5689 W. Holly Oak Dr. 90068 - Edwin R. & Margaret Collins Hacienda
5689 W. Holly Oak Drive 90068 Los Feliz USA
Historic-Cultural Monument, Spanish Colonial Revival
“Edwin R. and Margaret Collins Hacienda”
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #1188 designated in 2019.
Alvan Edward Norstom and Milton Lawrence Anderson Architects
Click here to see the Los Angeles Department of City Planning Recommendation Report, which has additional details on the property’s architectural and historic significance.
Statement of Significance:
Built in 1933 by Edwin R. Collins, the managing editor for the Los Angeles Evening Herald, this hacienda type Spanish Colonial Revival residence was designed by the architects Alvan Edward Norstom and Milton Lawrence Anderson. Collins had bought the property, consisting of Lots 120 and 121 of Tract No. 6247 and a portion of Lot A of Tract No. 1288 in 1926.
Edwin Rufus Collins was born on April 21, 1876 in Rhonerville, California, a suburb of the city of Eureka. He was the only child of, Edwin R Collins, Sr. and Eleanor (Palmer) Collins. His father worked with the railroad industry and the family moved several times, eventually settling in the town of Crab Creek, Washington, where his father was shown in the 1880 census as a butcher. His schooling was mostly in Walla Walla, Washington, where he attended Whitman College. He began working for the Walla Walla Union as a reporter during his military service as an Army Sargent in the Spanish America War. His military service took him to serve in the Philippines where he fought against the insurrection in 1902-03, ultimately reaching the rank of Major in the Army Officer’s Reserve Corps, a position that he retained for the rest of his life.
Settling in Oregon he became the City Editor for the Portland Telegram in 1904, but was hired a year later by William Randolph Hearst’s Los Angeles Examiner as the night editor. In 1907 he was transferred to the San Francisco Examiner, but left the following year to become the editor of the Daily Optic, in Las Vegas, New Mexico when Hearst acquired that paper. While there, Collins married Margaret E. Flint on June 15, 1909.
The couple then moved to Massachusetts, where Edwin became the Sunday editor for Hearst’s Boston American, returning to the Los Angeles Evening Herald in late 1911 to become the news editor until he was place in the same position at the Chicago American. In late 1913 he finally returned to the Evening Herald as the managing editor, later taking on that job for the Express, as well. Until this point, it appears that Collins main job was to set various Hearst-owned newspapers on a proper course to be profitable. As such, he was a critical asset for the corporation. In 1924 he was put in charge of the editorial content of all of the afternoon Hearst papers on the Pacific Coast, on top of his duties at the Herald and Express.
He also personally wrote many of the paper’s news, editorials and features along with doing the same, as well as fiction, for several magazines, including Gunter’s Magazine, National Sportsman and Monthly Story Magazine. He also wrote numerous short stories.
Collins was active in three athletic clubs in Hollywood, Santa Monica and Los Angeles, along with being active in the California Country Club, Uplifters, Adventurers, Casa del Mar, Sea Breeze, Surf and Sand and the Pacific Coast Clubs. In spite of his extensive physical activity, Collins suffered a massive heart attack on June 6, 1933, which left him bedridden, just as the hacienda was near completion. He passed away there from a relapse on August 25, 1933, at the age of 57, leaving his new home to his wife.
Margaret Collins sold the Home to Pennzoil executive Norman Mayfield Day and his wife, Daisy Gleason Day in March of 1939. Day died on February 9, 1941 at the age of 52. Daisy Day lived in the house until she sold it to Herbert H. Clarke Jr. and his wife, Margaret Clarke on October 23, 1958 who then deeded it to Channing Wallace Gilson and Elva H. Gilson on June 6, 1961. Mrs. Gilson died in July 1969 at the age of 49. On April 1, 1986, Gilson transferred the property to Jeffery K. Ayercoff and Marty Longbine, who sold it to Neal Levin as Trustee for actress/comedian Katie Segal and her husband, musician Jack White, on September 12, 1991. Segal and White sold it to the current owners, John I Bailey and his wife, Carol Littleton on September 17, 1997.
