Barton Choy Residence | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Barton Choy Residence

Two wooden plank-paneled houses sit one address apart on Windsor Avenue in Silver Lake, their acute angles, use of steep lots, and dramatic façades proclaiming them the work of one innovative architect. Barton Choy designed both buildings, one (3035 Windsor) for himself in 1972 and the other (3025 Windsor) for his sister Marilyn in 1977.

Their father Eugene K. Choy, a pioneering Modern architect known for designs like the Cathay Pacific Bank and other commercial buildings in new Chinatown, lived about a block away in a 1949 design of his own. The two Barton Choy-designed houses are similar in style, reflecting Choy’s embrace of a Sea Ranch-inspired aesthetic emphasizing clean lines and natural wood cladding meant to age, darken and fade to fit into the surrounding environment. Today Marylin’s house shows new wood planking that will start the aging cycle over again, while the cedar cladding on Choy’s house is a soft gray.

The underlying shapes of both houses, however, remain steadfastly original and postmodern in appearance.

Choy’s house features a large stylized central column enclosing a staircase, and a sharply angled, prow-like glass wall dominating the front façade. Marylin’s house is more wood than glass, retreating further into its hillside lot and even embracing a tree that grows up through the front landing. Both are dynamic adaptations to difficult lots, reflecting Choy’s embrace of a daunting Silver Lake challenge.

Photo by Annie Laskey/Los Angeles Conservancy

Pinney House

Built for industrialist Henry Pinney and occupied by his son until 1980, this home features fish-scale shingles, intricate fretwork, and enclosed eaves with decorative brackets, which were typical of the period.
Pershing Square
Photo by Annie Laskey/L.A. Conservancy

Pershing Square

Five acres whose ownership can be traced back to 1781 when Spain granted them to the City of Los Angeles, Pershing Square has undergone myriad design changes, the most recent in 1993.