Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Glendale Blvd: Seeley's Furniture

So my second street of exploration, Glendale Blvd.

Because I live near Glendale, I traveled it by bike and I saw so many more details than I would have if I had been driving my car. I ride my bike a lot and I've gotten the feeling that there are two worlds in LA, one inside the car and one outside the car. And while they inhabit the same space, you can't experience both at the same time. It's like something predicted by some cosmological theory, two alternate universes that are right on top of each other, but out of sync in such a way that one doesn't perceive the space in the same way as the other. Anyways...

Seeley's Furniture! I love this building and always wondered what its story is. Here's what I found out. It was designed by Alfred F. Priest (1888 - 1931) in 1925. Priest designed a bunch of commerical buildings like Seeley's and the Security Trust and Savings in Glendale as well as many Craftsman and Spanish Colonial Revival residencies throughout LA county. Seeley's itself was a Spanish style building when originally constructed, and underwent a Deco/Moderne make-over in the 40's. Now I don't know who the original tenant of the building was, or when Seeley moved in. If anyone can fill me in on that, I'd love to hear about it. For more information on Priest, see the links at the bottom of the post.

A clock with your name is just classy.

I love these old signs with the prominent supporting structure. The supporting structure itself is like a cool Minimalist sculpture that makes a cameo all over the city.

On the side of the building that faces Glendale (technically the street is still Brand Blvd. right here, but I'm calling it Glendale) was someone's bed. This is one of the main thing I notice on my bike, public beds throughout the city.

It might not be legible from this small picture (click the image for a larger view), but the newspaper next to the bed is open to an ad that reads "Treat Yourself to a Special Day."

Just down the street from Seeley's was this. This is classic LA to me, beautiful, overflowing flowers, on top of concrete. Of course you also have the discourse between the city and the taggers too, it wouldn't be LA without that.

Here are the links to the info on architect Alfred A. Priest:

You-are-here.com has a bunch of works by LA architects

And if you want to get hardcore, check this PDF document entitled City of Glendale Reconnaissance Survey and Historic Context Statement Of Craftsman Style Architecture 2006-2007 from California Parks and Ports website. Here's the info you'll find on Priest on page 32 as well as an illustration from the publication.
Another prominent Glendale architect who has designed Glendale Craftsman residences was Alfred F. Priest. Priest was a prolific architect, who designed a large number of Glendale’s buildings from the 1910s to 1920s.

Like Shattuck, Priest also maintained a Los Angeles office, but lived in Glendale and was very socially active. He was a prolific architect who designed not only homes, but also commercial and educational buildings.

His works could be seen throughout California, although he did do a substantial amount of work in Glendale. Many of Priest’s homes were built in the upscale neighborhoods of North Glendale.

Priest designed three homes in a row for Joseph M. McMillan, general manager for Pacific Electric, and his two sons-in-law at Mountain and Louise Streets (see Figure 14). McMillan is shown to be living at 915 Mountain Street in the 1912 and 1915-16 Glendale City Directories. However, his sons are not listed, so it is not certain whether all of these homes were built. It is likely that none remain today.

However, at least two examples still stand, as seen in Figures 15 and 16. Priest’s later residences were often designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style which took the place of the Craftsman in popularity.

Priest died an early death in 1931. Martin Weil created a detailed list of Priest’s buildings in “The Work of Alfred F. Priest.” However, because pre-1921 building permits and plans no longer exist at the City of Glendale,26 additional Craftsman residences designed by these architects, and the names of other local architects who created such designs, can not be determined at this time.

View The Sights The Sounds in a larger map

1 comment:

crafty said...

Just shot some footage in Oxnard's Historic District inside a home designed by Alfred Priest. If you facebook, "Oxnard Campus Gardens" you'll see the short video soon, most likely by Feb. 2012. Thanks!