post-WWII Chinese American architects in LA & Googie

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buddhabellychan
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post-WWII Chinese American architects in LA & Googie

Postby buddhabellychan » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:33 pm

Hi,

I'm researching Chinese American architecture that appeared in Los Angeles from 1945-70. As I understand it, the most prominent (in comparative western-biased studies anyway) were Helen Fong, Gilbert Leong, Eugene Choy, and Gin Wong, whose contributions are mainly documented in some Googie style buildings. Are there others that angelenos should know about, perhaps with modern residences in the Silver Lake/Los Feliz area as well as New Chinatown?

thanks
Last edited by buddhabellychan on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jonu
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Postby jonu » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:03 am

You might want to contact Barton Choy -- principal of the architectural firm founded by Eugene Kinn Choy.

He is based in Pasadena and started designing homes in Silver Lake in the early 70s.

http://www.choyassociates.com/

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Postby nredom » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:50 am

You've probably already contacted architect Richard Liu, whose office is in Chinatown...

http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/ch ... igner.html

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Postby Pal George » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:19 pm

There are two residences by Eugene Choy in Silverlake on Castle St.

The other is in Los Feliz, on Franklin Terrace, which was photographed by Julius Shulman I believe in 1951, it's still intact.

There may be others, many Chinese families live(d) in the Moreno Highlands situated above the reservoir, and some of those residences could well have been designed by Chinese architects in the mid century.

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Postby nichols » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:00 pm

I cross referenced the top 10 Mandarin Chinese surnames


Lee
Wong
Chang
Liu
Chen
Yang
Wong
Chow
Woo
Choi

against the 1970 AIA directory and
Voila!

Lee, Robert J.
Hollywood
UC Berkeley, 1954

Wong, Charles Wah
West Los Angeles
b. Canton 7.21.29
USC 1951

Wong, Frank J.
Canoga Park
b. San Francisco
University of California 1955

Wong, Harry J.
(of Austin, Field and Fry)
Los Angeles
b. San Francisco 5.15.28
UC Berkeley 1955

Wong, William
(of John Anderson and Assoc., Pasadena)
West Los Angeles
b. Globe, AZ 8.19.23
USC 1954

Woo, T.
Sherman Oaks

Chow, Howard T.
Silver Lake
b. Kaifoong
10.1.23
USC 1951


Can you tell us more about your project?

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Postby nichols » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:08 pm

Licensee Name: LEE ROBERT J
License Type: ARCHITECT
License Number: C2514
License Status: CANCELED Definition
Expiration Date: May 31, 1997
Issue Date: April 12, 1958
Address: 2765 PELHAM PLACE
City: HOLLYWOOD
State: CA
Zip: 90068
County: LOS ANGELES
Actions: No


Licensee Name: WONG CHARLES W
License Type: ARCHITECT
License Number: C2078
License Status: RETIRED Definition
Expiration Date: July 31, 1997
Issue Date: April 13, 1956
Address: 1005 E COLORADO BLVD
City: PASADENA
State: CA
Zip: 91106
County: LOS ANGELES
Actions: No


Licensee Name: WONG FRANK J
License Type: ARCHITECT
License Number: C3565
License Status: RETIRED Definition
Expiration Date: December 31, 1993
Issue Date: September 18, 1961
Address: 22915 CANTLAY STREET
City: WEST HILLS
State: CA
Zip: 91307
County: LOS ANGELES
Actions: No



Licensee Name: WONG HARRY J
License Type: ARCHITECT
License Number: C4003
License Status: DECEASED Definition
Expiration Date: May 31, 1991
Issue Date: September 30, 1963
Address: 829 N MAPLE AVE
City: MONTEBELLO
State: CA
Zip: 90640
County: LOS ANGELES
Actions: No


Licensee Name: WONG WILLIAM
License Type: ARCHITECT
License Number: C2645
License Status: CANCELED Definition
Expiration Date: August 31, 1991
Issue Date: September 27, 1958
Address: 851 FOUNTAIN AVENUE
City: MONTEREY
State: CA
Zip: 93940
County: MONTEREY
Actions: No



Licensee Name: WOO TOM
License Type: ARCHITECT
License Number: C2791
License Status: EXPIRED Definition
Expiration Date: April 30, 2007
Issue Date: June 06, 1959
Address: 4835 LEMONA AVE
City: SHERMAN OAKS
State: CA
Zip: 91403-2011
County: LOS ANGELES
Actions: No



Licensee Name: CHOW HOWARD T
License Type: ARCHITECT
License Number: C2225
License Status: DECEASED Definition
Expiration Date: August 31, 1979
Issue Date: April 07, 1957
Address: 1882 E MOUNTAIN ST
City: PASADENA
State: CA
Zip: 91104
County: LOS ANGELES
Actions: No

buddhabellychan
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Thanks so much for the responses!

