Thursday, December 10, 2015

Irving Gill, Homer Laughlin and the Beginnings of Modern Architecture in Los Angeles, Part II, 1911-1916

Part II picks up in 1911, a year which marked the beginning of Gill's transition from a practice based almost solely in San Diego to one more focused on Los Angeles. During the tumultuous selection process for the lead architect for the Panama California Exposition in late 1910 and early 1911 Gill was busy with the completion of the Miltimore House in South Pasadena (see below) and the first building at the Bishop's School for Girls in La Jolla. He also received bids and broke ground on the National City High School and Bishop's School Auditorium projects (see Part I).

(Click on images to enlarge)
Miltimore House, South Pasadena, Irving Gill, architect, 1911. Gill, Irving, "The Home of the Future: The New Architecture of the West: Small Homes for a Great Country," The Craftsman, May 1916, p. 146. UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

After a concerted lobbying effort headed by the Olmsted brothers, Bertram Goodhue was selected over a greatly disappointed Gill in early February to lead the Exposition's architectural effort. After the Olmsteds, assisted by Elmer Grey and Myron Hunt, were able to open doors for him at the eleventh hour, Goodhue quite impressed the Exposition Board with his considerable Spanish Colonial Revival portfolio, exactly the style they had in mind for the Exposition's architectural theme. They were further dazzled by the eye-catching 1901 publication Spanish-Colonial Architecture in Mexico illustrated with Goodhue's drawings. (Various correspondence in the Panama-California Exposition Digital Archive, Olmsted Papers.). As a consolation prize of sorts Gill was named "Associate Architect" with nebulous duties.

In early September 1911 the Olmsted's resigned from their Exposition commission over an ongoing site-planning dispute with Goodhue and the Exposition's Director of Works Frank Allen("Olmsted Quits in a Huff," Architect and Engineer, November 1911, p. 101). Out of sympathy with Olmsted, Gill's patron and client George Marston also resigned his position as chair of the Exposition’s Buildings and Grounds Committee. By then Gill must have realized that he had been aced out of a position of any significance despite being well-connected to some of the Board members, especially Marston. This coupled with his differences in design philosophy with Goodhue caused him to also cut all ties with the Exposition by the fall of 1911. (Author's note: For the most detailed analysis of Gill's brief involvement with the Exposition see Amero, Richard, "The Question of Irving Gill's Role in the Design of the Administration Building in Balboa Park," San Diego History Center).

Marion Olmsted, date and photographer unknown. From the National Park Service.

Fascinatingly, sometime in March of 1911 Gill was commissioned to design a cottage for the Olmsted brothers' sister Marion for a piece of property she owned at the southeast corner of Randolph and Stockton (now Arbor Dr.) Streets in San Diego's Mission Hills neighborhood. It has not as yet been determined how this commission came about. Perhaps she had met Gill in 1900-01 while he was overseeing the construction of her Uncle Albert's mansion "Wildacre" in Newport, Rhode Island and/or at one of the numerous social events surrounding the planning for the Exposition during the winter of 1910-11. She also may have been introduced to Gill by fellow artist Alice Klauber at a local art opening. In any event the house was never built and the land became the site of the Francis W. Parker School which was founded in 1912.

Marion Olmsted Cottage elevations, Stockton and Hooker Streets, April 1911. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

Marion Olmsted Cottage, 1911, unbuilt. From Gill, Irving J., "The Home of the Future: New Architecture of the West: Small Homes for a Great Country," The Craftsman, May 1916, p. 140. Rendering by Lloyd Wright ca. 1912 as cited in Lloyd Wright, Architect by David Gebhard and Hariette Von Breton, UC-Santa Barbara Art Galleries, 1971, p. 70.

Perhaps Marion received an offer for her property she couldn't refuse from the Parker School founders, Clara Sturges Johnson and her architect husband WilliamTempleton Johnson, themselves recent arrivals to the West Coast. The Johnsons' nieces had attended the original Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, founded eleven years earlier. The Johnsons sought to recreate the same progressive educational environment as the original institution in direct competition with Bishop Joseph H. Johnson's Bishop's School. (Wikiwand). They purchased Marion Olmsted's site in early 1912 where Johnson designed a very Gill-like school on the property (see below). It is extremely ironic that Gill's Olmsted commission went unbuilt and was replaced by a school very similar in size and purpose as his 1909 Bishop's Day School (see more on the Bishop Schools in Part I).

Francis W. Parker School, Hooker and Stockton Streets, San Diego, 1912. William Templeton Johnson, architect. From Lichtman, Ethel Mintzer, "The Zest for Learning: Founding and Early Years of Francis W. Parker School," San Diego History Quarterly, Summer, 1993.

Summer brought the prestigious Timken Residence commission which most likely came about through the largess of Homer Laughlin and/or Harrison Albright as described in Part I of this essay and reiterated below. (See "Timken" in Part I).

Timken Building, 6th and E Streets, San Diego, Harrison Albright, 1909. From San Diego History Center.

Gill likely watched with much interest as yet another Harrison Albright reinforced concrete mega-project took shape in 1908-9 for automobile parts mogul Henry H. Timken, Sr., inventor and patent holder of the tapered roller bearing and many other parts used in the burgeoning automobile industry (see above and below). Ironically, the same week Gill's Laughlin House bids were being received in the Laughlin Building, Albright was also receiving bids in his Laughlin Building office for the 8-story office building at the corner of 6th and E Streets in San Diego for Timken. ("Eight-Story Building to Cost $250,000," LAH, April 12, 1908, p. 8)).

Timken family portrait, ca. early 1900s. Photographer unknown. Seated in front, Henry, Sr. and Fredericka, with their five children. Henry, Jr. back row second from left. From Timken by Bettye H. Pruitt, Harvard Business School Press, 1998, p. 17.

While the Timken Building was under construction Timken's wife Fredericka (see above) passed away in late 1908 followed by Timken himself in early 1909. ("Millionaire Carriage Manufacturer Expires," LAH, March 17, 1909, p. II-2). Frequent San Diego winter visitors, the Timkens led by Henry Timken, Jr., traveled from the Midwest to settle their father's affairs. Henry, Jr. met Albright and through him almost certainly Laughlin and Gill. This ultimately resulted in Timken, Jr. commissioning Gill to design a grand residence at 335 Walnut Ave. around the corner from his father's estate at 3430 4th St. in May or June 1911 (see below). ("Contracts Awarded: San Diego [Timken House]," SWCM, July 1, 1911, p. 11).

Henry Timken, Jr. Residence, 335 Walnut Ave., San Diego, Irving Gill, architect, 1911. From Roorbach, Eloise, "Outdoor" Life In California Houses, As Expressed in the New Architecture of Irving Gill," The Craftsman, July 1913, pp. 435-38.

Henry Timken, Jr. Residence, 335 Walnut Ave., San Diego, Irving Gill, architect, 1911. Ibid.

Gill traveled to Chicago via Los Angeles, Seattle and Minneapolis in June 1911, possibly to go over the plans with Timken. He continued on to New York and his hometown of Syracuse, perhaps for the graduation from the Syracuse University School of Architecture of his nephew Louis who he invited to join his office in San Diego later that year. Contracts were signed and a building permit was issued for the Timken House in early July. (op. cit.). This Gill-Albright-Timken connection would likely have paid dividends to Homer Laughlin, Jr. when he began his automobile production company a few years later (see discussion later below). (Various correspondence in the Panama-California Exposition Digital Archive, Olmsted Papers. "Sunbeams: New Timken Residence on 4th Street between Upas and Walnut," San Diego Union, September 14, 1911).

"Huge Fee for Laying Out Industrial City" LAT, December 23, 1911, p. II-1).

While his brother John and associate partner James Dawson were still engaged with the San Diego Exposition, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. was contacted in Brookline, MA by George A. Damon, pioneering Pasadena city planner and recently appointed Dean at Cal Tech, on behalf of Jared Torrance's Dominguez Land Company. (Letter from Damon to Frederick Olmsted, Jr. June 14, 1911, Torrance Historical Society Olmsted Papers). Electrical engineer Damon had collaborated with Olmsted on the preparation of a report "Pittsburgh Main Thoroughfares and the Down Town District" in 1910. Damon was inquiring as to Olmsted's availability for a trip to Los Angeles to discuss plans for what would become the new Industrial City of Torrance. In late 1911 it was announced that Olmsted had signed a $10,000 contract with the Dominguez Land Company to prepare the site planning and infrastructure specifications for the Torrance project. His preliminary plan was completed by the end of the year. (Ibid and "Modern City Takes Shape," LAT, December 27, 1911, p. II-6). 

"Riverside Portland Cement Co.'s Enlarged Plant" and Olmsted, Frederick Law, "City Planning, Street Platting, Transportation, Building Codes and Grouping," SWCM, January 20, 1912, pp. 10-12.

On January 6, 1912 Olmsted spoke on "City Planning: Street Platting, Transportation, Building Codes and Grouping" at the Los Angeles City Club with Damon and Gill likely in attendance. The talk was excerpted in the January 20th issue of Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer (see above). Coincidentally, across the fold in the same issue Gill likely read with great interest was a feature story on the Riverside Portland Cement Plant where he would be commissioned to design worker's barracks only a few months later (see discussion later below). (Ibid). The article and accompanying ad (see below) highlighted the major projects in Los Angeles and San Diego the company supplied cement for, many of which were designed by Albright.

"A Record in Cement," SWCM, January 20, 1912, p. 27.

Jared Torrance, ca. 1906, photographer unknown. 

LAT, July 21, 1912, p. II-9.

Through the largess of Olmsted, who possibly felt some residual pangs of guilt and regret over his aggressive lobbying for Goodhue in San Diego, Gill was one of five architects including Richard Farquhar, Elmer Grey, Sumner Hunt and Parker O. Wright selected by Olmsted in early 1912 to submit schemes for the general layout for the new city (see above). Tilt-slab construction patent holder Thomas Fellows also lobbied Olmsted strongly for the position. ("Experts to Make Plans for New Industrial City," LAH, February 5, 1912, p. 9. For more on Fellows and his lobbying of Olmsted for the position see my "Irving Gill's First Aiken System Project" (Gill-Aiken)). 

Henry H. Sinclair at the helm of "Lurline." "Contenders In Transpacific Yacht Race, Commanders and Cup," LAH, July 4, 1908, p. 1.

Gill was finally chosen in April by Jared Torrance's Dominguez Land Company General Manager  and former vice-president of the Edison Company, H. H. Sinclair (see above), to head the company's architectural department. The well-connected Sinclair also had close ties to J. D. Spreckels having purchased his yacht "Lurline" in 1903. (Author's note: Spreckels had first "discovered" San Diego while sailing the Lurline into San Diego Bay in 1887 on a pleasure cruise.) (San Francisco: Its Builders Past and Present, Chicago 1913, Vol. I, pp. 12-17. Cited in Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and the Skyscraper by Donald Hoffmann, Dover, 1998, p. 88, n. 4).

Sinclair had also hired Ralph Bennett as Chief Engineer to design and construct the public works infrastructure needed to fulfill Olmsted's plan. Gill would have especially relished being chosen over Elmer Grey if he was aware of the role he played in Goodhue's selection over him for the San Diego Exposition. (For example, Letter from Elmer Grey to Bertram Goodhue, January 4, 1911). (Author's note: Like Sinclair Jared Torrance was also a former vice-president of Edison Electric which later merged to become part of Southern California Edison. Gill's 1910 client Frederick Lewis also later became a Southern California Edison vice-president. Coincidentally, by then having become Edison's Los Angeles District Superintendent, Lewis was most likely involved in providing power to the new city of Torrance from Edison's Long Beach Steam Plant. ("Electricity a City Builder," Torrance Herald, February 20, 1914, p. 1). Torrance was also a major benefactor of Charles Lummis's Southwest Museum under construction the same time the City of Torrance broke ground. Joining Torrance on the museum's board of trustees were Gill clients Homer Laughlin, Jr. and Bishop Johnson. Lummis's Landmarks Club had earlier commissioned Hebbard and Gill to perform emergency restoration work on the San Diego Mission.).

After Gill gave Sinclair and Bennett a tour of his work, most likely the Laughlin and Miltimore Houses, and the more apropos for the workingmen of Torrance, his Lewis Court project, Sinclair wrote to Olmsted of his selection of Gill, 
"After careful study of  the architectural work to be done at Torrance we yesterday appointed Mr. Irving J. Gill, of San Diego, our Consulting and Supervising Architect, which appointment I feel sure will meet with your hearty approval, as I recollect your strong endorsement of his work. I have, in company with Mr. Bennett, personally visited many of the houses built by Mr. Gill and have become quite enthusiastic about his type of construction, especially the interior work. Mr. Gill will give practically his entire time to the work and at a very moderate compensation. He will have an office with us and make his office in Los Angeles. I have advised the other architects, who furnished us sketches in competition, of this appointment and made payment to them in the amount agreed upon. In addition I have written Mr. Farquhar a personal letter explaining more fully than to the others." (Henry H. Sinclair to Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., April 16, 1912. Olmsted Papers, Torrance Historical Society). 
By this time Gill already had under design a railroad depot for the Pacific Electric Railway Company (see above and below). The Los Angeles Times reported, 
"Under the arrangement just perfected [Gill] will have full charge of the architectural work on all the buildings to be erected by the Land Company of Torrance. Mr. Gill has established offices in the Title Insurance Building at Fifth and Spring Streets. At present he is preparing plans for the new railroad station to be erected at Torrance. Among other buildings that are to be built as soon as plans are out are a city building, a hotel, administration building, stores, rooming-houses, and about 100 cottages. The land company is considering the erection of only fireproof buildings, but this plan has not as yet been definitely settled upon." ("Select Architect," LAT, April 28, 1912, p. V-1 and "Building: Station," SWCM, April 13, 1912, pp. 16-17).
Pacific Electric Railway Depot, Torrance, 1912. Irving Gill, architect. From "Torrance, The Modern Industrial City: Being the Tale of To-Day and To-Morrow," West Coast, January 1913, p. 48.

While Gill was negotiating his Dominguez Land Company contract with Sinclair which would keep him busily employed for the next year, Homer Laughlin also commissioned him to prepare landscaping and preliminary site plans for the subdivision of Laughlin Park (see discussion later below). Gill was assisted in the task by fledgling landscape architect Lloyd Wright who was by then in his employ.

Lloyd Wright ca. 1910. From Lloyd Wright: The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr. produced and photographed by Allen Weintraub, Abrams, 1998, p. 232.

Lloyd Wright at Villino Belvedere, Italy, 1910. Photo by Taylor Woolley. From Fici, Fillipo, "Frank Lloyd Wright in Florence and Fiesole, 1909-1910," Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly, Fall 2011, p. 11). 

