Andrew Clark were among its many famous residents.

imageAmong its many architectural styles are Transitional Arts and Crafts, Craftsman Bungalow and Mission Revival.

The Adams Boulevard Corridor was a haven for new wealth in Los Angeles, said the West Adams Heritage Association.

But as the boom of the roaring twenties died down, so did West Adams’s popularity.

After many decades of decline, a revitalization effort brought the area back into the spotlight during the 1980s.

A new wave of homeowners put time and fresh coats of paint on West Adams’s several historic houses.

“When you have everyone working together to preserve and maintain a neighborhood, it’s a very powerful approach,” longtime resident David Raposa told This Old House.

The area has seen an influx of artists, designers, and media professionals, making it one of Los Angeles’s most diverse communities, according to KCET’s Life and Times series.

Now, several of the homes in West Adams have been restored to their former glory, putting the area in the perfect position for the This Old House nod.

“What we looked for was simple,” the publication said. “Oft-overlooked neighborhoods populated by people who share an appreciation of finely crafted homes that have plenty of past and lots of future.”

Photo credit: Creative Commons