Lewis Wilson - architect - Baldwin Theater

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Kimba
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Lewis Wilson - architect - Baldwin Theater

Postby Kimba » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:26 pm

Today I rec'd a boxful of family photos. I have a lot of Adrian Wilson and will post them as time allows under the previous Adrian Wilson thread.

However, I also have found a lot of pictures and articles about Lewis Wilson, including a small portfolio. Sadly, many of the pictures are water damaged. The one building that stands out is the Baldwin Theater. Here is one of the pictures. Does anyone know anything about this uncle of mine or this site?

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Postby nichols » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:29 pm


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Postby Kimba » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:59 pm

Thank you for the redirection :-)

Please keep this post open as I have quite a few pics and informatin on Lewis E. Wilson to add here. I'm going to upload a lot of pics of the Baldwin on the other posting site in just a few minutes :-)
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Postby srk1941 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:10 am

I posted on the theater thread as well...

But I'd be VERY interested in seeing what else you may have gotten. Lewis Wilson was partners with Edwin Merrill and Robert Alexander (Alexander was Neutra's partner from the late 40's to the early 60's), and in 1935 started working with Reginald Johnson and Clarence Stein on Baldwin Hills Village. The grand scheme included the theater you show here, and a shopping center, church and school. Your uncle worked on several of these things, the theater being the most notable.

This is great!
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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:07 pm

Lewis Eugene Wilson was born June 6, 1900 in Missouri. He died March 12, 1957 in Los Angeles, California.

This is a picture of Lewis, his mother Tony, and his brother Adrian Wilson.

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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:09 pm

This is Lewis' business card and a picture of his house on Rodeo Drive.

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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:44 pm

Front page of Lewis' portfolio

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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:46 pm

Image

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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:49 pm

Image

Image

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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:54 pm

Image

Image

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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:57 pm

I saw a newspaper article in one of the boxes about this project...before I found the portfolio. I can't find it tonight, but I'll post it when I locate it again.

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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:59 pm

Image

Image
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Postby Kimba » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:04 pm

This is the last page of the portfolio. All of it is posted now! If anyone can give me information about these projects, I'd surely appreciate it! Are any of them still standing? I wonder what they look like today?

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Postby srk1941 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:15 am

WOW!

These are amazing, most of these are new images to me, and very exciting.

The first five or so pictures, after Mr. Wilson and his mother and brother, are of Baldwin Hills Village (Village Green), where I live. It is certainly still around, and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

It was called "Thousand Gardens" during the planning stages, and that image on his portfolio cover shows the initial rendering, it's really quite a find!

Your first picture shows the bungalow at Rodeo and Hauser, here a similar spot today

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The pictures that follow the Baldwin Hills Village photo are interesting, that Mercury dealership I've seen in the Julius Shulman Modernism Rediscovered book, but the other theatre, office building and that drive-in sort of thing I've never seen before, and don't know if they were built or not? It would be interesting to see...
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Postby nichols » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:36 am

Berl Berry Lincoln Mercury (1951)
3700 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
(between Oxford and Serrano)

Closed 1957, became COMAC - Los Angeles, a showcase of new building products. In '57 they were planning to double the size of this 7000 sq. ft. building.

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In 1961 it was purchased by Beneficial Standard Life for their new headquarters - finshed in 1967. There was also a Manning's Coffee Shop and a bank on the site. It's now a huge empty landscaped plaza in front of this office building. It was originally dubbed "Liberty Park." The insurance building was used as the "ultra exquisite business headquarters of Rod Taylor" in Zabriskie Point.

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Postby nichols » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:01 pm

That 4-screen Drive-In theater sure is unusual...

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Postby srk1941 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:30 pm

Thanks Chris, cool!

You don't happen to have a list of his other projects and locations in that hat of yours, do you?
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Postby Kimba » Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:58 am

Thank you for finding that one!

I thought someone would spot that office building first...maybe it never existed? I'm going to look through the box today. I really want to find that newspaper article on the drive-ins.
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Postby Kimba » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:59 am

This is the last of what I have on Lewis's work. The rest are many many family pictures. Send me a message if you are interested in more family photos.

This one is an article on the opening of the Baldwin Theatre:

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Postby Kimba » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:00 am

Here is the one I was searching for that tells us more clues about that 4-way drive-in theater:

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Postby Kimba » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:02 am

Here is an article about Lewis:

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Postby Kimba » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:03 am

The above article has some pretty serious creases in it, so it was hard to scan. I'll be happy to look at it more closely and clarify anything that you need to know about it.
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Postby Kimba » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:07 am

I have quite a few family pictures, as mentioned. I had to post this one here with a bit of my genealogy.

Lewis was my father's uncle. He had one son whom they called "Sonny". According to my paternal grandmother, Lewis' world revolved around his son. Sadly, at a young age, Sonny died in a motorcycle accident. Grandma told me that Lewis died soon afterward "of a broken heart". Recently I asked my mom if she remembered this tragedy and she said that yes, the family was devastated. She believes Lewis' official cause of death was some sort of respiritory problem.

By the way, there are many redheads in our family, and I am one of them :-D. Sonny was also a redhead.

Here is a picture of Lewis and Sonny:

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"This world has nothing for me, and this world has everything. All that I could want, and nothing that I need."

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Postby rockland » Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:12 pm

Wonderful story. Just so you know. I'm enjoying it.
And following your additions...


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