Lloyd first met Gill the previous August when he and his fellow Wasmuth Portfolio worker and European travel-mate Taylor Woolley proudly paid a visit to Gill's office with the likely intent of selling him a copy of the portfolio on which they had labored so hard. The previous May or June 1911 Lloyd's father had arranged with his periodic draftsman Woolley, who was then back at his home in Utah, a strategically planned West Coast sales trip. Wright armed Woolley with copies of the first volume of the portfolio and a prospectus of same published by Ralph Fletcher Seymour (see below). (Alofsin, p. 92). (Author's note: Seymour would in 1912 also publish Wright's The Japanese Print. Seymour and his wife Harriet also during 1916-18 hosted former Smith College roommates Sophie Pauline Gibling and Marian Da Camara while Harriet and the girls were teaching at the progressive Ravinia School. This led to a lifelong friendship with the Schindlers. For more on the Schindlers-Seymours friendship see my "Chats" and "The Schindlers in Carmel, 1924"). 

Prospectus for Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright (aka Wasmuth Portfolio), Ralph Fletcher Seymour, 1911. (From

Before making his way to Southern California Woolley had likely first visited the Pacific Northwest where former fellow Wright apprentices Andrew Willatzen and Barry Byrne had formed a partnership after leaving Wright's Oak Park Studio and Walter Burley Griffin's Steinway Hall office a few years earlier. This is evidenced by Byrne and Willatzen seeking to buy the second volume of the portfolio upon its release around the end of 1911. (Alofsin, p. 308). (Author's note: As discussed later below, Woolley would go to work for Byrne between 1914 and early 1917 in Walter Burley Griffin's Monroe Building office after he left for Australia with wife Marion Mahony for the Canberra project.).

Irving Gill's San Diego Office between 1908 - 1917, 752 5th St. From Google Maps.

The impressionable architects' sales call at Gill's office (see above) undoubtedly resulted in a wonderful exposure to his post-partnership with Frank Mead modernistic oeuvre not to mention his take on the activities and politics then in play surrounding the Panama California Exposition site planning. In late August Wright summoned Woolley back to Chicago to help with the construction of Taliesin, his new home and studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin on which he began work about the same time Gill started on the Torrance project (see below). (Alofsin, p. 342, n. 52).

Taliesin, fall 1911. Photo by Taylor Woolley. Courtesy University State Historical Society, Taylor Woolley Photograph Collection..

Shortly after the Olmsteds September resignation from the Exposition over the site layout dispute with Goodhue, Lloyd excitedly wrote his father of leaving his Exposition "gardening" job to throw in his lot with his old Adler and Sullivan stablemate Irving Gill. He thought he had little chance for advancement at the Exposition with the Olmsteds no longer in the picture. Unbeknownst to Lloyd was the role his father played in Gill's leaving Adler and Sullivan for San Diego as discussed early in Part I. Lloyd further reported to his Taliesin-preoccupied father on his and Woolley's visit with Gill and his subsequent job offer.
"I therefore went to Architect Gill of this city. Woolley can tell you more of him than I can write. He is a good sound man with ideas and ideals. He is, to say the least, appreciative of your work. ... To the inspiration he gained at that time, he lays a great deal of his success. ... I had a talk with him, a fine talk. The upshot of it was that he would turn over all of his client's landscape work to me, give me a desk in his office, all the material and aids I needed with free reign to handle the matter as I saw fit. With the proviso always...that I receive my pay when I made the department pay. Don't laugh and say that I was a silly ass for taking it up for I am not. I know what lies in this particular job, I know what an opportunity is, and I seized it. I have been in the work head over heels for the last week. I have already had two propositions handed me to lay out and handle and more in view at 10%. ... but I don't get any 10% until the gardens are under construction or near completion which will be sometime next spring. ... I wouldn't let the opportunity slip [by] me without giving it a good six months tryout for anything in the world. It will mean the making of me if I can hang on." (Lloyd Wright to Frank Lloyd Wright, n.d., ca. early September 1911. Frank Lloyd Wright Correspondence, Getty Research Institute and Alofsin, p. 342, n. 52).
Timken House, 4th and Walnut, San Diego, 1911. Irving Gill, architect. From Roorbach, Eloise, "Outdoor Life in California Houses," The Craftsman, July 1913, pp. 435-8.

Not long after going to work for Gill, Lloyd was joined by brother John in the Elk Apartments (see end of Part I). (My Father, p. 61). After a brief stint working for a paving contractor in Portland, Oregon, John made his way south to move in with older brother Lloyd as he was acclimating in Gill's office and perhaps working on the installation of the landscaping for the Timken House then nearing completion (see above). By then Gill's nephew Louis had also made his way to San Diego to go to work for his uncle and lived with him in his personal cottage at 3719 Albatross St. (see below). Lloyd brought his beloved cello to San Diego, John brought his violin and Gill bought a piano for nephew Louis and the three played for hours at a time in Gill's cottage.

Irving Gill Residence, 3719 Albatross St., San Diego, 1908. Photo by author, May 16, 2015.

John aimlessly ran through a series of odd jobs including hawking advertising posters designed by Lloyd. (My Father, p. 61). The nervy nineteen year old soon found employment with the Pacific Building Company as a draftsman where he coincidentally worked on the plans for the Barney House across the street from Gill's house for George Marston (see below). (Seventh Avenue Historic Home Tour, Save Our Heritage Organization, 2010, pp. 18-19). (Author's note: Also working for the same company around this time was Gill's former field superintendent Richard Requa. Gill's influence imbued the work of former employee and partner Frank Mead and his former field superintendent Richard Requa who along with new partner Frank Mead who was briefly Gill's partner in 1907, designed a house next door in 1913 for the Barney's son and daughter-in-law.).

George and Anna Barney House, 3530 7th St., San Diego, Pacific Building Company. (Ibid)..

After a modicum of success repetitiously drawing bungalow elevations he decided to try his hand in a real architectural office. Possibly trading on his name, the then wannabe architect John quickly found menial office boy work with the busy Laughlin Annex architect Harrison Albright in late 1911 (see below). (My Father, p. 63).

Harrison Albright, ca. 1912. Photographer unknown.

Union Building, 2nd and Broadway, San Diego, Harrison Albright, architect. From San Diego History Center.

Albright had opened his San Diego office the year before in the recently completed Union Building he had designed for his best client J. D. Spreckels in 1907-08 (see above).

Various newspaper clippings ca. late December 1911. From Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright's Home of Love and Loss by Ron McCrea, Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2012, p. 122.

Not long after going to work for Albright, the scandal surrounding his father's love affair with Mamah Borthwick and their new love nest Taliesin then under construction in Spring Green, Wisconsin hit the front pages of newspapers across the country including San Diego (see above for example). Likely the main motivation for John and Lloyd migrating to the West Coast was to distance themselves from the steady stream of gossip and negative press surrounding their father's affair. John was deeply concerned for his job upon seeing the headlines on Christmas Eve, 1911. He need not have been concerned as the compassionate Albright immediately set him at ease. John recalled Albright from that point on taking a keener interest and beginning more of a mentoring relationship with him. Over many weekends Albright had John drive them in his Detroit Chalmers out to his Spring Valley ranch east of San Diego which he had purchased in 1909. ("Architect Buys Fine Fruit Ranch," San Diego Union, November 25, 1909, p. 6, My Father, p. 61 and postcard below).

"The Harrison Albright Ranch," postcard from the internet.

I speculate that the Wright brothers moved into one of the two Gill cottages on what is now Robinson Mews (see below) sometime in mid-1912 evidenced by the fact that former Gill partner Frank Mead and draftsman Maury Diggs also lived at the same location in 1907 and 1908 respectively. The 1912 San Diego City Directory also still listed the boys as living at the Elk Apts. (San Diego City Directories for 1907, 1908 and 1912). (Author's note: Gill offered Diggs the rent-free use of the same cottage in 1913 during his headline news Mann Act trial.).

Gill Cottages, 3732-34 1st St. (now Robinson Mews), 1904. From San Diego History Center.

Perhaps one of the Gill landscape projects Lloyd was alluding to in his September 1911 letter to his father was related to Laughlin Park, a planned subdivision of land Homer Laughlin, Sr. began accumulating in 1890 with an initial purchase from James Lick, founder of the Lick Observatory. His holdings eventually grew to 33 acres total and became known as Laughlin Hill situated between Los Feliz Blvd. and Franklin Avenue in Hollywood (see below). Broadway Department Store owner Arthur Letts had purchased the adjacent 70 acres to the east in 1904.

View from Laughlin Hill, 1905. From USC Digital Library.

Sometime in the 1890s Laughlin, Sr. hired noted East Coast landscape architect Nathan F. Barrett to develop a landscape plan which, over a 12-year period, resulted in over 50,000 trees and shrubs being planted on the property. The hundreds of olive trees that were planted were likely obtained through the largess of the Miltimore Ranch in the San Fernando Valley. Laughlin had originally envisioned building a palatial family home on the site but the death of his wife in 1909 altered the plan. In 1911 a still distraught Laughlin, Sr. sold his prized acreage to a syndicate headed by his son who formed the Laughlin Park Company. Laughlin, Sr. passed away on January 13, 1913. (Author's note: A San Diego colleague of Gill's, San Diego horticulturalist Kate Sessions, came to Los Angeles to consult with Barrett during his 1902 Laughlin Hill site visit. "Bennial Notes," LAH, May 9, 1902, p. 9).

"Hollywood Beauty Spot a Landscape Masterpiece," LAH, September 13, 1913, p. 15. Rendering most likely by Lloyd Wright.

Las Casas Grandes, Laughlin Park, Hollywood, April 12, 1912. Irving Gill, architect. Drawing by Lloyd Wright. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

Laughlin, Jr. had a grand vision for subdividing Laughlin Park and commissioned Gill to prepare landscape design and site plans and presentation drawings to help market the property. Gill also authored a lengthy feature story for the Los Angeles Herald describing in detail the history of the property and the landscaping features he, with Lloyd's assistance, was designing to enhance the building sites in the development (see above and below). 

Gill, Irving, "Unique Landscaping for Laughlin Park. Designed by Architect Irving Gill" LAH, August 23, 1913, p. 19.

Laughlin had selected an Italian villa theme for Laughlin Park residences and instructed Gill to implement a complementary landscape design for three "Cascade Vistas" which would enhance the marketability of the building sites (see above and below for example). 
"The architecture probably will be largely what we are accustomed to call Italian, but only because Italian architecture has been developed along lines of fundamentals. In other words, Italian architecture—so called—has had a real reason for doing things, whether from a decorative or practical point of view." (Ibid).
Casas Grandes, Laughlin Park, Hollywood, 1912. Irving Gill, architect. (Rendering by Lloyd Wright?). Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection. I am deeply indebted to Curator Jocelyn Gibbs for sharing this image from Gill's scrapbook.

Out of respect for his father's labor of love, Laughlin directed that Gill's "Vistas" design take special care to minimize disruption to the existing landscape infrastructure created for his father by Barrett. Likely very educational for fledgling landscapist Lloyd, Laughlin also hired Knapp & Woodward, civil and landscape engineers, "to complete a botanical map ... drawn to scale, showing contour lines in every five feet of elevation. It shows the position of every tree and shrub, its size and botanical name." ("Unique Vistas at Laughlin Park," LAH, November 8, 1913, p. 14). 

Las Casas Grandes, Laughlin Park, Hollywood, 1912. Irving Gill, architect. (Rendering by Lloyd Wright?). Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

Development progress at Laughlin Park was well-publicized throughout most of 1913. For example Gill's design philosophy for the residences was quoted in a December article in the Herald  (see below).
“The houses to be built in Laughlin Park will be generally of plaster, fireproof construction, with red tile roofs, this red tile forming a natural and practical medium as it will give another primary color to the landscape, while the white of the houses will heighten the toning of the natural colors," said Irving J. Gill, who has charge of the landscape plans." ("Sewer Connection for Laughlin Park," LAH, December 13, 1913, p. 17).
"Mid Cypress and Hedges," LAT, August 10, 1913, p. VI-1. (Note C. F. Perry Residence at top of hill).

Laughlin Park development activity began in earnest in 1913 with C. F. Perry purchasing one of the 40 original home sites and commissioning architect B. Cooper Corbett to design his Italian villa (see above and below). ("Will Crown Hill; Laughlin Park Home to Follow Italian Villa Type; Grounds to be Elaborately Laid Out," LAT, March 9, 1913, p. VI-1). Perry was likely a close friend of the Laughlins and a fellow Automobile Club member as his motoring exploits were also frequent fodder in the Los Angeles Times. (See for example "Auto Log Kept on Round Trip; Run to San Francisco and Back Interesting," LAT, December 27, 1908, p. VI-2)).

C. F. Perry Residence, 4 Laughlin Park Dr., Laughlin Park, 1914. B. Cooper Corbett, architect. Purchased by Cecil B. De Mille in 1916. From Early Hollywood by Marc Wanamaker and Robert N. Nudelman, Acadia, 1907, p. 90. (Possibly the William J. Dodd Residence in the background also purchased by De Mille in 1920.).

Coincidentally, Corbett had in 1910 completed a palatial home in Berkeley Square for real estate mogul C. Wesley Roberts who had in July of 1912 become one of the financial backers for Gill's Concrete Building and Investment Company discussed later below.

Frederick B. Lewis Residence, 1754 Camino Palmero, Hollywood, B. Cooper Corbett, architect. "Homes Display Individuality," LAT, December 27, 1914, p. VI-1.

The well-connected Corbett would also design a house for earlier-mentioned Gill client Frederick B. Lewis in 1914 (see "Lewis" in Part I). Lewis's rapid rise through the ranks at the Southern California Edison Company and steady income from his Gill-designed Lewis Court units in Sierra Madre enabled the construction of the 12-room, 2-story, $7,000 house at the then tony address of 1754 Camino Palmero in the heart of Hollywood (see upper left above).

William J. Dodd, ca. 1910. From Wikipedia.

Intrigued by all the publicity surrounding the Laughlin Park development shortly after his early 1913 arrival in Los Angeles, architect William J. Dodd (see above) purchased from Homer Laughlin the lot next to Perry's commanding site at the top of the hill and began designing his personal residence. Fellow architect J. Martyn Haenke also bought a prominent lot and perhaps through this connection the two formed a partnership that would last for a couple years. ("Architects Build at Laughlin Park," LAH, September 13, 1913, p. 15. Author's note: Dodd also joined the Los Angeles Athletic Club in 1913 and was one of the foundimg members of the LAAC-affiliated Uplifter's Club for whom he designed a clubhouse in 1921. For much more on the Dodd-Lloyd Wright relationship see my "R. M. Schindler,Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather, Anna Zacsek, Lloyd Wright, Lawrence Tibbett,Reginald Pole, Beatrice Wood and Their Dramatic Circles"(SWMZW)).              

