Silver Lake (or Silverlake), is one of the oldest, funkiest and most artsy neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
Its weirdest house, the wavy, mosaic-crusted Burrows House, could just as well be its icon.
The most famous houses in Silver Lake are the boxy, streamlined Modernist works by architecture stars like Richard Neutra, R.M. Schindler and John Lautner. But Burrows House, at 2384 Loma Vista Place, stands out from these MidCentury constructions with a wavy flourish.
Inspired by Barcelona’s Art Nouveau master, Antoni Gaudi, this free-flowing, organic structure on a quiet cul de sac was the 1921 creation of Illinois-born architect Charles F. Whittlesey.
Whittlesey, who studied under Chicago legend Louis Sullivan, made a name for himself in San Francisco using reinforced concrete in a blend of pueblo and Mission styles for many private homes in Russian Hill, as well as in Albuquerque, NM with the now-demolished Alvarado Hotel.
But it was in Los Angeles that he came into his own, designing the original structure of the graceful Langham Huntington Hotel, as well as the Mayflower and El Rey hotels. Many of Whittlesey’s finest buildings have long since been demolished, but Burrows House remains as his oddball legacy.