Nelson Houses | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Nelson Houses

Greta Magnusson Grossman was one of very few female modernists to gain acclaim in Los Angeles' testosterone-heavy architectural scene during the postwar period, and she managed to do so as a designer of both buildings and objects.

Born in Sweden, she was a successful industrial designer creating furniture, lighting, and other designs, and she continued that work when she moved to the U.S. Once in California, she began taking on architectural projects, eventually completing at least fourteen homes in Los Angeles. Two of them were for Frances Nelson, sited on adjacent hillside lots above Cahuenga Pass, and are wonderfully intact to this day.

The Nelson houses reflect Grossman's use of simple deck construction; unlike some other Modern hillside designs that step up or down a slope, the Nelson houses each sit on one level slab extending through the entire enclosed space, and are cantilevered out over their slopes.

They are both very small in scale but feel large and open thanks to their thoughtful modular design and the extensive use of floor-to-ceiling glass framed in wood.

Tall ceilings, overhanging roofs and trellises extending from the slabs also make the houses seem even larger. With their simple Mid-Century Modern lines and their breathtaking views, the Nelson Houses are an excellent example of Grossman's residential designs in the hilly neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Photo by Roger Davies

Kronish House

One of only three Richard Neutra designs ever built in Beverly Hills, the Kronish House is reportedly Neutra's largest residential commission in North America.
Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

Star-Kist Tuna Cannery Main Plant

The familiar Star-Kist Company traces its origins to 1918 on Terminal Island and by 1952 held the distinction of being the single-largest cannery in the world.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Office Building

A lovely example of Mid-Century Modern architecture in a low-rise, commercial context, easy to miss in the abundance of eye-catching architecture on Ventura Boulevard.