Getting his start in the Chicago office of William LeBaron Jenney six years before Lloyd's father began with Silsbee, Dodd moved to Louisville, Kentucky where he remained until moving to Los Angeles. Dodd was quite familiar with Wright, Sr.'s work as they had exhibited together in the Chicago Architectural Club's 13th annual exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1900. Around the time Dodd and Haenke were buying their lots and forming their brief partnership Frank Lloyd Wright was back from Japan again visiting his sons. Thus it seems quite likely that Gill, Laughlin, Haenke, Dodd and the three Wrights would have discussed Laughlin's vision for Laughlin Park while socializing during the elder Wright's visit. Dodd, FLW and Laughlin also had in common a pottery connection as both Dodd and Wright designed Arts and Crafts vases for Teco Pottery in the early 1900s (see below).

Teco designs by William J. Dodd, Teco Catalog, 1905. From Wikipedia.

Teco Unity Temple design, ca. 1906, by Frank Lloyd Wright. From Wikipedia.

Dodd did not break ground on his residence until July 1914 and completed it in early 1915. Dodd had taken an immediate liking to Lloyd and put the rapidly blossoming designer to work on his estate landscape design after his mid-1914 return from Chicago discussed later below. Lloyd's rendering for same was exhibited in the fifth annual exhibition of the Los Angeles Architectural Club in 1916 (see below). Dodd would continue to involve Lloyd on various other projects between 1914 and 1922. (SWMZW). ("Architects Build at Laughlin Park," LAH, September 13, 1913, p. 15. "Architect to Build," LAH, July 25, 1914, p. 16. "First of Fine Homes Finished," LAT, August 2, 1914, p. V-1. Author's note: Around the time Lloyd was likely installing the landscape for Dodd's home in Laughlin Park he had also prepared landscaping plans for Dodd's Frank Upman House at 401 S. Westmoreland. LAH, December 24, 1914, p. 10). 

Entrance to the Dodd Residence, 5 Laughlin Park Dr., Laughlin Park. Rendering likely by Lloyd Wright. From Grey, Elmer, "Fifth Annual Architecture Exhibit at Los Angeles," Architect and Engineer of California, March 1916, p. 47.

Haenke was completing work on a stately Windsor Square residence for real estate developer Dr. Edwin Janss around the time William J. Dodd arrived in Los Angeles. In October, shortly after Dodd and Haenke purchased their Laughlin Park lots and formed their partnership, they also broke ground on a nearby Windsor Park mansion for Edwin's brother Dr. Peter Janss (see below). Through Dodd's largess his eager protege Lloyd Wright was commissioned by Peter Janss to landscape the grounds of his recently completed estate. 

Lloyd wrote his father after his early 1915 visit to Southern California discussed later below, 
"Again I repeat that it is time to make our exhibition here. I will have a few local gardens of my own to show now. Dodd's, Upman's and Dr. Janss' and I have some ideas in regard to the introduction of plants that might prove valuable in the display of the two phases of the work." (Letter from Lloyd Wright, then in Los Angeles, to FLW, after his return to Taliesin, n.d. but likely ca. June, 1915. Copyright Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation 1990.). 
Dr. Peter Janss Residence, 455 S. Lorraine Blvd., Windsor Square, J. Martyn Haenke and William J. Dodd, architects, 1913-14, Lloyd Wright, landscape architect, 1914. From Paradise Leased.

In 1916 Dodd's Laughlin Park neighbor, C. F. Perry's widow Ada sold her estate to Cecil B. De Mille for the then princely sum of $27,893. (Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille by Scott Eyman). Dodd quickly befriended De Mille and developed strong ties to well-heeled developers and the movie industry through his new neighbor and his Paramount Pictures partner Frank A. Garbutt who was a fellow Los Angeles Athletic Club and Uplifters Club crony.

As previously mentioned in Part I, Garbutt was also a close friend of Homer Laughlin, Sr. through their Automobile Club connections. It was thus most likely through Laughlin and/or Dodd that Lloyd met Garbutt (and possibly De Mille) and was put in charge of Paramount's set design and drafting department for much of 1916-17. (Lloyd Wright, Architect by David Gebhard and Harriette Von Breton, Art Galleries, UC-Santa Barbara, 1971, p. 22). (For much more on the Dodd-Wright relationship see my "SWMZW" and "Firenze Gardens, 5218-5230 Sunset Blvd., William J. Dodd, Architect, 1920"). For much on Garbutt see my "Playa del Rey: Speed Capital of the World, 1910-1913"). 

Cecil B. De Mille family in their Laughlin Park yard ca. 1920. Photographer unknown.

After leasing his house to Charlie Chaplin during 1918, Dodd would also sell his 5,600 sq. ft. home to De Mille in 1920. (Eyman). This enabled the larger-than-life mogul to join the two buildings to create a majestic compound at his egotistical new street address of 2000 De Mille Drive. De Mille in turn commissioned Dodd to remodel the compound for him in 1921 (see below). (For photos of Dodd's remodel for De Mille see California Homes by California Architects by Ellen Leech, California Southland Magazine, Los Angeles, 1922, pp. 12-13). 

De Mille and granddaughter Cecelia in the loggia designed by Dodd connecting the two houses. Photographer unknown, ca. 1940. 

Landscape for Cecil B. De Mille Residence, 2000 De Mille Dr., Laughlin Park, ca. 1914-1921. William J. Dodd, architect, Lloyd Wright, landscape architect. (Leech, p. 13). (See also Lloyd Wright papers, 1920-1978, Box 628, UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library).

Dodd's renovations of his former house for De Mille included new offices, a library, a screening room and guest accommodations and connecting the two houses with an elaborate loggia (see above and below). Dodd bought another nearby Laughlin Park lot and broke ground for his new 2-story, 10-room, $30,000 house at 2 Laughlin Park Dr. (now 5226 Linwood Dr.) in April 1921. Shortly thereafter he began another mansion at 7 Laughlin Park Dr. (now 5235 Linwood Dr.) for real estate and automobile sales mogul Kenneth Preuss. Both Dodd and Preuss commissioned Lloyd to design their extensive landscape plans. ("[Preuss] Residence," SWBC, July 8, 1921, p.19. "Erecting Home of Unusual Design in Foothill Tract," LAT, December 18, 1921, p. V-1. Author's note: Lloyd would in 1922 begin design and break ground on a house for Martha Taggart, the mother of his close friend Reginald Pole's wife Helen, a few blocks to the west of Laughlin Park. For much more on the love triangle of Lloyd Wright, Helen Taggart and her first husband Reginald Pole see my "SWMZW." By 1923 architect Carleton Winslow had also designed his personal residence at 11 Laughlin Park Dr. .

De Mille Compound, 2000 De Mille Dr., Laughlin Park, ca. 1921. From

Despite certainly having high hopes for commissions from clients wealthy enough to purchase lots in Laughlin Park, Gill's aspirations would go unrealized. Ironically Lloyd would gain much more out of the Laughlin Park connection via his landscaping commissions from Dodd, set design work for Garbutt's and De Mille's Paramount Pictures and the associated connections this provided to spur his budding career. (See for example my "Tina Modotti, Lloyd Wright and Otto Bollman Connections,1920").  

Concurrent to the Laughlin Park landscape design work in the spring of 1912, Gill was selected to be the chief architect for Jared Torrance's Dominguez Land Company's new Industrial City of Torrance as described in his 1913 Press Reference Library bio below.
"In the early part of 1912 Mr. Gill was chosen by the Dominguez Land Company, a great California corporation, to design and supervise the construction of a model industrial city. This town, known as Torrance, lies near Los Angeles, California, and will be made up of factories of various description, administration buildings and all that goes to make an ideal manufacturing or industrial city, in one division, while another is set aside as the residence section and will be made up of the homes, schools, library, parks, children's playgrounds; the whole having paved streets and every modern facility, which will add to the convenience, beauty and sanitation of the place. 
Mr. Gill has devoted himself to this work to the exclusion of practically everything else, although he conducts his offices in San Diego and holds commissions for many important structures in various parts of Southern California." ("Irving Gill," Press Reference Library, Notables of the West, Vol. I, International News Service, 1913, p. 571 (PRL)).
"Firm to Handle Vast Properties: Will be Selling Agents for Torrance," LAT, September 1, 1912, p. VI-5.

"Irving J. Gill, the architect in charge is using concrete mission types in the construction and plans a white city for the residence and business portions of the "tailor made town.” ("Torrance "Tailor Made Town" Nearly Ready," LAH, August 31, 1912, p. 1). 

Pacific Electric Railway Depot flanked by the El Roi Tan Hotel and Murray Hotels. Depot still exists in altered state.

Irving Gill buildings, Torrance, From Bennett, Ralph, "The Industrial City of Torrance, California," Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, October 30, 1913, p. 871.

Torrance Elementary School, 1824 Cabrillo Ave., 1913. Still exists in altered state. From Kamerling, p. 

Ca. 1913 postcard depicting Irving Gill's Brighton and Colonial Hotel buildings on Cabrillo Avenue.

Gill's Brighton Hotel Building on the left above at the northwest corner of Cravens and Cabrillo Avenues still exists in an altered state. Continuing north, Gill's Colonial Hotel, located at the southwest corner of Gramercy and Cabrillo, also still exists in a similarly altered state. Off in the distance is Gill's El Roi Tan and/or Murray Hotel (both no longer existing) across Cabrillo from his still existing Pacific Electric Railway Depot not visible on the right.

Hendrie Rubber Company Plant. From Kamerling, p. 93.

Besides the commercial buildings, hotels and train depot in the new city's central core Gill also designed two factory buildings in its easterly industrial district. The Hendrie Tire Factory and Fuller Shoe Factory both began operation in 1913 (see above and below).

From Bartlett, Dana W., "An Industrial Garden City," American City, October, 1913, pp. 310-314.


The above plot plan intended for one of Torrance's new residential blocks expanded upon Gill's Lewis Court project's use of communal space to improve the quality of life of the worker's families. Building the houses around the perimeter of the block freed up more communal area in the center for families to co-mingle and their children to play. City Beautiful Movement protagonist Dana Bartlett reported on Lloyd's landscape activity, "The fact that the company has planted 100,000 street trees, eucalyptus, acacia, pepper, and palm will assure the perfect forestation of the city." (Ibid).


"Designs by Mr. Irving J. Gill," in Concrete Cottages edited by Albert Lakeman, Concrete Utilities Bureau, London, 1918, p. 145. 

In a lengthy article in the Los Angeles Herald as Torrance work reached a fever pitch, Gill discussed in great detail his earlier Lewis Court utopian design philosophy he was now adapting for his Torrance workingmen's cottages (see above and below). In the below excerpt he explained,
"Suppose we are planning to build three or four houses in a row, each on its own lot. The old way was to build each without respect to the construction of the house next door. Under the new plan, the Torrance plan if you choose, each house ... is built, say, on the south property line, with its "blind" side to the south. Along this side of the house, in the front room, we will put our fireplace with stained glass, opaque window lights. This gives light into the house but does not permit any espionage by neighbors. Back of the living room, and still on the south side, let us place the bathroom. In that bathroom we will put a skylight, that can be opened to the light and air. What is the result of building a series of houses after this plan? Each house has its blind side, but each house also has an open side that is absolutely private. It Is toward this open side that the dining room and bedrooms are faced in order that they may be kept open and fresh without danger of intrusion on the part of inquisitive neighbors." ("Model Houses Being Built at City of Torrance; All Are of Concrete and Have Many Unusual Construction Features," LAH, July 12, 1912, p. 5).
"Designs by Mr. Irving J. Gill," in Concrete Cottages edited by Albert Lakeman, Concrete Utilities Bureau, London, 1918, p. 146. 

In a visit to the new city by Jared Torrance's Pasadena cronies, Gill's concrete houses for workingmen "especially attracted their attention." ("Laud Torrance, City Industry," LAT, April 25, 1913, p. II-5). As discussed elsewhere herein, Gill had visions of building hundreds of units employing his new Aiken System equipment. (Gill-Aiken). The designs were clearly ahead of their time and did not meet with the average buyer's approval, thus the avant-garde simplicity of Gill's houses coupled with a serious economic downturn in 1913-14 resulted in only about 20 of the units being built. 

Aerial photo of Torrance ca. 1920.

Gill turned selected Torrance landscaping projects over to Lloyd. The beautification of the city was described in detail in a December 21, 1913 Los Angeles Times article. ("Glimpses of Modern Industrial City of Torrance," LAT, December 21, 1913, pp. VI-2)Incorporating what he had learned from the Olmsteds in Boston, San Diego and Torrance and from Nathan Barrett's and Gill's Laughlin Park work, Lloyd eagerly involved himself with the design and planting of thousands of flowering shrubs and shade trees along the fledgling city's streets, a central park and eucalyptus tree wind breaks along the south and west ends of the city (see above). (See also "Torrance to Be one of the Most Beautiful Cities in World," Torrance Herald, February 6, 1914, p. 1). 

Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge, Torrance, Ralph Bennett, designer, 1914.

Like the entrance bridge to the Panama-California Exposition, the above iconic Southern Pacific Railroad bridge has been erroneously attributed to Gill. The bridge has even received landmark status citing Gill as the architect. The errors can be attributed to Esther McCoy's pioneering writings on Gill in 1958 (Irving Gill, 1870-1936, Los Angeles County Museum exhibition catalog, p. 34) and 1960 (Five California Architects, p. 86). The Torrance bridge was designed by Torrance Chief Engineer Ralph Bennett in 1914. ("Concrete Bridge Begun at Torrance," LAH, May 16, 1914, p. 15. For more Gill mythology initiated by McCoy see my "Gill-Aiken" and "Selected Publications of Esther McCoy, Patron Saint and Myth Maker for Southern California Architectural Historians").

"Spreckels Brothers Commercial Co., Agents: Riverside Portland Cement," SWCM, June 1, 1912.

"Spreckels Brothers Commercial Co., Agents: Riverside Portland Cement," SWCM, August 5, 1911, p. 37.

By 1911-12 Harrison Albright's client John D. Spreckels and his brother Adolph and their Spreckels Brothers Commercial Co. were acting as agents for the Riverside Portland Cement Co. (see above). This possibly provided the connection for Gill to obtain the commission for barracks for the company's workers around May or June of 1912. 

Rendering for the Riverside Portland Cement workers barracks by Lloyd Wright, ca. July 1912.

This was an extremely busy time for Gill as the work at Torrance had by mid-1912 ramped up to a peak. He was also frantically trying to incorporate and organize his Concrete Building and Investment Company. Evidenced by Lloyd Wright's above rendering for Gill's original design for the Riverside worker's barracks, he had envisioned using his newly purchased Aiken System equipment to construct side-by-side connected, flat-roofed, concrete compounds, the sides of which would form continuous rectangular walls,enclosing central communal gardens reminiscent of his Lewis Court project in Sierra Madre.

