Frank Lloyd’s blog

Art, architecture and the people that I know.

Available Material Part 2

with 2 comments

Recently, I wrote about an old idea: use the available material.  In that post, I noted that California is full of strong structures that use simple materials, and marry them to a natural setting. I also gave some examples from a fall road trip to Northern California.  Fortunately, trails and wooded areas are never too far away from me, and I often walk in the Arroyo Seco, near my home.  On the east and west banks of the Arroyo, there are homes built of rounded river rocks and long shaped beams. Some are legendary, part of the architectural setting for the Arts and Crafts movement in the early 20th century.

Batchelder House copyThe landscape of the Arroyo Seco was the setting for Ernst A. Batchelder’s house. Batchelder became, in the early part of the 20th century, a well-known designer and producer of decorative ceramic tile. On Arroyo Drive, at a curve on the eastern bank, sits his unimposing home and studio. It nestles into the shady oaks nearby.  From the street, the front elevation shows a strong-beamed, shingled house with brick and stone at the foundation. According to architectural historian David Gebhard, a kiln still stands in the backyard, where the now-coveted Batchelder architectural tiles were first produced.

On the opposite side of the same street lies La Casita del Arroyo, a low-slung structure. I wandered around this public meetinghouse recently, and took some pictures.  The hall seems to step down into the steep bank of the Arroyo, and the imposing chimney stands broad and strong. The stone construction is rough. As I learned (from David Gebhard and Robert Winter’s Los Angeles: An Architectural Guide), architect Myron Hunt “donated his services and designed this structure using boulders and sand from the Arroyo, fallen trees from higher up the canyon, and even part of the bicycle track abandoned after its use in the 1932 Olympics.”

Advertisements

Written by Frank Lloyd

November 24, 2009 at 8:02 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. You have included one of my photos here. Please link to the original. Thank you. https://flic.kr/p/6Eemhv

    Karol Franks

    May 20, 2014 at 9:56 am

  2. Dear Karol,
    You are right about the photo and will be happy to keep your link here in the comments section. I admire your post on Flicker. I stopped by the Arroyo and took a new photo, because the landscaping has grow in! I will keep your link embedded in these comments, and thank you for the help with this post>

    Frank Lloyd

    May 20, 2014 at 7:08 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s