Silver Lake’s fantastic Hawk House up for landmark consideration

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The city’s Cultural Heritage Commission voted today to consider landmarking a private residence near the Silver Lake Reservoir designed by architect Harwell Hamilton Harris, a protege of Richard Neutra.

The house, called the Hawk House, was built for Stan and Ethyle Hawk and completed in 1939. The landmarking application argues that the house is a sterling example of Harris’s architectural themes at the time. Wood-framed, it has redwood siding and “evokes the feeling of a Japanese pavilion.”

“One of the most influential Los Angeles architects of the twentieth century,” the application says, Harris was inspired to study architecture after visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Park. Harris was set to attend architecture school at the University of California, Berkeley when he met Richard Neutra.

Neutra persuaded Harris to forego university and learn instead by working in his office. While in Neutra’s employ, Harris worked on Neutra’s renowned Lovell Health House.

Hawk went on to design 15 houses in Los Angeles from 1935 to 1951; two of those have since been granted historic-cultural monument status.

The Hawk House is also up for landmarking due to its connection to the Hawk House brand of “barbecue braziers.” Stan and Ethyle Hawk used the home as the headquarters for their company, and the barbecues became “an iconic Mid-Century Modern furnishing that epitomized indoor-outdoor living.” A Hawk House barbecue brazier is part of a collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The home’s owner, Brian Libit, applied for the house to receive landmark status.

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