Riverside Portland Cement Worker's Barracks, Crestmore, 1912, Irving Gill, architect. Lloyd Wright, landscape architect. From Kamerling, p. 98.

Likely due to not being able to organize his equipment in timely fashion and also the company seemingly wanting to reduce costs, Gill quickly redesigned the project to a more utilitarian pitched roof wooden compound with a shaded pavilion in the central garden, again along the lines of Lewis Court (see above and below). Gill's first Aiken System project would not come to fruition until early the following year. (Gill-Aiken).

Riverside Portland Cement Worker's Barracks, Garden Pavilion, Crestmore, 1912, Irving Gill, architect. Lloyd Wright, landscape architect. From Kamerling, p. 99.

In addition to the Torrance, Laughlin Park, and Riverside projects Gill also put Lloyd to work on the landscape drawings for the Alice Lee and Katherine Teats houses at Albatross and Upas Streets just three blocks directly south of his Robinson Mews cottages (see below). 

Alice Lee Property Landscape Plan drawn by Lloyd Wright, landscape architect, July 1912. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

Alice Lee Property Landscape Elevation drawn by Lloyd Wright, landscape architect, July 27, 1912. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

Katherine Teats Cottage, Albatross, Irving Gill, architect, 1913. Rendering by Lloyd Wright. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

Lloyd's rendering for the Teats cottage (see above) was clearly inspired by Marion Mahony's Wasmuth Portfolio rendering for FLW's 1905 Hardy Residence in Racine, Wisconsin (see below). (Author's note: Mahony's future husband Walter Burley Griffin likely designed the landscape, the plans for which Lloyd would soon be studying after his brief return to Chicago with brother John in late 1913 and early 1914. Barry Byrne had also returned to Chicago in February 1914 to take over Walter Burley Griffin's practice and would have permitted Lloyd to study the Griffin's projects.). (Alofsin, Appendix A: Chronology, 19 September 1913 - Staff at Wright's Chicago Office: sons John and Lloyd, and Harry Robinson. Offices at 600-610 Orchestra Hall).

Hardy House, Racine, Wisconsin, 1905. From Wasmuth Portfolio, Plate XV(c).

Katherine Teats Cottage and mature landscape, Albatross Street and Upas, Irving Gill, architect, Lloyd Wright, landscape architect, 1913. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

Alice Lee and Katherine Teats Cottages, Albatross Street, Irving Gill, architect, 1913. Photo ca. 1913-14. From San Diego History Center.

During this period Lloyd also worked on the unbuilt O'Kelley project and produced the below rendering. (As cited in Lloyd Wright, Architect by David Gebhard and Hariette Von Breton, UC-Santa Barbara Art Galleries, 1971, p. 70).

O'Kelly House, 1st and Olive, San Diego, unbuilt, Irving Gill, architect, 1912. Rendering by Lloyd Wright ca. 1912. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection. 

Grace Fuller Residence, Glencoe, Illinois, 1906. From Plate XL, Wasmuth Portfolio, scanned from Frank Lloyd Wright: Drawings and Plans of Frank Lloyd Wright: The Early Period (1983-1909), Dover, 1983. Rendering attributed to Marion Mahony Griffin by H. Allen Brooks in his "Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wasmuth Drawings," Art Bulletin, June 1966, p. 202.

It was sometime in the spring of 1912 that Albright entrusted the eager John with a residential commission for Mrs. M. J. Wood in Escondido. Albright usually did not take on such menial commissions but with Mrs. Wood's permission turned over the assignment to his eager apprentice. (My Father, p. 66). For his inspiration John used his father's design for the Grace Fuller Residence in Glencoe, Illinois which was included in the Wasmuth Portfolio certainly then in the brother's possession. Lloyd also possibly assisted in producing he watercolor presentation drawing for the project (see below).

Mrs. M. J. Wood House, 455 E. 5th St., Escondido, Harrison Albright, architect, John Lloyd Wright, designer, 1912. (Van Zanten, Ann, p. 45).

Exhilarated by every aspect of the experience of designing and building his first project John committed to a career in architecture and began beseeching his father for an apprenticeship. On July 4, 1912 he wrote:
"Now that I have charge of Harrison Albright's San Diego office - I will ask you, probably for the last time, for a position with you. 
1st, Because you are my father. 
2nd, I admire your architecture. 
3rd, Because I am and will be able to help you." (Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and the Skyscraper by Donald Hoffmann, Dover, 1998, p. 48).
Writing again to his seemingly uninterested father on July 19th he possibly piqued his interest with:
"Mr. Albright has over a million dollars worth of work under construction in San Diego at the present time and his Theater Bldg., 6 stories high, covering nearly a square block, will be finished by the middle of month. His work is reinforced concrete and he takes nothing under $100,000. I am sending a few pictures of our little house. (Mr. Gill's work)." (Ibid).
Caroline Severance and Ella Giles Ruddy, ca. 1906.

Gill and Lloyd were extremely busy with the Torrance project through the rest of 1912 and early 1913. In November of 1912 Gill obtained another commission through his Laughlin-Albright pipeline, a house for feminist activist and socialite Ella Giles Ruddy (see above) and her husband George. Ruddy traveled in the same women's club circles as Homer Laughlin, Jr.'s wife Ada and lived right around the corner from Harrison Albright across the street from Sunset (now Lafayette) Park. (For much more on this Gill commission see my "Ella Giles Ruddy House, 241 N. Western Ave., Irving Gill,Architect, 1913" (Ruddy)). 

Bungalow Home of Mrs. George D. Ruddy, 241 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles. Irving J. Gill, Architect, 1913. (Ibid). (Author's note: I have not as yet been able to determine whether the landscaping for this project was by Lloyd Wright.).

The Ruddys most likely met Gill through Homer and Ada Laughlin and/or through Laughlin Bldg. Annex designer and tenant Harrison Albright. Ada was a fellow prominent club woman and both of the Ruddys at times had offices in the Laughlin Building. George had a real estate brokerage office in the building as did Ella while she was secretary of the Humane Animal League of Los Angeles. (Gill-Laughlin, Part I).

"The Studio-Home of Frank Lloyd Wright," Architectural Record, January 1913, pp. 45-54.

Before leaving with Mamah Borthwick for Tokyo to secure the Imperial Hotel commission  in January 1913, Wright was able to place a 10-page spread of their love nest Taliesin in the Architectural Record which would have been studied closely in architectural offices across the country. After missing the boat the couple stopped over in Los Angeles to visit Lloyd and John. ("Personal Notes," SWCM, January 25, 1913, p. 10). 

Gill and Albright would certainly have discussed Taliesin at great length with Lloyd and John. If the issue had hit the stands while their father was in town they all would have discussed it together while getting a whirlwind tour of Gill's and Albright's work. The brothers would seemingly have had mixed feelings, great pride in their father's stunning masterpiece which they would here more about from him later that year and a feeling of loss knowing that a reconciliation of their parents was now highly unlikely. 

Left, Sarah B. Clark Residence, 7231 Hillside Ave., and right, Myra N. Brochon Residence, 7235 Hillside Ave., Hollywood, 1913. Irving Gill, architect. Landscape design likely by Lloyd Wright. "Pre-Cast Walls for the Concrete House," Keith's Magazine, October 1917, pp. 223-225.

The same month Wright and Borthwick left for Japan Gill received commissions to design two adjacent residences on Hillside Dr. in Hollywood for Sarah B. Clark and Myra N. Brochon. The Clark Residence would be the first to be built with Gill's recently acquired Aiken System "tilt-slab" equipment. Ground was broken on both houses in February and both were completed in late May by the time Wright returned from Japan. ("Gill-Aiken").

In the meantime feeling snubbed by his father over his earlier apprenticeship request, the eager John appealed to one of Gill's European idols Otto Wagner for a spot in his Viennese atelier. This was about the same time his father's Wasmuth Portfolio was being discovered by Wagner, Adolf Loos and their students and followers including R. M. Schindler and Richard Neutra. (Alofsin, n. 142, p. 339).

John excitedly wrote:
"Mr. Otto Wagner, Architect
Vienna, Austria 
Most Honorable Sir, 
Your esteemed address I received from my father Frank Lloyd Wright, and allow me at this time to ask you if you have a position open in your highly respected house. 
I am 21 years old, have a few years of practical experience in architecture and would gladly be prepared to send you drawing(s) or photographs, which will give you a sense of my abilities. 
Respectfully yours,
John Lloyd Wright
March 30, 1913" (Alofsin, n. 141, p. 339).
John fondly remembered Wagner's prompt reply "... come on..." Buoyed by Wagner's acceptance he proudly sent his father photos of the Wood House and Workingmen's Hotel rendering and asked for help in buying a ticket to Vienna. Wright telegraphed back from Japan or San Francisco: "Meet me in Los Angeles in two weeks ... I'd like to know what Otto Wagner can do for you that your own father can't do!" (My Father, p. 67). 

Francis Barry Byrne, ca. 1913, possibly in Los Angeles. From Alfonso Iannelli: Modern by Design by David Jameson, Top Five Books, 2013, p. 98 (hereinafter Jameson)

During this exciting formative period in their lives the Wright brothers were joined in February 1913 by their father's former Oak Park apprentice Barry Byrne (see above). Since leaving Wright's studio in 1908 Byrne had spent a year in fellow former Wright employee Walter Burley Griffin's Steinway Hall office. His next three years were spent in partnership with another fellow Wright apprentice Andrew Willatzen in Seattle producing Wright-inspired Prairie Style residential architecture. Perhaps John had connected with the duo in the Pacific Northwest before joining Lloyd in San Diego in the fall of 1911.

Los Angeles Trust and Savings Building, 6th and Spring Sts., Parkinson and Bergstrom, 1911. From Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

By the time Byrne arrived in Southern California the Wright Brothers and Gill were spending much more time in Los Angeles than San Diego. Barry decided to try his luck in Los Angeles and opened an office in Room 807 of Parkinson and Bergstrom's Trust and Savings Building (see above). His office was next door to the architectural offices of the brothers Ross and Mott Montgomery whom quickly became fast friends with Byrne and the Wrights. (Author's note: Mott Montgomery would serve as Lloyd's best man during his November 1916 wedding to Kirah Markham. (SWMZW)).

Jean Hotel, 840 S. Flower St. From Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

Byrne found an apartment in the Jean Hotel 9see above) about a block away from Gill's soon-to-be 913 S. Figueroa office-residence (see below). (Los Angeles City Directory 1913). John and/or Lloyd possibly roomed with Byrne for much of their 1913 time in Los Angeles. The fun-loving trio began spending a lot of time at the nearby Orpheum Theater (see two below) where they were destined to meet young designer and graphic artist Alfonso Iannelli. Iannelli was commissioned to design the transom window over the Orpheum's main entrance at 633 S. Broadway (see three below).

Irving Gill Residence at 913 S. Figueroa St. (center left of church). Courtesy Los Angeles, Cal. : Birdseye View Pub. Co., [1909].

Orpheum Theater, 633 S. Broadway, G. Albert Landsburgh, architect, Carl Leonardt, contractor, 1911. Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

Main entrance transom window, Alfonso Iannelli, 1912. Jameson, p. 14. Also included in Yearbook: Los Angeles Architectural Club: Fourth Exhibition, 1913.

Clarence Drown. Press Reference Library, Vol. I, International News Service, 1913, p. 349. (Author's note: The portraits and bios of Gill, Miller, Shoup, Carl Leonhardt and Homer Laughlin and others in their circle were all included in this edition of the Press Reference Library.)

Construction progress was closely followed by the local press during 1911. Theater manager Clarence Drown (see above) carefully orchestrated the Orpheum's move from its old location at 227 S. Spring St. into its magnificent new building. ("Drown Genius of New Orpheum," LAT, June 11, 1911, p. III-1). The old building then became the site of the Lyceum Theatre (see below) also under Drown's management. Drown was also one of the founding members of the Gamut Club of which Gill around this time also became a member. ("Where Melody Abounds," Pacific Outlook, October 27, 1906, pp. 13-16). PRL, p. 571

Lyceum Theater Building (formerly the Los Angeles Theater and the Orpheum), 227 S. Spring St., F. J. Capitain and J. Lee Burton, architects, 1888. Interior remodeled by John Parkinson, 1903.

Alfonso and Margaret Iannelli, Chicago, 1916. Wikipedia via Chicago Daily News - Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-0003451. Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society.

Coincidentally and possibly through Drown's largess, Iannelli moved his studio from 257 S. Broadway into the Lyceum Building sometime in 1912 shortly before he met Byrne and the Wrights (see above and below). Iannelli was then living at 715 S. Hope St. about a block away from Byrne's apartment and two blocks from Gill. (1913 Los Angeles City Directory).

Iannelli Studios business card, Jameson, p. 50.

Orpheum Theater lobby with Iannelli posters on display, 1912. Jameson, p. 12.

The Wrights and Byrne were immediately drawn to the modernist posters of Vaudeville performers Drown commissioned Iannelli to design for the Orpheum lobby showcases (see above and below). John and Lloyd would soon introduce their Oak Park Studio friend Barry and new friend Iannelli to Gill who would also happily mentor the new additions to this auspicious group of rapidly blooming designers.

Sarah Bernhardt, Orpheum Theater, March 1913. Jameson, p. 17.

Hamburger Department Store, 8th and Broadway, 1909. Alfred F. Rosenheim, architect. Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

The same month Byrne arrived in Los Angeles the Los Angeles Architectural Club was holding its annual exhibition on the fourth floor of the Hamburger Department Store Building at 8th and Broadway (see above). The then largest department store west of the Mississippi was designed by Alfred F. Rosenheim who was also past president of the Los Angeles Architectural Club, the Fine Arts League of Los Angeles and the Architectural League of the Pacific Coast. The prize-winning poster for the exhibition was designed by Iannelli's partner James Frederick Rudy (see above).

Exhibition Poster designed by James Frederick Rudy, Yearbook: Los Angeles Architectural Club: Fourth Exhibition, 1913.

James Frederick Rudy, Iannelli's first partner, in the Iannelli Studios at 221 1/2 S. Spring St. Jameson, p. 50.

A selection of Iannelli's sculpture and Orpheum posters were on display, some of which were also included in the exhibition catalog (see above and below). Iannelli's early sculpture was inspired by Rodin's work as taught by his now legendary teacher at the Art Students' League in New York, Gutzon Borglum. One of the above maquettes, "Spring," was awarded the Saint-Gaudens prize for sculpture in the 1908 Art Student's League show. (Jameson, p. 10).  An active member and previous exhibitor, Gill also had work exhibited as did Albright, Hebbard and Byrne's and Lloyd's soon-to-be friends the Montgomery brothers. Gill would certainly have attended the exhibition, possibly accompanied by his new group of followers.

