Hillside Memorial Park, Al Jolson Shrine | Los Angeles Conservancy
Hillside Memorial Park, Al Jolson Shrine
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Hillside Memorial Park, Al Jolson Shrine

Hillside Memorial Park has served as the cemetery of choice for the Jewish population of Los Angeles ever since its incorporation in 1941, boasting a particularly high proportion of "permanent residents" with ties to Hollywood. Its rolling landscape of green lawns, low markers, sculpture, and pristine white buildings provides a fitting setting for the final resting place of the local elite. Several of its buildings are particularly notable for their Moderne design, including the administration building and a remarkable building roofed with a Googie-style parabolic arched concrete canopy.

The most prominent structures in the memorial park, the main mausoleum and the Al Jolson Shrine, were designed by celebrated architect Paul R. Williams and completed in 1951. Williams created the designs as a pair, so they enhance and complement one another. The shrine is a Moderne simplification of an open classical temple, a seventy-five-foot-tall marble rotunda with massive marble columns sheltering the ornate sarcophagus of the seminal entertainer. A cascading waterfall flows downhill from the shrine over a series of tiled tiers and ends in a bed of flowers. Williams' two-story mausoleum sits above the shrine at the crest of a hill.

It is Late Moderne in style, with strong, simply flowing exterior lines and a more curving, organic interior. The building has two wings that angle toward each other, meeting in the center at a dramatic round vestibule echoing the rotunda of the shrine. Thanks in large part to Williams' designs, Hillside Memorial Park is a landmark of Modernism as well as a cherished religious site.

Pepperdine University
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Pepperdine University

Its design crafted to adapt to the dramatic hillside location with its sweeping ocean views, the campus' "front door" is an open meadow that stretches from the Pacific Coast Highway to the main core of campus.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Phineas Kappe Residence

Completed in 1956, the Phineas Kappe Residence represents one of the architect’s earliest designs, but it exhibits all the trademarks for which he would become known: post-and-beam construction, an open interior plan, patio spaces and expanses of glass to bring the outside inside, and a focus on the details of craftsmanship and materials.