3435 N. Amesbury Road 90027 - Sherwood House
3435 N. Amesbury Road 90027 Los Feliz USA
Historic-Cultural Monument, Tudor Revival
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #1026 (2/5/2013)
Charles M. Hutchison, architect.
Click here for Los Angeles Department of City Planning Recommendation Report, which has additional details on the property’s architectural and historic significance.
Significance Statement for HCM:
The Sherwood House was one of the first homes built in the prestigious Los Feliz Hills Subdivision. Designed by the architect Charles M. Hutchinson, the home reflects a high level of design and craftsmanship, as well as a unique design. The architect was at one point a partner with Walker and Eisen and designed the 7- story Don Lee Cadillac Building at 7th and Bixel Streets (Demolished in early 1990s). Lucile Sherwood, the home’s original owner, was only in the home for a short time, but the name has remained with the home, possibly because of the Tudor architecture and the romance of Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood fame. The second and third owners, James J. Cline and Tobias Kotzin are significant in college football and fashion design.
The Sherwood House is an outstanding example of one of the many Revival styles that became popular in the early to mid-20th Century. The English Tudor Revival architecture of the 20th century (also called Mock Tudor or Tudorbethan), first appeared in domestic architecture beginning in the United Kingdom in the mid to late 19th century as a revival of the Tudor style associated with the Middle Ages and the time of Elizabeth I (Hence the name). It later became an influence in some other countries, especially the British colonies. For example, in New Zealand, the architect Francis Petre adapted the style for the local climate. Elsewhere in Singapore, then a British colony, architects such as R. A. J. Bidwell pioneered what became known as the Black and White House. The earliest examples of the style originate with the works of such eminent architects as Norman Shaw and George Devey, in what at the time was thought of as a neo-Tudor design. The term “Tudorbethan” is modelled on John Betjeman’s 1933 coinage of the “Jacobethan” style, which he used to describe the grand mixed revival style of circa 1835–1885 that had been called things like “Free English Renaissance”. “Tudorbethan” took it a step further, eliminated the hexagonal or many-faceted towers and mock battlements of Jacobethan, and applied the more domestic styles of “Merrie England”, which were cozier and quaint. English-speaking sources outside North America use mainly the term Tudorbethan.
The Tudor Revival style was a reaction to the ornate Victorian Gothic revival of the second half of the 19th century. Rejecting mass production that was beginning to be introduced by industry at that time, which was responsible for bringing in the Arts and Crafts movement. The Sherwood House displays most of the basic design elements associated with the English Tudor Style, including characteristics such as a steeply pitched roof, half-timbering often, tall mullioned windows, a high chimney, a jettied (overhanging) second floor and shutters for windows.
The home was one of the first to be constructed in the F. P. Fay Company’s “Los Feliz Hills” (Tract No. 9050). Los Feliz Hills was specifically designed to create a planned community, using architect designed homes as the means of creating an upscale yet affordable neighborhood. The house was designed by the architect Charles M. Hutchinson. Little is known about the architect, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1893. The American Architect reports in 1919 that he went into partnership with Albert Walker Percy Eisen, but the firm was to remain under the name of Walker and Eisen. He was working solo by 1922, when he designed the 7- story Cadillac dealership for Don Lee at 7th and Bixel, which was later known as Thomas Cadillac and demolished in the early 1990s. He was still practicing architecture in 1940, according to that year’s census, but his main body of work has yet to be catalogued.
Lucille Sherwood, the home’s original owner, is even more obscure. She sold the house to former UC Berkeley Football star James J. Cline in 1930. Somehow. The Sherwood name has survived in the neighborhood, so she must have made some sort of initial impact. James Cline was a back on one of Coach Andy Smith’s “Wonder Teams” of the 1920s. He formed Cline Hardwood Company of Los Angeles and served as its president until 1969. He sold the Sherwood House to Tobias and Bessie F. Kotzin on April 19, 1944. Tobias Kotzin was a well-known clothing manufacturer in Los Angeles, lending his name to a line of apparel that was world famous for many years. Kotzin was an active member of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple (HCM 116) and worked closely with Rabbi Edgar Magnum, the long-time head of the Temple. He was also well known for his work with various charities. He remained in the house until his death in 1976. His wife, Bessie remained there until she passed away on February 25, 1989, after which, the Sherwood House was sold to the current owners. The Sherwood House clearly meets the standard for Historic Cultural Monument as a representative type specimen of English Tudor Revival. (Source: Los Angeles Department of City Planning Recommendation Report)
3435 Amesbury Road (rents for $125): 1) F. Charles Wolcott, head of household; white married male 33 years of age; born in Michigan; Musical arranger in motion pictures; earns more than $5,000. 2) Harriett M. Wolcott, wife; white married female 35 years of age; born in Michigan; not working. 3) Sheila J. Wolcott, daughter; white female 5 years of age; born in New York; in school. 4) Marsha J. Wolcott, daughter; white female 4 years of age; born in New York. 5) Elizabeth A. Wolcott, sister; white single female 21 years of age; born in Michigan; secretary in motion picture industry; earns $396. 6) Robert R. Curtis, ???; white divorced male 32 years of age; born in Michigan; not working. 7) E. Whyatt Kellock, maid; white widow 65 years of age; born in Scotland; housekeeper/domestic; earns $520. (ED 60-78B; Page 1A; Lines 2-8).
Type: Historic-Cultural Monument Sold
Area: 2,909 sqft
Year Built: 1929