"A Fountain by Iannelli," Yearbook: Los Angeles Architectural Club: Fourth Exhibition, 1913.

Young John may have seen something in the show that sparked inspiration for the new project J. D. Spreckels had just commissioned Albright to begin work on, i. e., his Workingmen's Hotel in downtown San Diego (see below). Parkinson and Bergstrom's rendering for a commercial building in Los Angeles bears a striking resemblance (see below) to the project Albright entrusted John to begin work on about this time.

Commercial Building, Spring Street, Parkinson and Bergstrom, architects. Yearbook: Los Angeles Architectural Club: Fourth Exhibition, 1913.

El Roi Tan and Murray Hotels flanking the Pacific Electric Railway Depot, February 9, 1913. Irving Gill, architect. Courtesy of Torrance,  Torrance Historical Society.

John was also likely aided in this effort by brother Lloyd's access to Gill's plans for the concrete hotel buildings (see above) recently completed for the industrial City of Torrance which he would have also closely observed during trips to Los Angeles with Lloyd. The below rendering which appeared in the June 21st issue of SWCM includes at the upper corners sculptural elements designed Iannelli. (See also Jameson, p. 58).

Workingmen's Hotel, 720 4th Ave., San Diego, 1913. Harrison Albright, architect, John Lloyd Wright, designer. "The Proposed Workingmen's Hotel in San Diego," SWCM, June 21, 1913, pp. 8-9).

Iannelli and John were by then close friends and familiar enough with each other's work to enable this artistic and architectural collaboration. John had to have also convinced Albright of Iannelli's talent if his boss had not seen his work on display at the February Architectural Club exhibition. Iannelli's recollection was that he first met John Wright when he called on Albright to inquire about a possible commission for some sculptural work for the Spreckels Organ Pavilion at the Panama California Exposition (see below). (Jameson, p. 51. For the best version of the Wright-Byrne-Iannelli meeting see Barry Byrne, John Lloyd Wright: Architecture and Design by Sally Kitt Chappell and Ann Van Zanten, Chicago Historical Society, 1982, pp. 11, 43-44. For much more on Iannelli see my "100 Years Ago Today: Robert Henri, Alice Klauber and Irving Gill Connections, April 25, 1915".

Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, 1914. Harrison Albright, architect, sculptural elements by Alfonso Iannelli.

John D. Spreckels, ca. 1912-13. Photographer unknown. From San Francisco: Its Builders Past and Present, Chicago, 1913.

Spreckels liked Iannelli's work enough to commission a bust which he worked on while Spreckels was in Los Angeles conferring with Albright on their numerous projects. During the sessions, 
"Mr. Albright and Mr. Spreckels would be discussing the new projects on which they were working, and also as to whether they would be a successful venture and their guide was the timing of these new buildings to the astrological positions of the stars. The constellation Leo seemed to be a good time to start, and the work would probably be finished the next year at the time of Virgo. I listened in amazement that these two grown up men could discuss such projects and such large expenditures of money and having astrology guide their moves." (Jameson, pp. 51-52).
Byrne also received his first and only known Los Angeles commission around the same time John began work on the Spreckels' Workingmen's Hotel. Presaging his numerous future projects for the Catholic Church, the project was for the design of a three building compound for the Church-affiliated Brownson House Settlement Association on Church property between Pleasant and Pennsylvania Avenues near Brooklyn Ave. in Boyle Heights. It is not hard to imagine Byrne drawing inspiration from John and Lloyd's copy of the Wasmuth Portfolio for his Prairie-Style compound (see below)..

"Noble Philanthropy Now Taking Shape, LAT, May 18, 1913, p. VI-4.

The site had been recently acquired for the settlement house compound by Bishop Conaty whom fellow Irishman Byrne would likely have met. A period article described the compound:
"Francis Barry Byrne, 807 Trust & Savings Bldg., is preparing plans for a group of three social settlement buildings to be erected on Pleasant Ave., near Brooklyn Ave., for the Brownson House Association. The main building will be l-story with high basement and will contain a chapel, an auditorium seating about 300, club rooms, bowling alley and shower baths. Dimensions 35x15 ft. There will be a 2-story residence for settlement workers containing twelve rooms and bathroom; dimensions 38x60 ft. The priest's residence will be 1-story and will contain six rooms and bath. The building will be frame construction with exterior plastered on metal lath, shingle roofs, pine trim, hardwood and pine floors, furnace heat in each building, automatic water heaters, electric wiring. Contractors to bid on work selected." ("Social Settlement Buildings," Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, May 17, 1913, p. 14. For more on this see my "Brownson House Settlement Association Compound, BoyleHeights, Francis Barry Byrne, Architect, 1913").
After sailing back to San Francisco from Japan with the commission for the Imperial Hotel in hand in May-June of 1913, Wright and Borthwick again made a side trip to Los Angeles and San Diego to visit John and Lloyd and discuss their possible apprenticeships back in Chicago. ("Hotel News," San Francisco Call, June 8, 1913, p. 34).

The boys reconnected their father with the then very busy Gill, introduced him to Albright and proudly gave him in-depth tours of their projects in Los Angeles and San Diego. They also seemingly would have visited Byrne's office and been shown his plans for the Brownson commission. Wright and Borthwick might also have been taken to see a performance or two at the boys new hangout, the Orpheum Theater, where Iannelli's client Clarence Drown was the manager and/or the Gamut Club where he was one of the founders and Gill had recently become a member.

Gill and Lloyd would certainly have shown fellow auto lover Wright Homer Laughlin Jr.'s house and garage, his father's garage, Laughlin Park, and the Laughlin Building where Laughlin's and Albright's offices were located. They also would have shown him the Miltimore Residence, Lewis Court, the Torrance projects, the just completed Clark and Brochon Houses, the Sherman Flats in Echo Park (see below) and Albright's neighbor Ella Giles Ruddy's new house on Western Ave. (see earlier above).

Sherman Flats, Lemoyne St. and Park Ave., Echo Park, 1913, Irving Gill, architect. Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

Citizen's National Bank Building, southwest corner of Third and Main Sts., 1906, Harrison Albright, architect. Photographer unknown, ca. 1913. Courtesy California Historical Society, USC Digital Collection. 

They also seemingly would have visited Gill's Concrete Building and Investment Company office in the Harrison Albright-designed Citizen's National Bank Building (see above and below) where he was then involved with his first Aiken System projects, the recently completed Clark House, the then under construction Powers Flats and the Mary Banning House, yet another prestigious commission received via the largess of the Laughlins. (Gill-Aiken).

Concrete Building and Investment Co. ad, LAH, September 21, 1912.

It seems plausible that Homer Laughlin, Gill and Albright would have arranged some social events for Wright and Mamah including selected Gill clients such as the Bannings, Miltimores and especially the Ruddys. For example, the progressive club woman and feminist Ella Giles Ruddy was also president of the Los Angeles Wisconsin Badgers Club, the Equal Suffrage League and vice-president of the Los Angeles LaFollette for President Club. She was also a frequent contributor to LaFollette's Magazine("LaFollette Friends Organize Club Here," LAH, March 2, 1912, p. 1 and Ruddy. Author's note: Coincidentally Robert LaFollette's three children attended the Hillside School in Spring Green with Lloyd and John Wright.). 

Ruddy and fellow woman's activist Mamah Borthwick and Wright would have had much in common to discuss over dinner. University of Wisconsin graduate and prominent suffragette Ruddy published numerous articles on Scandinavia and Ibsen during her time in Chicago. It is also seemingly a certainty that she would have absorbed Borthwick's translations of the work of Swedish feminist and fellow suffragette Ellen Key while in Europe while Wright was working on the Wasmuth Portfolio with Taylor Woolley and Lloyd.

Love and Ethics by Ellen Key, translated by Mamah Bouton Borthwick and Frank Lloyd Wright, Ralph Fletcher Seymour, Chicago, 1912.

Wright prevailed upon his Fine Arts Building publisher friend Ralph Fletcher Seymour to publish Borthwick's translations of Keys' The Morality of Women, Love and Ethics and The Torpedo Under the Ark: Ibsen and Women after their return from Europe in 1911 (see above for example). There were numerous reviews of, and lectures on Key's work advertised in the Los Angeles press in 1911-12 which Ruddy would have been privy to and likely attended. Perhaps Ruddy had even discussed with Lloyd and/or Gill while he was designing and completing her house the relationship between Wright and Borthwick just before their arrival in Los Angeles. (For more on the Schindlers-Seymours friendship see my "Chats" and "The Schindlers in Carmel, 1924").

Besides a tour of Gill's and Albright's work in San Diego, Wright and Mamah might have been introduced to like-minded clients such as Alice Klauber, George Marston, Ellen Scripps and J. D. Spreckels. Besides viewing Albright's downtown buildings for Spreckels and Gill's impressive La Jolla work, they were likely taken to Balboa Park to view the construction status of the Panama California Exposition and may have visited Albright's ranch. Louis Gill recollected Wright's remarking during his visit to the San Diego office and observing a beehive of activity underway with Gill's secretary, six draftsmen and field superintendent, "Well, this looks like an architect's office." (Hines, p. 163 and note 9, p. 269).

San Francisco Call Building rendering, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1913. (Museum of Modern Art).

Wright's time spent with son John and Albright resulted in a speculative preliminary design and model for a new skyscraper for J. D. Spreckels' San Francisco Call newspaper (see above). Albright possibly introduced Spreckels to Wright and seemingly thought that through his intervention he could interest Speckels in Wright's more modernistic design than the one recently proposed by the Spreckels family San Francisco architects of choice, the Reid Brothers. The Reid Brothers' preliminary Romanesque design was featured on the front page of the Call two months earlier (see below). 

"Great Building for the Call," San Francisco Call, March 21, 1913, p. 1.

The project never reached fruition due to the sale of the Call to bitter rival San Francisco Chronicle owner M. H. de Young in August. ("John D. Spreckels Sells the Call to M. H. de Young," San Francisco Call, August 13, 1913, p. 1). To eliminate his morning competition de Young made an offer Spreckels could not turn down.  Apparently one of Wright's favorite unbuilt projects, he included a plaster model of same in his April 1914 exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago after which he kept it on prominent display in his Taliesin studio (see below and exhibition discussion later herein).

Frank Lloyd Wright posing in front of the Call model, Taliesin, 1924.

Wright was so enamored of the Call Building concept that he had his apprentices build a bigger and better model for his 1940 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (see below). Numerous photos of Wright posing with the models have been published throughout his lifetime.

Marcus Weston working on a new model of the Call Building for Wright's Museum of Modern Art Exhibition in 1940. Photo by Pedro Guerrero. From Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly, Winter 1994, p. 8.

A. B. Miller, ca. 1913. Photographer unknown. Press Reference Library, Vol. I, International News Service, 1913, p. 595.

As Wright returned to the Midwest Gill was commencing upon another promising Torrance-like project for the Fontana Company which was incorporated on May 1, 1912 by A. B. Miller, president, and Jared Torrance, vice-president. Similar to the Miltimores' marketing strategy for the Los Angeles Olive Growers Association holdings in Sylmar discussed in Part I, the company subdivided its 14,000 acres into "Jeffersonian smallholdings" focusing on citrus and walnut tree crops and chickens instead of olives. Jared Torrance was, conveniently for Gill, on the Board of Directors of the Fontana Land Co. which provided the likely entree for his Fontana commission. It didn't hurt that Paul Shoup (see below), the vice-president and managing director of the Pacific Electric Railway for whom Gill designed the company's Torrance depot, also commissioned him to design the new Fontana depot. (Working People of California edited by Daniel Conford, University of California Press, 1995, p. 437).

Paul Shoup, ca. 1913. Photographer unknown. Press Reference Library, Vol. I, International News Service, 1913, p. 209. (Author's note: The portraits and bios of Gill, Miller, Shoup and Homer Laughlin and others in their circle were all included in this edition of the Press Reference Library.).

Fontana, June 7, 1913. From Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

Gill was in the above crowd on June 7, 1913 to purchase a lot of his own on the first official day of sales in the newly formed city of Fontana. Other notables listed as purchasing lots this day were Jotham Bixby, Clara B. Burdette, Torrance Dominguez Land Co. realtor Thomas D. Campbell, and Fontana Company President A. B. Miller. Gill had just completed plans and was breaking ground for the Fontana Elementary School and the Pacific Electric Railway passenger depot, commissions he likely obtained through his connections with Dominguez Land Co. president Jared Torrance who was also vice-president of the Fontana Company. An automobile parade to the sites of Gill's school and depot projects was part of the celebration's agenda. ("Lively Beginning," LAT, June 15, 1913, p. V-1).

Fontana Pacific Electric Railway Depot, Irving Gill, architect, 1913. From Fontana From 1906 to 1928, Fontana Farms Company, 1928, p. 10.

Fontana Heights Elementary School, Irving Gill, architect, 1913.

A period article described the modern school and quoted Gill,
"The building will have features that will make it unique in Southern California. One of its features is an auditorium 54x28 feet in which classic plays will be produced by the pupils. The cost will be $18,000. While the plan of the building has no counterpart in California it embodies the features of the best structures which have been erected in Boston adapted to Southern California conditions. There will be no basement play rooms and the pupils will be permitted to play out of doors unrestricted. The basement playroom feature, according to Architect Gill, is the most glaring evil in school room construction in this day." ("Fontana School Will Be Up to Date," LAH, October 11, 1913, p. 8).
Although unsuccessful in Torrance, Gill was seemingly able to convince A. B. Miller that every structure in the City of Fontana ought to be made out of concrete. He must have had mixed feelings to hear of Miller's announcement at the end of June that he was planning to realize the dream of Thomas A. Edison. ("Edison's Dream to Come True at Fonatna," LAT, June 30, 1913, p. II-7). (Author's note: Edison had formed his Edison Portland Cement Co. in 1899 and began experimenting with the construction of concrete homes in 1910). 

Just as at Torrance, a serious economic downturn prevented Gill from being given any additional projects after the summer of 1913. Shortly after Wright returned to Taliesin and as he was completing the Powers Flats (see below) Gill permanently moved to Los Angeles and relocated his office and residence to a Victorian mansion converted into apartments at 913 S. Figeuroa St. where he would remain until 1922(For much more on this see my "Gill's First Aiken System Project"). 

Powers Flats, 821-27 S. New Hampshire Ave., Irving Gill, architect, 1913. From Hines, p. 155.

A search of period City Directories and newspapers seemingly indicates that W. C. Powers was a photographer with a studio two blocks south of portrait studio and gallery of Gill's 1908 client and Homer Laughlin portraitist George Steckel. Thus Gill's second Aiken System project begun in March of 1913 could also have resulted from his Laughlin connections. Gill and Lloyd would certainly have shown this construction site to the senior Wright during his visit. (See "Steckel" in Part I).