Spanish Colonial Revival style, in California, was proceeded by the Mission Revival period (1890-1915), which was a nostalgic reaction to the Victorian era, heavily influenced by the new Arts and Crafts movement. The Hacienda layout came directly from Mexico, with the construction of housing surrounding a central patio, which essentially becomes an outdoor room within the walls of the house.
The possibilities of the Spanish Colonial Revival Style were brought to the attention of architects attending late 19th and early 20th century’s international expositions. For example, California’s Mission Revival style Pavilion in white stucco at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, and the Mission Inn, in Riverside, along with the Electric Tower of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, in 1900 introduced the potential of Spanish Colonial Revival. They also integrated porticoes, pediments and colonnades influenced by Beaux Arts classicism as well.
By the early years of the 1910s, architects in Florida had begun to work in a Spanish Colonial Revival style. Frederick H. Trimble’s Farmer’s Bank in Vero Beach, completed in 1914, is a fully mature early example of the style. The city of St. Cloud, Florida, espoused the style both for homes and commercial structures and has a fine collection of subtle stucco buildings reminiscent of colonial Mexico. Many of these were designed by architectural partners Ida Annah Ryan and Isabel Roberts.
California was the major location of design and construction in the Spanish Colonial Revival, especially in the coastal cities. In 1915 the San Diego PanamaCalifornia Exposition, with architects Bertram Goodhue and Carleton Winslow Sr., popularized the style in the state and nation. It is best exemplified in the California Quadrangle, built as the grand entrance to that Exposition. In the early 1920s, architect Lilian Jeannette Rice designed the style in the development of the town of Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego County. The city of Santa Barbara adopted the style to give it a unified Spanish character after widespread destruction in the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake. Its County Courthouse is a prime example of the style. Real estate developer Ole Hanson favored the Spanish Colonial Revival style in his founding and development of San Clemente, California in 1928. The Pasadena City Hall, Sonoma City Hall, and Beverly Hills City Hall are other notable civic examples in California. Between 1922 and 1931, architect Robert H. Spurgeon constructed 32 Spanish colonial revival houses in Riverside California and many of them have been preserved. The 1929 William Ford Residence (Ventura County Monument No. 162), in Ojai, designed by Paul Revere Williams, is a premium example of the Hacienda Style.
The Hacienda layout is normally found on larger properties due to the space required for the central patio area. It is found, as well, in the early California Ranch Style, as practiced by California designers, such as Cliff May. Paul Williams also adapted it to the Ranch Style, as found in the Craig Residence (HCM 992) in West Hills.
In 2012 the Collins Hacienda was included in “The California Casa” by Douglas Woods, with photographs by Melba Levick (Attached). This includes the cover photo for the book, which is of the courtyard fountain.
A more detailed history of the Collins Hacienda was compiled in 2002 by the historian Tim Gregory and has been attached immediately after this page to fill in the details of the architectural and historic significance of this property.
The house is significant architecturally as an excellent example of hacienda style Spanish Colonial Revival residence as well as historically for its connection with Edwin Collins, a noted newspaper man who was major part in the building of the Hearst newspapers into an extensive national chain which was a major influence on society and politics for decades. The second owner, Norman M. Day, was a noted Pennzoil executive. (Source: Los Angeles City Planning Department, Recommendation Report)
Norman M. Day served as President and founder of the Penzoll Oil Company of California, a firm that eventually became Texaco.
Listed at $1,550,000 in 1998. Norstrom & Anderson, architects. (Source: Real estate brochure)
5689 Holly Oak Drive (Value $45,000): 1) Norman M. Day, head of household; white married male 51 years of age; born in California; President, oil company; earns $5,000. 2) Daisy M. Day, wife; white married female 51 years of age; born in Iowa; not working. 3) John N. Day, son; white single male 25 years of age; born in California; salesman, oil company; earns $2,100. 4) Benjaman I. Day, son; white single male 23 years of age; born in California; salesman, oil company; earns $1,620. 5) George Du Valle, servant; Negro married male 38 years of age; born in Maryland; butler,
Photo courtesy Michael Locke, 2021
Type: Historic-Cultural Monument Sold
Bed Rooms: 4
Area: 4,860 sqft
Lot Size: 29,850 sqft
Year Built: 1934