Cox House | Los Angeles Conservancy
Cox House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Cox House

Nicknamed the “Tree House” for the giant conifer tree that rises between the beams of its front entryway, the Cox House is a striking Mid-Century Modern residence that literally embraces the natural environment. Designed by local architect John Galbraith in 1959, the residence is a wonderful example of the interpretation and evolution of modernism in Southern California.

The Cox House draws from the Miesian tradition of architecture, which uses simple geometric forms to emphasize horizontality and transparency. The building is a simple, one-story pavilion, with alternating expanses of glass and stone exterior walls. One long, horizontal beam stretches across the entire front façade at the roofline, while individual bays step backward and forward, creating a strong visual rhythm. Rooms lined with floor-to-ceiling windows stand adjacent to recessed patios, blurring the relationship between indoor and outdoor space – a hallmark of California modernism.

Educated at the University of Washington, Seattle, John Galbraith was a Pasadena-based architect who designed a number of institutional, commercial and residential buildings. The Cox House is one of his finest designs and a small gem in South Pasadena’s Arroyo, celebrating European architectural traditions while creating something entirely regional with its natural materials and forms.

Wirick House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Wirick House

Its delicate appearance belies the strength and endurance of its structural system, which seems to reflect the attitude of the World War II veterans who came from the USC School: if we can win a war, we can certainly build beautiful houses on this little hill.
Johnnie's sign.
Johnnie's Pastrami neon sign, 2019. Photo by Adriene Biondo.

Johnnie's Pastrami

Culver City icon serving up some of the best pastrami sandwiches in town.
Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Casa de Cadillac

A well-known landmark of San Fernando Valley Modernism, Casa de Cadillac has been showcasing cars continuously since 1949, but only recently has it been restored to its original grandeur.