Mary H. Banning ca. 1916. Photo by Mushet. From Los Angeles From Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

Gill completed the Banning Residence also using his Aiken equipment during last half of 1913. He most likely landed this plum of a commission through the social connections of the Laughlin and Banning families. Mary's stepson Hancock's wife Anne was close friends with Ada Edwards Laughlin. Both were quite active in Los Angeles philanthropic organizations such as the Assistance League(For much more on the Banning House and its Aiken System construction see my (Gill-Aiken). Author's note: It is not known whether Lloyd Wright designed the landscaping for the Banning House before leaving for Chicago in the fall of 1913 but he did design a landscape a block away at 401 S. Commonwealth in late 1914 for Dodd's client Frank Upman as discussed later below.).

Mary H. Banning Residence, 513 S. Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, 1914. Irving Gill, architect. Photo credited to Irving Gill. From Ferguson, Lillian, "California's First Cubist House," Sunset, August 1915, p. 368. 

While Gill was busy with the La Jolla Women's Club project for Ellen Browning Scripps in early 1914, prominent Los Angeles attorney Edward D. Lyman, a pall bearer at the funeral of fellow California Club member Homer Laughlin, Sr., commissioned him to design a house for his site at the northwest corner of Windsor Blvd. and 4th St. in Windsor Square. (Homer Laughlin Is Laid At Rest," LAH, January 13, 1913, p. 2 and "New Home in Windsor Square," LAH, March 28, 1914, p. 19).

A period Los Angeles Herald article stated,
"This house was designed by Irving Gill, who has gained fame for his development of a type of architecture possessing many original features and combining the Moorish, Italian and Spanish effects which are so much in favor with builders of the more expensive types of homes in Southern California." (Ibid).
The $25,000 house ended up not being built, possibly a victim of the 1913-14 recession and the outbreak of World War I. Lyman would in 1923 commission Allison and Allison to finally build his residence at this site. Gill spent the last half of 1914 mainly working on the Scripps Recreation Center in San Diego and in November breaking ground on a small cottage for Adelaide Chapin and again in December for his most iconic project, the Walter L. Dodge House. (See "The 'Dirt-Proof" House for Adelaide M. Chapin" and "Gill-Aiken"). (Author's note: While still in Gill's employ, Lloyd Wright worked on the drawings for Dodge House. (Architecture of the Sun by Thomas S. Hines, Rizzoi, 2010, p. 170)).

In the fall of 1913 John Wright returned to Chicago to begin his apprenticeship. With prospects ebbing in Los Angeles due to the economic downturn, Lloyd decided to accompany him. The eager brothers most likely were broken in on preliminary drawings for the exciting Imperial Hotel project. They were proudly added to FLW's Orchestra Hall (see below) office letterhead around this time. (FLW to Harriet Monroe, April 1914, Harriet Monroe Papers and Alofsin). 

Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Daniel Burnham, architect, 1904. From internet.

Sometime in September or October John corresponded with Iannelli regarding the status of the sculptures for the Workingmen's Hotel and requested that a model be prepared for the Coonley Playhouse. He asked that the model be large enough to be used in the upcoming FLW exhibition at the Art Institute. Design also began in earnest on the Midway Gardens project in late 1913 and ground was broken in late February in the hopes of a June grand opening. John convinced his father that Iannelli should be summoned from Los Angeles to help design and execute the project sculptures. (JLW to AI, telegram, February 12, 1914, nn. 65-66, Alofsin, p. 359).

While this major effort was under way the Wright brothers, Taylor Woolley and Iannelli all feverishly worked to help Wright throw together his April 1914 exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (see below). The elder Wright's work since his 1911 return from Europe was featured in his own dedicated room at the Art Institute much to the displeasure of members of the Illinois Chapter of the A.I.A., one of the three sponsoring organizations. ("Architects in Dispute Over Wright Room," Chicago Examiner, April 10, 1914). 

"The Work of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1911-1914" in conjunction with the Chicago Architectural Club's 27th Annual Exhibition, Art Institute of Chicago, April 9-May 3, 1914.

Call Building model including Iannelli Midway sprites flanking the entrance, Alofsin, p. 189, (TAL 1500.011).

Rendering of the Call Building entrance flanked by Iannelli's Midway Gardens sprites. Alofsin, p. 

Besides Wright's work, also included in the show were Iannelli models of the sculptures he and Wright were collaborating on for Midway Gardens, a model of the Gardens, a rendering of the Imperial Hotel and the previously-mentioned plaster model of the San Francisco Call Building also executed by Iannelli with possible assistance from John and Lloyd (see all below). Besides some of the renderings of the Imperial Hotel and other projects, John and Lloyd respectively contributed as their own work displays of "Child's Building Blocks" and a "Toy Garden Scheme" (see catalog excerpt below). 

"The Work of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1911-1914," Art Institute of Chicago, April 9 - May 3, 1914, excerpted from the Chicago Architectural Club's 27th Annual Exhibition Catalog, (McCrea, p. 142). 

Viennese architect R. M. Schindler was coincidentally welcomed to Chicago by Wright's Art Institute exhibition. Having immigrated to the U.S. with a position at the Chicago firm of Ottenheimer, Reichert and Stern in hand and with the goal of eventually apprenticing with Wright, Schindler must have been pleasantly surprised indeed by this impressive show of his idol's recent work. He also must have followed closely the construction progress of Midway Gardens which was covered in great detail in the local press.

R. M. Schindler, Chicago, 1914 on a Palette and Chisel Club outing. Photographer unknown.

Upon its 1911 European release, Wright's Wasmuth Portfolio had made a great impression among the Otto Wagner-Adolf Loos circles in Vienna which included both Schindler and his later partner Richard Neutra. Schindler would spend most of 1914 unsuccessfully trying to introduce himself to Wright before finally writing him in November,
"During the summer I tried several times without success to meet you. ... I am a young architect, a pupil of Otto Wagner in Vienna and started 8 months ago for this country with the intention to study the development of the American architectur [sic]. I succeeded in getting a position but I can't help to feel very unhappy in an average American office. This feeling is growing from day to day and my only hope is to come in touch with you. So I ask if you could admit me to your office or give an opportunity to study your works at close range." (RMS to FLW, n.d., but Wright's response establishes the month as November, Getty Research Institute, Box 1, Folder 3. Cited in Sweeney, Robert, "Schindler's Vienna" in Schindler, Kings Road and Southern California Modernism, University of California Press, 2012, p. 12).
Wright responded sometime in December inviting Schindler to his Orchestra Hall office shortly before leaving for the West Coast for a much-needed vacation and to view the Panama California Exposition in San Diego. It seems likely that during this visit Schindler would have compared notes on what it was like studying under Wagner (and Loos) and their exposure to the Wasmuth Portfolio. Besides proudly giving Schindler a letter of introduction to Mrs. Avery Coonley to view his masterpiece Wright would also likely have shared his upcoming travel plans. FLW and/or son John seemingly would have mentioned their previous time in Southern California and possibly the work of Lloyd's employer Gill evidenced by Schindler's itinerary during West Coast visit the following fall. (For much on Schindler's Western sojourn see my "Edward Weston and Mabel Dodge Luhan Remember D. H. Lawrence" (Weston-Luhan)). 

Roorbach, Eloise, "The Garden Apartments of California," Architectural Record, December 1913, pp. 374-376. Photos by noted photographer George R. King.

Not long after their arrival in Chicago John and Lloyd couldn't have helped but run across Gill's three-page Lewis Court spread (see above) and shared it with their father. Lloyd may have even prepared the landscape plan which accompanied the article. Their friend Iannelli would have also seen it before joining the the Midway Gardens design team in Chicago two months later. 

Likely unable to find enough work due to the same economic downturn that affected Gill and many others and despite having just received his California architect's license, Byrne answered Walter Burley Griffin's plea to return to Chicago in early 1914 to take over his ongoing projects. The Griffins were moving to Canberra, Australia to oversee their competition-winning design for the new federal capital in Canberra and invited Byrne to manage their Chicago practice. After consulting with and then ignoring his former employer Wright's advice against filling in for the Griffins, Byrne returned to Chicago in February and moved into their 16th floor attic office in the new Monroe Building (see below). The decision was made easier with his friends John and Lloyd and now Iannelli all back in Chicago. 

Monroe Building (center), 104 S. Michigan Ave., Holabird and Roche, architects, 1912.

A "Personal" in the March 1914 issue of Architect and Engineer of California read,
"Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr., landscape architect of Chicago, will establish an office in Los Angeles, being at present with Architects Montgomery & Montgomery, 805 Trust & Savings Building. 
Architect Francis Barry Byrne of Los Angeles, has taken charge of the architectural offices of Walter Bailey Griffin of Chicago during the absence of Architect Griffin in Melbourne, where he will superintend the erection of the Australian capitol buildings." ("Personal," Architect and Engineer of California, March 1914, p. 113. 
It would have been quite a reunion of sorts and heady times indeed for these young former Oak Park Studio designers who just a few months earlier had all been together in Los Angeles cross-pollinating their experiences with the elder Wright, their employers Irving Gill and Harrison Albright and their most important clients Homer Laughlin and J. D. Spreckels. With their Chicago offices within a block of each other across the street from the Art Institute they would have been comparing notes and socializing frequently. The friendships forged and experience gained by concurrently participating in the Imperial Hotel preliminaries, the Art Institute exhibition, the extremely rapid design and construction of Midway Gardens and the Griffins' projects then on the boards couldn't help but embolden and inspire the impressionable young designers. 

Midway Gardens, 1914. From the Internet.

Based upon Lloyd's outstanding project rendering ability, he seemingly could have taken advantage of Byrne's largess to deeply study Mahony's work, especially what he had not already been privy to while working on the Wasmuth Portfolio in Fiesole with Taylor Woolley. He perhaps would have also studied closely the landscape designs of her husband, given the opportunity. Lloyd also certainly would have studied the landscape designs Jens Jensen had recently created for his father's Coonley and Booth projects. Thus it seems plausible that Lloyd would have participated in the Midway Gardens landscape design before returning to Los Angeles sometime in June or July, likely lured by the prospect of designing landscapes for Dodd's Laughlin Park mansion and the Peter Janss estate in Windsor Square discussed earlier above. Iannelli also returned to Los Angeles in July after Midway Gardens opened, just as Gill was completing the La Jolla Women's Club and beginning work on the Scripps Recreation Center. (Iannelli to JLW, July 30, 1914, Frank Lloyd Wright: The Lost Years, 1910-1922 by Anthony Alofsin, University of Chicago Press, 1993, n. 89, p. 360 (hereinafter Alofsin) and Gill-Aiken). 

Mission Beach Project Plan, 1914. Wilbur David Cook, Jr., landscape architect. Thanks to noted Gill historian Allen Hazard for bringing this drawing to my attention. 

Shortly after his return from Chicago Iannelli collaborated with Gill on a project located at Mission Beach in San Diego. In late 1913 a syndicate headed by J. D. Spreckels purchased the strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay and subdivided the property (see above and below). Spreckels hired Wilbur David Cook, Jr. and civil engineers Rankin and Wyckoff to prepare a landscape-subdivision plan (see above and below). (Author's note, Cook would in 1915 complete the landscape design for Gill's Dodge House. "The Estate of Mr. W. L. Dodge, Hollywood, California," Architect and Engineer of California, April, 1920).

Mission Beach Project Plan, 1914. Wilbur David Cook, Jr., landscape architect. 

Seaside Concert Garden, Mission Beach, Irving Gill, ca. 1914. Watercolor sketch by and Alfonso Iannelli.(Jameson, pp. 54-55).

Sometime in mid-1914 either Spreckels had asked Gill to prepare preliminary drawings for this Midway Gardens-like scheme to help promote sales and take advantage of the throngs of visitors to the upcoming Panama California Exposition or perhaps Gill and Iannelli developed speculative preliminary drawings to hopefully entice Spreckels to do something along the same lines which would taking advantage of this prime beachfront location. In any event the project did not move forward (see above and below). 

Unbuilt tower likely for the Seaside Concert Garden project, Mission Beach, Iannelli and Gill, 1914. (Hines, p. 24).

Curtain for Seaside Concert Pavilion, Iannelli and Gill, Mission Beach, 1914. Design by Alfonso Iannelli. (Jameson, p. 52).

Also right around this time the long-awaited Panama Canal opened on August 15th. In what must have been one of Gill's proudest moments, a full-page width photo of his Torrance handiwork appeared directly under the banner headline announcing the Canal's opening on the front page of the Los Angeles Herald (see below). The irony of John Olmsted's role in Gill losing the chief architect job for the Panama California Exposition which was created to celebrate the Canal's opening while in return being named chief architect for the City of Torrance through Olmsted's largess must have been palpable indeed!

"Great Activity in Industrial Centers," LAH, August 15, 1914, p. 1.

This day must also have been a roller coaster of emotions for Lloyd Wright as he would also have shared in Gill's pride and for the role he played in the landscaping of the new city. Much later in life he reminisced about his time with Gill and at Torrance as "a perfect education." He would have awakened to the above front page news just hours before the terrible tragedy at Taliesin which took the lives of Mamah Borthwick and her children. If he had not received a late evening telegram announcing the news he certainly would have awakened to the headlines the following morning (see below for example). There must have been much commiseration shown to Lloyd by Gill, Laughlin, Dodd and Albright after the news reached Los Angeles. Iannelli who had just two months earlier been in Chicago with Lloyd and had likely spent some time with Borthwick would also have shown Lloyd serious compassion.

Typical headline August 16, 1914.

The calamity at Taliesin was sensational headline news across the country, more so than when word of the Wright-Borthwick love affair first hit the press at the end of 1911. John's first visit to Taliesin was to accompany his father there after they heard the news. With the wonderland his father built for Mamah laying partially in ruins, John helped his father with the burial and returned to Chicago to finish work on the Midway Gardens. (My Father, p. 80). Apparently Lloyd did not return to the Midwest at this time. The next time he would see his father would be in early 1915 when he came to Southern California for a three month restorative sojourn (discussed later below).

"Here's Most Popular Cubist Drawing," LAH, April 18, 1913, p. II-1. (Author's note: In response to all of the hubbub over the scandalous cubic art in the 1913 Armory Show in New York and Chicago, Spalding submitted his own take on "Cubism" to the press, in effect providing free publicity for his sporting goods company.).

Before Iannelli returned to Chicago for good in May of 1915 Iannelli and Gill also collaborated on two projects for baseball pioneer, sporting goods magnate and prominent Pt. Loma Theosophist Albert G. Spalding. Neither of the unidentified "Gateway" and real estate building projects reached fruition, likely due to the declining health of Spalding who passed away in September 1915. On March 1, 1916 Iannelli wrote to Gill requesting that his renderings for these two project be sent to him after likely realizing the importance of the Spalding presence in Chicago. (Many thanks to Gill scholar Erik Hansen for this and other Iannelli-Gill correspondence.). 

