Living La Vida Local

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3. John Byers (third) residence, 1926
2034 La Mesa Dr.

This Monterey Revival style masterpiece featuring hipped and gable roofs, recessed multi-paned casement windows asymmetrically dotting the facade and was the Byers’ family home for more than 30 years. Before John Byers because an architect, he was a teacher at Santa Monica and San Rafael High schools.

4. Aeroplane bungalow, 1912
315 10th St.

Known as an Aeroplane Bungalow, this home is distinguished by three low-pitched overhanging gable roofs. Built and occupied by mining engineer DeWitt Creveling, noteworthy characteristics also include the two-tiered braced split beams, gable vents and exposed rafters.

5. Fones residence, 1914
555 Seventh St.

A quintessential example of an early 20th Century Craftsman Bungalow. Note the cutout brackets under the projecting eaves, an essential bungalow feature. Two California architects, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, are often credited with inspiring America to build simple one-and-a-half story bungalows.

6. Worrell “Zuni House,” 1923-24
710 Adelaide Pl.

Architect Robert Stacey-Judd is best known for his Mayan-themed architecture, as is evident in the Pueblo Revival style home. Adelaide Drive at the north end of the city features majestic canyon views. Since the turn of the 20th Century, this street has attracted numerous prominent southern Californians. There are five noteworthy properties along this road.

7. Residence, 1923
506 Adelaide Dr.

This John Byers design is Spanish Colonial Revival, as hinted by the low pitched front and side gabled roof. The property has been extensively remodeled with a Craftsman feel and is thus deemed a structure of merit, but not a landmark.

8. Gillis house, 1905
406 Adelaide Dr.

This Craftsman residence was designed by architects Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey, associates of the prominent Pasadena architecture firm that designed the Huntington Library. This street is named after Robert Gillis’ daughter, Adelaide. Robert Gillis was the owner of the Santa Monica Land and Water Co. and bought thousands of acres in the Palisades in the 1880s. In 1923, Gillis sold 22,000 acres to Alphonso Bell, who developed Bel Air, and went on to develop the Pacific Palisades.

9. Isaac Milbank house, 1911
236 Adelaide Dr.

A noteworthy house designed by noteworthy architects — the Milwaukee Building Company — a.k.a. Meyer & Holler. These architects have constructed several landmark buildings around Los Angeles, including Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre. Affluent industrialist Isaac Milbank’s home is noteworthy for its complex roofline, overhanging eaves, ribbon casement windows and its use of shake. It sits majestically on the property.

10. Henry Weaver house, 1910
142 Adelaide Dr.
National Register of Historic Places

This property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sitting on the rim of Santa Monica Canyon, this splendid Milwaukee Building Co. design was a holiday home for Midwestern hotel developer Henry Weaver. Enjoy the spreading eves and the cool, deep front porch. Imagine the many windows that flood natural light into home, harmoniously connect the interior to the exterior landscaping.

11. Second Roy Jones house, 1911
130 Adelaide Dr.

Roy Jones was the founder and officer of the Bank of Santa Monica. He helped shape the City Charter and was influential in the early economic and political development of the city. This was the first house built on Adelaide Drive. Be impressed by the triple roof dormers on the side gable roof. The lines of this building are strengthened by the continuous weatherboard siding and the bracketed eave overhang.

12. Marion Davis Estate, north guest house, 1929
321 Palisades Beach Road (a.k.a. 415 PCH)

William Randolph Hearst might have been the first media mogul of the 20th Century. In his day, Hearst owned 28 major newspapers and 18 magazines, as well as radio stations and movie companies.

One of the richest men in America, in the 1920s, Hearst built San Simeon Castle. The architect was Julia Morgan, the first noted female architect in California. Morgan also designed this Santa Monica beach house that Hearst built for movie star Marion Davies.

In 1956, all but this north guest house was demolished. It is now owned by the city.

13. Henry Weyse/Charles Morris house, 1910
401 Ocean Ave.

Architect Robert Farquhar has done many prestigious buildings in the Los Angeles area, including the William Andrews Clarke Memorial Library, the Pasadena Museum of History and the California Club. This two-story residence combines elements of the Colonial Revival and Craftsman Style for attorney Henry Weyse.

14. A. McFadden residence, 1923
317 Georgina Ave.

This Spanish Colonial revival typifies the early 20th Century architectural style of the North of Montana Avenue neighborhood. The property was owned by Austin McFadden, local entrepreneur, and operator of the Bon Ton Ball Room at Lick Pier.

The Lick Pier at Navy Street opened on Easter weekend, 1922 and featured the 22,000 square-foot Bon Ton Ballroom, a Zip roller coaster, a Dodge’em, Caterpillar and Captive
Aeroplane rides.

15. The Palama, 1922
211 Alta Ave.

Two rows of mirror image building are typical of the bungalow courts of the 1920s and 1930s — a period of smaller scale multiple family housing. This fine example of the
California bungalow court is nicely detailed. All six units show a mixture of Colonial and Craftsman Styles.

16. Vanity Fair Apartments, 1935
822 Third St.

Definitive Streamline Moderne — an evolved version of Art Deco which takes the design elements and strips them down into curves and lines. These distinctive apartment buildings were designed by Carl Henderson, a businessman from Iowa who was known for his success with the Santa Monica Packard Agency before turning to real estate.

17. Cedar Deodara tree
918 Fifth St.

This early 20th Century tree was planted at a point in time in which new species of huge trees were meant to provide shade for many years. This 100-plus-year-old tree has not been pruned, manicured or trimmed. The naturally shaped cedar tree is a reminder of the horticulturist activity in the city early in the 20th Century.

18. Turn of the 20th Century cottage, 1906
954 Fifth St.

Cottages like this one were popular in Southern California from the late 1890s through the 1910s. This property was one of the initial buildings constructed with the original town of Santa Monica boundaries. Details include a hipped rough, double hung sash doors, exposed rafter tails and bay windows.

19. Sovereign Apartments/Hotel, 1928
205 Washington Ave.
National Register of Historic Places

The Sovereign Hotel has been poised at the corner of Washington and Second Street since 1929. Five stories, with 130 rooms, it was designed by the firm of Meyer-Radon. The property is a showpiece of Spanish Colonial Revival form and detail.

Record has it this property was once owned by C.A. Hamilton, the owner of the concessions at Yellowstone Park.

20. Miramar Moreton Bay Fig Tree
Ocean Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard

This 80-foot tall Moreton Bay Fig Tree is California’s second largest. Rumor has it that this tree came into being when an Australian sailor, with no money to pay for his drinks in a bar, paid the bartender with a sapling. The bartender gave the sapling to the wife of one of the city’s founders, Sen. John Percival Jones. She gave it go her gardener to plant in the yard of their home.

21. Charmont Apartments, 1929
330 California Ave.
National Register of Historic Places

Between 1920 and 1930, the population of Los Angeles County grew from 936,434 to
2,208,492 — and people wanted to live by the beach. Necessity led to a golden age of apartment architecture, as exemplified by the Charmont Apartments. This lavish mid-rise residential building was designed by Max Meltzmann in a unique blend of Mediterranean Revival and Art Deco style, and features a motif of chevron points and distinctive tilework.

This series was originally written for the Santa Monica Daily Press.

If you have stories to tell of early Santa Monica and its property, share them with us. For your real estate needs, e-mail Jodi Summers at or call 310-260-8269.

A map of Santa Monica Landmark properties can be found by clicking here.