Postby buddhabellychan » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:33 pm

sorry, I'm new to this forum and didn't realize it doesn't automatically notify you when someone posts a reply.

I'm doing tentative research for the Chinese American Museum (CAM) in Los Angeles as part of the Getty Pacific Standard Time initiative, to preserve and raise awareness of the rapidly disappearing history of our cultural heritage from 1945-1970.
http://www.getty.edu/pacificstandardtime/

Nichols, are you affiliated with the AIA? Uncannily enough, I just visited the office of the AIA/LA chapter last week.

Naturally CAM aims to expose the contributions of Chinese Americans to the landscape of LA. We do already have connections with the 4 architects I've mentioned (Fong, Leong, Choy, and Wong) as well as Richard Liu, but I want to see if there are other notable figures who are missing from this lexicon.
The time period of 1945-1980 in particular was a rich era for architecture, the modern Case Study Houses and the Robert Venturi's Learning from Las Vegas I think are particularly relevant to the critical development of LA.

Chinese American architects are less studied, but their contributions to Googie are recognized by the movement's alternative name of Chinese Modern. However, not much literature is present to explain the moniker of Chinese Modern or to really delve into how they may have developed the style b/c of their unique dual heritage. It seems that Chinese approaches to the built environment are more prevalent in interiors than holistically designed buildings (if you have some building recommendations to check out in this regard, I'd also be interested in discussing that as well).
Googie is also primarily a commercial, as opposed to residential, movement. Have Chinese American shaped the evolution of residential architecture in Los Angeles that we are not currently aware of?

As you may infer, it's quite a project! Your help is much appreciated. And I will certainly look into the list of additional architects you've provided me.
Last edited by buddhabellychan on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby egads » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:55 pm

Automatic reply notifications are something you select when first registering. To change that, click on your profile at the top and add a check mark to be sent an email when a thread you have posted in gets a reply.

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automatic notifications

Postby buddhabellychan » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:30 pm

Hi Egad,

If you meant selecting the bubble for:

Always notify me of replies:
Sends an e-mail when someone replies to a topic you have posted in. This can be changed whenever you post.

It's already marked- yes... I promise to be polite and cordial!
As is the "Notify me when a reply is posted" check box in the thread starter post.
Anything else I should look at?

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Postby egads » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:41 pm

A couple of possibilities:
This site my be having problems, although I did get a notification of you new post to this thread.

Your spam blocker connected to the email address you registered with may need to be told to allow emails from Lotta Living.

buddhabellychan
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Chinese Modern

Postby buddhabellychan » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:10 am

Thanks, egads. I think it was a lapse in the site since the automatic reply issue seems to be resolved now.

On another note related to Chinese American architects, can anyone recommend literature on why Googie is also known as Chinese Modern? I have the sense that Chinese contributions to this style were more visible in the interiors of commercial buildings, but I can't think of any from the top of my head. Or theories as to why a Chinese flavor may have been appropriated by the Futurist/Ultramodern aesthetic of Googie. Is it simply that the future is always envisioned as an inevitable assimilation of the exotic into a hybrid identity?

egads
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Postby egads » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:29 am

I think that Chinese modern and Greek modern as well were used by interior designers to make modern more palatable to clients. I bet many practitioners were not even Chinese. I'm kind of old, and can remember back in the fifties and early sixties that one could buy, for instance a console TV, in Early American, Chinese Modern, Danish Modern and traditional (that would have Greek decoration. All "styles" for "decoration" The living room had to "match"

So while your study might be academic, I'm afraid a lot of it was just trends.
A name designer like Billy Haines would draw from many worlds. He would do interiors for movies stars and moguls and then that would trickle down to everyday folks. This is very well explained in a speech given to the personal assistant in The Devil Wears Prada about why her sweater is the color it is.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/13046/the-dev ... an-sweater

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Postby buddhabellychan » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:42 pm


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Postby scowsa » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:54 pm

Don't forget Google's major scanning project when researching.

For example, here is what Chinese Modern 1950 came back with, validating egads observations

scowsa

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Chinese American Arch Publications + Locations

Postby buddhabellychan » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:52 pm


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Postby 10yrsaft » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:17 am


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Postby nichols » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:25 am



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