Atwater Building, 26-28 S. Wabash, Chicago, John Mills van Osdel, architect, 1877. Photo 1905 during Spalding and Brothers tenancy. From City of Chicago Landmark Designation Reports: Haskell-Barber-Atwater Buildings, 18-28 S. Wabash Avenue, p. 7.

Frank Lloyd Wright seemingly met or reconnected with former Chicago White Stockings Hall of Fame pitcher and owner Spalding during his early 1915 visit to San Diego evidenced by a letter from Lloyd to his father responding that he had no news to report on Spalding. Spalding and Wright more than likely knew each other as the Chicago headquarters of A. G. Spalding and Brothers Sporting Goods was in the Atwater Building (see above) at the corner of Wabash and Monroe, a few blocks north of Louis Sullivan's Auditorium Building office and around the corner from Wright's Orchestra Hall office and Walter Burley Griffin's and Barry Byrne's and Iannelli's Monroe Building offices (discussed earlier above). (Author's note: Coincidentally, the Haskell and Barber Buildings next door to the Atwater received  facade remodels designed by Louis Sullivan in 1896. (City of Chicago Landmark Designation Reports: Haskell and Barber Buildings, 18-20 and 22-24 S. Wabash, pp. 2-4).

Albert Spalding, 1911. From Wikipedia.

Furthermore Albert Spalding's namesake nephew (see above) also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Orchestra Hall. Symphony lover Frank (and Lloyd and John when in town) was a regular attendee. Thus it is plausible that it may have been through Wright's largess that Gill and Iannelli received the Spalding commissions. (Letter from Lloyd Wright, then in Los Angeles, to FLW, after his return to Taliesin, n.d. but likely ca. June, 1915. Copyright Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation 1990.).

Sometime in mid to late 1914 both Gill and Iannelli received independent commissions for the two upcoming Expositions. While Gill was working on the Scripps Recreation Center in La Jolla he received a fascinating commission from Homer Laughlin to design an elaborate exhibition booth at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco (see below). 

Homer Laughlin Fruit Refining Company Citrus Cream Exhibition Booth, Panama-Pacific International Exhibition, Irving Gill, architect, 1914-15. From UC Davis University Library Special Collections.

In an attempt to capitalize on the enormous influx of expected tourists, the ever enterprising Laughlin formed the Laughlin Fruit Refining Company and developed a skin care product he named Citrus Cream which he was convinced would appeal to the legions of female visitors to San Francisco. Gill's booth was quite striking in design and reflected the highly resolved architectural massing by then prevalent in his work. Laughlin's less elaborate Citrus Cream booth for the 1915 Pure Food Show in Los Angeles received honorable mention for the most beautifully designed booth in the show (see ad below). ("Evening Herald Food Show Cup Awarded," LAH, February 2, 1915, p. 2. Author's note: I have not as yet been able to determine if Gill designed the Pure Food Show booth).

"Tonight is Citrus Cream Night at the Pure Food Show," LAH, February 1, 1915, p. 7.

 Prototype Alfonso Iannelli paint job design for Earle C. Anthony, Packard Motors, 1915. From ArchiTect Gallery.

Final paint scheme, Alfonso Iannelli, 1915.  From "'Cactus Kate" Name for Car," LAT, April 18. 1915, p. VII-1.

Meanwhile, not one to miss an opportunity to take advantage of the upcoming Expositions to market his Packard automobiles, Bernard Maybeck client Earle Anthony, under the auspices of his and Homer Laughlin's Automobile Club of Southern California, commissioned Iannelli to design a paint scheme for the new Packard to be displayed at the fairs in both San Francisco and San Diego. Iannelli painted the car bright red, gold and black with the radiator in a black and white checkerboard pattern then prevalent in his post-Chicago Orpheum posters (see above and below).

Bert Leslie Orpheum poster, June 1915. Designed by Alfonso Iannelli. (Jameson, p. 34).

Packard Motors dubbed Iannelli's design "Cactus Kate" and sent it on a promotional tour of the Western States throughout 1915-16. The advertising campaign referred to Iannelli as "a long-haired artist who suggests that the futuristic motif spells speed, power and a splendid traveling disposition." (Ibid, p. 59). The official christening took place on April 23, 1915 before its initial voyage leading an Auto Club-sponsored parade from L.A. to the site of the Panama California Exposition in San Diego (see below). (For more on this see my "100 Years Ago Today: Robert Henri, Alice Klauber and IrvingGill Connections, April 25, 1915"). (Author's note: Iannelli's "Kate" also led the parade which opened the new highway in "Topango" Canyon the following month, heady times indeed for the young Orpheum poster and Midway Gardens sculpture designer. I am trying to determine whether Frank Lloyd Wright who was in Southern California around this time, and Irving Gill and Harrison Albright and others in their circle might have made the trip with Auto Club officers Homer Laughlin, Frank Garbutt and others).
"Cheer 1200 Autoists As Caravan Heads for San Diego," LAH, April 23, 1914, p. 1.

As mentioned in detail earlier above, after his return from Chicago, Lloyd was working with Dodd on his Laughlin Park estate and was designing landscapes for selected Dodd projects, for example the Peter Janss estate and Frank H. Upman Residence at 401 S. Westmoreland in late 1914 as Gill was breaking ground on the Dodge House. (Coincidentally, the Upman Residence was two blocks west of Gill's recently completed Banning House). ("Lost, Found," [Landscape plans for Frank Upman Residence 4th and Westmoreland, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr., landscape architect]," LAH, December 24, 1914, p. 10).

Likely exhausted from rebuilding Taliesin and still in mourning from the previous summer's tragedy, Wright returned to Southern California for about three months beginning in early 1915. Drawn by the warm climate and the two West Coast expositions, the badly needed vacation helped him get his mind off of  the horrific events of a few months earlier. He again reconnected with son Lloyd, Gill and Iannelli and visited the San Diego Exposition with them in January along with Gill client Alice Klauber and possibly others. (Alofsin, p. 225). Along the way Wright certainly would have been impressed by the body of work Gill had by then established in La Jolla.

Edgar L. Hewett, Guatemala, 1909. Inscribed to the Governor of the San Ildefonso Pueblo.

Almost certainly through the largess of Klauber Wright also met the Exposition's Director of Exhibits Dr. Edgar L. Hewett, Director of the American Institute of Archaeology in Santa Fe (see above). Hewett also curated the Exposition's ethnic exhibits which focused on the life of the Mayan, Aztec and Southwestern Indian cultures (see above). It was the Pre-Columbian Central America exhibition organized by Hewett in the California Building that would soon provide inspiration for Wright's Barnsdall House. 

Hewett, Edgar L., "Ancient America at the Panama-California Exposition," Theosophical Path, February, 1915.

Model for the Palace at Uxmal, Panama-California Exposition, 1915. From Art and Archaeology 2, 1915. (Alofsin, p. 229).

A spirited discussion with Hewett over his models of Mayan temples at Chichen Itza and Uxmal clearly provided Wright with much food for thought. Duly impressed by their encounter with Hewett, Lloyd reminded his father, "Have you written or communicated with Dr. Hewett yet in regard to the models, Indian Potteries, Toltect [sic] architecture, etc. He was indeed a cordial accident in your visit here. You have not forgotten him?" (Letter from Lloyd Wright, then in Los Angeles, to FLW, after his return to Taliesin, n.d. but likely mid to late 1915. Copyrght Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation 1990.). (Author's note: It was the Painted Desert exhibition at the Exposition that would provide the inspiration for Schindler's early work including his Kings Road House and the Pueblo Ribera Court in La Jolla. (Weston-Luhan)).

Carlos Vierra, View of Uxmal from the Pyramid of the Old Woman; mural painting for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, San Diego.

In the same letter Lloyd shared the gossip that Gill was now posing as a pupil of FLW and evidently had been taking a self-improvement-type correspondence course from the Quadratel Trust.

"Mayan Monument" sketch by Alfonso Iannelli, March 1911. Iannelli Archive.

After their visit to the Exposition Iannelli, on Wright's behalf, wrote to Klauber asking for photos of the "Maya Monument" they viewed together while visiting the Exposition. He included the above sketch indicating which particular images Wright desired. Klauber responded that she would be happy to send photos after she returned home from the San Francisco Exposition. (Alice Klauber to Iannelli, March 11, 1915, Iannelli Archive).

A. D. German Cold Storage Warehouse, Richmond Center, Wiscconsin, designed 1915.

(Author's note: The Exposition visit resulted in at least a few commissions exhibiting Mayan themes after Wright returned to Taliesin including the A. D. German Cold Storage Warehouse, an unidentified theater building in San Diego (see above and below) and the Olive Hill compound for Aline Barnsdall. Nothing has materialized to date which would identify the client or the exact location of the below theater project. (For an in-depth discussion of Wright's Mayan influences see Alofsin, pp. 221-260).

Unidentified Theater Building, San Diego, 1915. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, © FLWrightFDN, Scottsdale, AZ.

Gamut Club, 1044 S. Hope St. (former home of the Dobinson School of Expression and Dramatic Art) 1903, Abram M. Edelman, architect. Photo taken in 1926 courtesy of LA Public Library Photo Collection.

Wright lectured on his Midway Gardens project at the Gamut Club (see above) on March 3rd, possibly through the largess of founding member Clarence Drown and/or Gill who was likely still a member. (Guest Book, Gamut Club Papers, Braun Research Library, Southwest Museum Library). Iannelli and Gill certainly would have been in attendance as likely would some of Gill's clients such as the Laughlins, Ella Giles Ruddy and others. Albright may possibly have been in attendance or perhaps had a separate meeting with Wright to offer condolences over Mamah Borthwick's passing. 

Possibly emboldened by his father's talk, the following month Lloyd lectured to the Los Angeles School of Art and Design's Palette Club on "Architecture and Its Bearing on the Community." ("Anderson, Antony, "Art and Artists," LAT, April 25, 1915, p. III-21).  Lloyd's involvement with the School of Art and Design's Palette Club would lead to what was possibly his first ever architectural commission, an art studio for the School's Director Mrs. L. E. Garden-McLeod the following year. (See City of Los Angeles Historical Building PermitsRobinson Jeffers by Hamilton Wolf, Carmel, 1919 and Wardell. Author's note: Coincidentally (or not?) Lloyd's Garden-McLeod studio at 447 S. Occidental Blvd. was but one block east of Gill's Banning House and three blocks east of Dodd's Upman House discussed elsewhere herein.).

"The Aesthetic in Concrete," Architect and Engineer of California, February 1915, pp. 67-76.

Seemingly perfectly timed for Wright's Gamut Club lecture, a 10-page photo spread on the aesthetic use of concrete at Midway Gardens appeared in the February issue of American Architect and Engineer of California. If not through the largess of the magazine's editorial advisor Harrison Albright, the publication of the article could possibly have been arranged by Iannelli, John and/or Lloyd who all stayed at Wright's Oak Park home during the construction of Midway Gardens. Iannelli's sculptural work and John's execution of his father's mural design were prominently featured in the photos (see above and below for example). (Author's note: This uncredited article is not included in Langmead's Wright Bio-Bibliography nor is it mentioned in Jameson).

"The Aesthetic in Concrete," Architect and Engineer of California, February 1915, pp. 67-76.

After his "Cactus Kate" hoopla Iannelli returned to Chicago shortly after Wright in May of 1915. Iannelli and new wife and partner Margaret soon rented an office next door to Byrne in the Monroe Building a block north of Wright's Orchestra Hall office. During his hectic 1914 Midway Gardens sojourn Iannelli somehow found the time to collaborate with Byrne on an unsuccessful joint competition entry for a sculptural commission in Chicago's Lincoln Park. (Jameson, p. 98). His 1915 return marked the beginning of a remarkable 50-year career in interior and commercial design, the first 20 years of which were in close collaboration with Byrne. Taylor Woolley would also work with Byrne in 1915-16 before launching his career back in Salt Lake City.

University of New Mexico Chemistry Building, 1916. Barry Byrne, architect. From University of New Mexico Library.

As did Griffin during Wright's first trip to Japan in 1905 and his future wife Marion during Wright's 1909-10 European Wasmuth Portfolio sojourn, Byrne took liberties with Griffin's design for the Chemistry Building at the University of New Mexico and other projects. He substituted his more indigenous Gill-inspired design for Griffin's original drawings. (For much more on the Byrne-Griffin differences see Only in New Mexico: An Architectural History of the University of New Mexico, by Van Dorn Hooker and Melissa Howard, University of New Mexico Press, pp. 31-37.)

Company Town, Phelps-Dodge Corp., Tyrone, New Mexico, 1915. Bertram Goodhue, architect.

Author's note: Coincidentally, Goodhue was also involved in a major project to construct a company town for the Phelps-Dodge copper mine in Tyrone New Mexico around the time Byrne was implementing his Gill-inspired University of New Mexico project (see above for example). Having by then absorbed Gill's ascetic Mission Revival aesthetic, Goodhue's work in Tyrone clearly exhibited elements of, and was imbued by, Gill's significant body of La Jolla work. Goodhue would have curiously followed the construction progress of Gill's Bishop's School and La Jolla Women's Club and Recreation Center projects concurrent to the construction activity for the Exposition (see above).

W. L. Dodge House, Kings Road, West Hollywood, 1916, Irving Gill, architect, Wilbur David Cook, Jr., landscape architect. From Hall, George D., "The Estate of Mr. W. L. Dodge, Hollywood, California," Architect and Engineer of California, April, 1920, p. 89.

Gill spent most of 1915 working mainly on his masterpiece, the Dodge House in West Hollywood and the Laughlin Theater in Long Beach. Gill and/or Lloyd would have shown Wright both projects in the early stages of construction around February or March. Lloyd Wright did not land the plum landscaping commission for the Dodge House. It instead went to Wilbur David Cook, Jr. who had laid out the earlier-mentioned Mission Beach scheme for J. D. Spreckels.

"The Sapling," Alfonso Iannelli, ca. 1916. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill scrapbook. 

After their separate returns to Chicago in the spring Wright and/or Iannelli likely shared the latest on Gill with John and Byrne. This is evidenced by on-going correspondence between Iannelli and Gill which continued at least to 1918. For example sometime in 1916 Iannelli sent Gill an inscribed photo of "The Sapling," a maquette for a fountain meant to be cast in terra cotta for the Chicago Athletic Club (see above). (See a variant photo in Jameson, p. 155).

Iannelli, Alfonso, Clay maquette for the entrance to the Woodbury County Courthouse, Sioux City Iowa, ca. 1916.  Inscribed to Gill, April 28, 1918. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill scrapbook. Many thanks to curator Jocelyn Gibbs who is currently working on an upcoming Irving Gill exhibition slated for the UC-Santa Barbara Art Museum in the fall of 2016.

