Escaping Demolition, Landmark Home by Early Black Architect Will Take to the RoadBreaking News
Williams was black, and in 1936, the year he completed the red brick English-country-style residence, African-Americans were barred by restrictive covenants and prevailing biases from owning property in the best parts of the city.
Williams, a pre-eminent Southern California architect, lived instead in a modest house of his own design in Lafayette Square, one of the few upper-middle-class neighborhoods then open to blacks.
By the time he died in 1980, black celebrities were moving into Beverly Hills and Bel Air. The Landau House, meanwhile, named for the South African merchant who commissioned it, would continue passing from owner to owner, among them Bruce McNall, who built a vast fortune as a coin collector before going to prison for fraud, and Ronald O. Perelman, Revlon's chairman.
When it became clear that the 10,000-square-foot house would be an impediment to the expansion plans of its current owner, the elite prep school Harvard-Westlake, preservationists and neighborhood residents joined in demanding that it not be destroyed, and school officials promised to find a buyer willing to move it. They succeeded.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't
- Princeton U. historian Imani Perry claims mistreatment in parking ticket arrest
- Retired historian George Dennison remains on the payroll at the U. of Montana while faculty are cut
- The Atlantic profiles exciting ways to teach history
- LDS Church has gone from 0 to 4 historians specializing in women’s history