Delmer Residence | Los Angeles Conservancy
Delmer Residence
Photo by Trudi Sandmeier

Delmer Residence

In the early 1900s, Fred Delmer’s grandparents built a small wooden cottage on a tiny lot in Venice. It still stands today, one of many wee historic houses in the beach community, but it has a shining silver two-story addition on the back that cannot be ignored.

Delmer commissioned the architectural firm Morphosis to design the addition in order to add more living space to the tiny lot. Morphosis made interior alterations to the original cottage but left the exterior mostly alone, opting to create a new and yet strangely harmonious volume on the back of the house to illustrate the evolving history of the area. Completed in 1977, the Deconstructivist-style addition contains a sitting room/bedroom, master bathroom, and a large roof deck to make up for yard space lost with the new construction (happily, it also enables an ocean view).

To distinguish the new portion of the building from the old, it was clad entirely in corrugated aluminum sprayed with a clear polymer to prevent corrosion.

The effect is that of a shining 1960s Airstream trailer or a brand-new version of an early twentiethth-century industrial cannery: utilitarian, a little awkward, and oddly lovely all at once. As a study in harmonious contradiction, the Delmer Residence is a fitting tribute to the ongoing architectural and historical evolution of Venice.

Circus Disco, 2015. Photo by Laura Dominguez/L.A. Conservancy.

Circus Disco (Demolished)

From 1975 to 2016, Circus Disco was a significant social and cultural anchor for LGBTQ Latinxs in Los Angeles.
Gehry House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Gehry House

Starting with a Dutch Colonial Revival and building around it, Gehry would strip much of the interior while adding a new exterior of wood clad in plywood, glass, corrugated metal, and chain-link fencing.