|55. R.D. Farquhar
147 Georgina Avenue
Architect: R.D. Farquhar
French Villa - 147 Georgina Avenue
photo by Michael Grandcolas
photo by Michael Grandcolas
H.M. Gorham House, 336 Adelaide -
Mediterranean, Classical and Oriental
Georgina Ave - June 1928
| On October 10, 1910, R.D.
Farquhar applied to build this two-story French villa style residence at
the corner of Seventh and San Vicente. Farquhar was one of the most notable
architects in the Los Angeles region during the first quarter of the twentieth
century, as well as a relative the founder of Santa Monica, John Percival
Jones. The home was constructed in 1911 and Farquhar and his wife, Marion,
moved into this house from their residence at 500 Ocean Avenue and lived
in it for nearly 10 years.
This home is an early example of French Colonial architecture, a style that was popular in the late 19th Century but increased in popularity during World War II, when many American soldiers served in France. It embodies a number of character-defining features of the style including its side gable roof configuration, punctuated by four tall, round headed dormers. Revel in the finesse of conical cap with finial over the semi-circular front portico, the way the paired Doric columns rise gracefully to a blank frieze to define and separate each bay, four of which contain double French doors. Notice that the front façade of the residence is perfectly symmetrical, characteristic of the formal French villa style. The property also retains a high level of integrity and architectural context.
The lot size is approximately 100 feet by 205 feet. The building faces south and is located in a primarily single-family residential neighborhood. The formal landscaping with hedges and ivy compliment the formality of the residence. A garage is situated at the rear and approached via an alley.
Farquhar’s architectural designs are characterized by a propensity for symmetry and elegance. He is best known for designing Clark Memorial Library and the California Club, both in Los Angeles, as well as the classic Fenyes House in Pasadena and Beverly Hills High School. In 1918, Farquhar left for France to engage in Red Cross work, and according to city directories Marion left the house two years later.
After changing hands several times in the 1920’s and 1930’s, it was purchased by Arthur & Gretchen Gripp. Arthur Gripp taught at John Adams Jr. High School and Gretchen was a private music teacher.
In 1952, the Gripps moved the house from its original location at 628 San Vicente Boulevard, and moved to the current location at 147 Georgina Avenue in 1952. The move was most likely in response to the development of multi-family apartment buildings that began to surround the house on San Vicente Boulevard. The garage building was also moved from the San Vicente property. The Gripps continued to live at 147 Georgina for a few years, selling the house in 1958.
Prior to John Byers, Farquhar was the most regionally-known architect
living in Santa Monica. Locally, he was the architect of the Gorham House
at 336 Adelaide Drive (1910), notable for its use of reinforced concrete
for structural strength.