3247 N. Waverly Drive 90027 - Sam and Jane Taylor Residence
3247 N. Waverly Drive 90027 Los Feliz USA
Historic-Cultural Monument, Mid-Century Modern
“Sam and Jane Taylor Residence”
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #1216, declared November 2020.
J.R. Davidson, architect.
Click here for Los Angeles Department of City Planning Recommendation Report, which has additional details on the property’s architectural and historic significance.
Statement of Significance for HCM:
This Sam and Jane Taylor house, located at 3247 Waverly Drive in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, is a superb example of J. R. Davidson’s designs and canons, and Mid-Century Modern Architecture.
The house was constructed in 1947, mid-way through Davidson’s architectural career, on 1 – 1/3 acres of land with a commanding view of Griffith Park, Verdugo Hills, Glendale and the Los Angeles River. The house has had minimal alterations and has been extremely well preserved and restored, retaining most of the essential character defining features of Mid-Century Modern style. Designed by J. R. Davidson, Garrett Eckbo was engaged to landscape the original dry scrabble. It remains today as a testament to the versatility, livability, adaptability and durability of Mid-Century Style of architecture.
This exceptional house exhibits an outstanding quality of design through many distinctive features, presenting as an excellent example of the Mid-Century Modern style, having been constructed during the period of significance (1945-1975).
This Taylor house is a very special house in J. R. Davidson’s oeuvre. At 3,600 square feet (including attached garage) it is larger than most of his private residences and has a pool. The orientation towards the mountains, and the opening up of the house to the backyard, is typical for his work.
Although grander, this house is very similar to the modern homes Davidson built around the 1950’s. The private area with the bedrooms is angled away from the more public living room and dining room, both of which were separated by a Dorothy Liebes tapestry. The kitchen and service areas on the west side of the house, the other angled wing, lead to the back of the house and hide behind the living room, which in the center, is the angle point of the ground floor plan.
The long private entrance, with a pergola above to create shade, is a typical element, as well as the indoor large glass walls, which make the transition from indoors to outdoors almost invisible. A similar glass vitrine was placed between the kitchen and the dining area, and serves 3 as a shelf for plants as well as a screen between the kitchen and the dining/living room area.
The house is a direct expression of the structural system of wood post and beam. It is designed with simple geometric volumes, horizontal massing, and unornamented wall surfaces. The roof is low pitched with wide overhanging eaves. The large floor-to-ceiling windows, which are flush mounted steel framed, integrate the indoors and outdoors beautifully.
As far as integrity considerations, this Davidson house retains the integrity of design, materials, workmanship and feeling from this period, with ample integrity to convey significance. There have been minimal alterations, and the fenestration patterns are unchanged. There has been minimal painting of the original wood surfaces, only in the two boys’ bedrooms.
Not visible from the street, the house is not noted on Survey LA. Neither is the only other Davidson house located in the Los Feliz area. This second house is located one block from the Sam and Jane Taylor house, and it was constructed by friends of the Taylors. Although similar in design and materials used, it is a much smaller version, and although visible from the street, it also is not noted on Survey LA.
The Taylors’ house is the only built example where the architect worked with the well-known landscape designer Garrett Eckbo. This led them later to collaborate on the House of the Book, charged to Eckbo, and for which he invited Davidson to be the architect. However, this public project was never realized.
But for the Taylor house, the Eckbo’s plans exist and are included in this submission. (Source: Los Angeles Department of City Planning Recommendation Report)
LFIA supported HCM status for this home. Following is an excerpt from LFIA’s letter in support:
Click here to read articles on history of house and landscape architect Garrett Eckbo: “Putting Teeth in Landmark Designation,” LFIA Observer Newsletter, January 2021 (also published in the Los Feliz Ledger, January 2021),
Landscape architect Garrett Eckbo Article on history of the house: Los Feliz Ledger (January 2021) and on LFIA.org website.
Type: Historic-Cultural Monument Sold
Area: 3113 sqft
Lot Size: 39060 sqft
Year Built: 1947