Two years later Iannelli proudly sent Gill another inscribed photo of his maquette for the entrance to the recently completed Woodbury County Courthouse (see above and below) in Sioux City, Iowa. The courthouse was designed by the Minneapolis architect George Grant Elmslie in collaboration with the Sioux City architect William L. Steele and Elmslie's partner, William Gray Purcell, was constructed from July 10, 1916 to March 1, 1918 at a cost of $850,000. (Wikipedia).

Woodbury County Courthouse, 620 Douglas St., Sioux City, Iowa, George Elmslie, William Steele and William Purcell, architects, 1918. (Wikipwdia).

By this time Schindler would have heard about Gill's Southern California work, if not from the Wright's directly, then through the trade journals, before leaving for the West Coast in the fall. (Weston-Luhan). Schindler's Dodge House site visit during the later stages of construction would amazingly presage Gill's help in the design of his own iconic house a block away six years later. (Gill-Aiken). 

Marsh-Strong Building, Spring and 9th Streets, Fred R. Dorn, architect, 1914.

Lloyd had begun his own landscape architecture practice in a third floor of the brand new Marsh-Strong Building at Spring and 9th Sts. where Paul Thiene (see below), fresh from his San Diego Exposition landscaping duties, joined him in the last half of 1915. Coincidentally, Dodge House landscape architect Cook's design office was six floors above Lloyd and Thiene.

Paul Thiene, ca. 1915. 

Not getting enough commissions via Dodd to live the Wrightian life-style inherited from his father, his 1915-16 partnership with Thiene initially seemed promising. Lloyd wrote his father, 
"My real work is progressing to a point where worry is finding little chance to play its part. Between Paul G. Thiene and myself (Thiene the L[andscape] A[rchitect] when you met at San Diego, he planted the grounds there you know), an average for the last two months of a job every two and a half days has come into this office. Pretty good considering that I started here without capital, name a very wide experience. Still I am far from being in a stable or really satisfactory position financially, but I am getting there."
Some notable collaborations with Thiene included the John L. Severance Estate in Pasadena, the Ben Meyer Estate in Beverly Hills and the site and landscaping plan for an unbuilt resort in Playa del Rey. After Thiene left for the richer climes of Pasadena Lloyd managed to make ends meet with the occasional collaboration with Dodd and Thiene and designing movie sets, all the while entreating his father to move to Los Angeles and form a partnership. (For a continuation of Lloyd's career see my (SWMZW and "Tina Modotti, Lloyd Wright and Otto Bollman Connections,1920").

Hotel Ingraham, 1045 Ingraham St., 1906, 1908. Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey, architects. "Plan to Build Huge Addition to Hotel Ingraham This Summer," LAT, 1908.

Coincidentally Frank Lloyd Wright's aunts Nell and Jane Lloyd Jones spent the last half of 1915 in Los Angeles living close to grand-nephew Lloyd, possibly at the Hotel Ingraham where the 1915 City Directory had him listed as living. Shortly after their arrival Lloyd wrote to his father thanking him for financially assisting him and the aunts, their improved health, the Los Angeles exhibition of their work they were planning to collaborate on, his new $170/month job designing movie sets and various joint business schemes. After their February 1916 return to Chicago he wrote again berating his father for not helping them enough and pleading to be reimbursed for his out of pocket expenses for their support during their eight month stay. (Letters from Lloyd Wright, to FLW, ca. August 1915 and February 1916. Copyrght Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation 1990.).

Lloyd's Marsh-Strong Building office was six blocks east and the Ingraham 2 blocks west and two blocks north of of Gill's home-office at 913 S. Figueroa. It thus seems quite likely that Gill would have socialized with Lloyd's boyhood Hillside School teachers. The Wisconsin sisters almost certainly would have been introduced to Gill's erstwhile Badger client Ella Giles Ruddy. 

Nell and Jane Lloyd Jones at the Hillside School, ca. 1914.

While the Lloyd Jones sisters (see above) were in Los Angeles their nephew's name was again national front page news. Lloyd informed his father that, "[Aunt Jean] does not see how she could return to the disagreeable winters and heartbreaking shadows of the past that would engulf her at Hillside. She can even laugh at the troubles that now arise here." (see below for example). In the same letter Lloyd reported that Mrs. Avery Coonley had looked up Gill while in Los Angeles and the three of them had dinner together. They discussed her and John's toy making schemes and she had apparently offered Lloyd a two month landscaper in residence program at her estate during the summer of 1916. He also reported that he had left the moving picture industry to spend full time on landscape design. (Ibid).

Los Angeles Herald, November 16, 1915, p. 1.

The notoriety surrounding Lloyd's father's affair with Miriam Noel seemingly gave Lloyd's movie set design career a boost as he was included along with Frank Garbutt, Jesse Lasky, D. W. Griffith and Thomas Ince in a list of 25 "directors" who banded together to form the Motion Picture Producers' Association (see below) just after the Aunts returned to move into a wing at Taliesin. This was also about the time Lloyd was named head of the set design department for Paramount Pictures. Coincidentally the Progressive Motion Picture Company, distributors for Paramount Pictures for whom Lloyd was also designing movie sets, had its office right across the hall from Lloyd and Thiene in room 312 of the Marsh-Strong Building.

Los Angeles Herald, February 2, 1916, p. 1.

Homer Laughlin Theatre, 4th and Pine, Long Beach, 1915. Irving Gill, architect. Winstead Photo. From USC Digital Library.

Near the end of the 1914 Gill's most important client and patron Homer Laughlin, Jr. again called upon him to design what would be his largest commercial project, a two-story office, commercial, movie complex to be erected at Fourth and Pine Sts., in Long Beach. The building contained a moving picture theater seating 900, six store spaces and fourteen offices. There were three domed towers, one of which was 60 ft. high. The building dimensions were 80x150 ft. with concrete foundation, cement plastered exterior, tile inlay ornamentation, composition roof, cement ground floor, plate and prism glass and copper store fronts, structural steel, metal frames and sash and wired glass, skylights, metal lath ceilings and partitions, metal marquise over theater entrance, lavatory with running water in each office, toilets, electric wiring, gas radiators, tile domes. ("Stores, Offices and Theater," SWCM, December 26, 1914, p. 13).

Rendering for the Laughlin Theater, Long Beach. 1915. Courtesy UC-Santa Barbara Architecture and Design Collections, Irving Gill Collection.

Perhaps impressed with noted artist Hanson Puthuff's prize-winning work while spending time at his Gill-designed Citrus Cream display booth at the Panama-California Exposition, Laughlin commissioned him to create 10-6X8 ft. mural panels jointly titled titled "The Spirit of California" for the two side walls of the luxurious theater. Los Angeles Times art critic Antony Anderson glowingly reviewed the theater and murals as the building was nearing completion in the summer of 1915. 
"Architecturally, it is promised, this theater will be the handsomest of its kind in the Far West, and the charm of its interior will be no less than that of its lines and proportions. All its parts will be in harmony, making it a thing of complete beauty. 
Interesting problems of color and composition presented themselves, to be seized and triumphantly vanquished one by one. ... The walls of the theater are to be a golden gray in tone, the drop curtain is to be a burnt orange in color (see above rendering), and each mural panel is to have 26 feet of wall space. The panels will be sunk into spaces that are like votive niches in a church, and when the stage is occupied they will be covered by curtains, hitherto invisible and automatically manipulated, which are to be the same gold-gray as the walls. Between acts, the theater will be light as a picture gallery, which, indeed, it is, a gallery containing a one-man show of distinguished merit and interest."
After describing in glowing terms the completed murals to date, "The Arroyo," "Mountain Streams," "High Sierras," "Poppy Fields," "The Ocean," "The Desert," "Rainy Season," "Carmel Mission" and so on, Anderson ended his review with, "I have shown, I think, that Hanson Puthuff has superbly felt the spirit of California in these pictures." (Anderson, Antony, "Art and Artists: Spirit of California," LAT, August 22, 1915, p. III-2).

In his later years Puthuff reminisced, 
"Around 1915, Homer Laughlin built a theater in Long Beach and I received an order to paint ten panels which were to depict "The Spirit of California ." These panels were six by eight feet. I made the stretcher bars a little oversized so that if there was shrinkage or an error in the measurements of the niches prepared on the theater walls some could be cut off. Mr. Laughlin was so pleased with my work that would not trim it, but had the workmen chisel out the cement niches to fit! These panels were used until the theater was torn down many years later." (Hanson Puthuff, 1875-1972: California Colors, Pasadena Museum of California Art, 2006, p. 16).
Homer Laughlin Theatre lobby, 4th and Pine, Long Beach, 1915. Irving Gill, architect. Winstead Photo. From USC Digital Library.

Laughlin perhaps chose Long Beach for the site of his movie palace after gaining confidence in the city's prospects after setting up shop for his Laughlin Engineers Corporation in 1913-14. Around the time he formed the earlier-mentioned Laughlin Fruit Refining Company longtime automobile enthusiast Laughlin began development of his Laughlin Eight. The Homer Laughlin Engineers Corp. began with an initial capitalization of $100,000 in stock in early 1914 which was increased to $500,000 two years later. Design and prototype development immediately began on his long dreamed of automobile in the old McCan Mechanical Works factory building at 2652 Long Beach Ave. in Long Beach (see below photo album).

Laughlin Engineers Corp. design office ca. 1915-17. Courtesy Museum of Natural History, Homer Laughlin Papers.

Laughlin Engineers Corp. design officefactory floor, ca. 1915-17. Courtesy Museum of Natural History, Homer Laughlin Papers.

During design and development Laughlin successfully applied for patents on an internal combustion engine lubricating system, a universal joint, a spring suspension system and a transmission control system. (Laughlin Engineers Corp. Patents).

Homer Laughlin, Jr. and others looking over his Laughlin Eight at the Laughlin Engineers Corp. factory, ca. 1916. Courtesy Museum of Natural History, Homer Laughlin Papers.

Homer Laughlin in front of the Homer Laughlin Engineers Corp., 2652 Long Beach Ave., Long Beach. Courtesy Museum of Natural History, Homer Laughlin Papers.

Homer Laughlin, Jr. in his Laughlin Eight at the Laughlin Engineers Corp. factory, ca. 1916. Courtesy Museum of Natural History, Homer Laughlin Papers.

"Homer Laughlin Light Eight," The Automobile, September 14, 1916, p. 442.

The Laughlin Eight featured front wheel drive (see above and below). The power plant consisted of an eight cylinder V Type engine with a 2 1/2 inch bore x 3 3/4 inch stroke and was designed to develop 25 horsepower. Engine cooling was by thermo-siphon. The car came with a Connecticut ignition system, Allis Chalmers starting and lighting systems, 112 inch wheelbase, 30 x 3 1/2 inch wheels and tires. The Laughlin Eight sales price was to be $1,050 but only 10 were finally made made. The snappy looking roadster was in all the automobile trade publications during the fall of 1916, but vanished from sight by 1917-18.

Laughlin Eight parked in Laughlin Park, ca. 1916-17. Courtesy Museum of Natural History, Homer Laughlin Papers.

Laughlin proudly posed his creation in front of his other period ventures, Laughlin Park and the Laughlin Theater (see above). 

Laughlin Eight parked in front of the Laughlin Theater, ca. 1916-17. Courtesy Museum of Natural History, Homer Laughlin Papers.

Pacific Rural Press, Sep 28, 1918, p. 329.

Laughlin's automobile venture never gained traction so he converted the factory to the production of farm tractors in 1918-19 (see above). The tractor venture also failed and Laughlin finally got out of the manufacturing business altogether around the time Gill's architecture practice also began falling on hard times.


I will close "Irving Gill, Homer Laughlin and the Beginnings of Modern Architecture in Los Angeles, Part II, 1911-1916" here around the time Gill completed the Dodge House in early 1916. By this time Frank Lloyd Wright had twice visited Southern California and had developed a less than flattering opinion of Los Angeles architecture and its architects which he recounted in his autobiography. The lone exception was Gill whom Wright somewhat backhandedly complimented, "An exception found his way there, long ago, in Irving Gill. But his antiseptic simplicity did not at all please the fashionable Angelenos." (Wright, p. 226).

What started out as what I thought would be the story of the Gill-Laughlin client-architect relationship and its importance to the evolution of modern architecture in Los Angeles turned out to be much more indeed. I uncovered a far richer and complex narrative which brought into the mix Harrison Albright, the Wrights, Alfonso Iannelli, Barry Byrne, William J. Dodd, and Mead and Requa. Other clients also played a major role including J. D. Spreckels, Jared Torrance, A. B. Miller, Henry Timken and numerous others.

I also found fascinating the interconnections and cross-pollination between Chicago and Los Angeles which began in Louis Sullivan's Auditorium Tower office in 1890-91 where Gill first met Sullivan and Wright. The 1913-1915 Gill, Lloyd and John Wright and Iannelli Los Angeles-Chicago interactions with Wright and his early 1900s Oak Park Studio apprentices Barry Byrne and Taylor Woolley was also an intriguing part of the story. 

For more articles on Gill see my:

R. M. Schindler's 1914 arrival in Chicago with the intent of entering Wright's design atelier and his consequent connections to Gill will be developed much further in an upcoming essay "The Schindler's Chicago Years, 1914-1920." I have covered Gill's 1917-1922 passing of the baton of Los Angeles architectural modernism to Lloyd Wright and R. M. Schindler in some detail in a few other pieces listed below in which "Gill" page searches will prove fruitful to Gill aficionados.:

For a detailed look at Gill's brief but extremely important relationship with Frank Mead during their 1907 partnership see my "Frank Mead: "A New Type of Architecture in theSouthwest," Part I, 1890-1906."

"The Schindlers and the Hollywood Art Association, 1921-1926" which also includes material on Gill disciples Mead and Requa.

For much on Schindler's 1915 West Coast exposure to Gill's work see:

"Edward Weston and Mabel Dodge Luhan Remember D. H. Lawrence and Selected Carmel-Taos Connections"

I have covered in some detail Lloyd Wright's fascinating evolution between 1916 and the early 1920s in:

In closing, as in all my pieces I welcome feedback, especially if you discover any inaccuracies. I also will continue to add more material as it is discovered so check back periodically.

P.S.: A Gill house I have not covered anywhere else is the Edgar T. Wall Residence in Riverside built in the first half of 1920 which I believe to be Gill's last significant house. I had never seen any photos of this particular house which I believe to be the one featured in this article, "The House That Will Not Collect Dust" by E. C. Bartholomew. I would appreciate any corroboration on this as well as any exterior photos. I am also looking for photos of Gill's 1918 Margaret Farlow House at 15830 Vanowen St. in Van Nuys.