Legacy of style: New book series celebrates residential architects of SoCal’s golden era


Architecturally significant homes in Los Angeles are not all modern glass boxes or Frank Gehry futurism.

That’s exactly the point of the new 12-volume book series “Master Architects of Southern California 1920-1940” by Marc Appleton, Bret Parsons and Steve Vaught.

The second book to be released in the series profiles Roland E. Coate. Although you may not know the name, odds are good you’ve seen his work. Known as the architect to the stars, Coate designed homes for such Hollywood icons as Gary Cooper, Bogart and Bacall, and Paul Newman, as well as business magnate Howard Hughes. Fashion icon Tom Ford has owned a Coate home.


Recognized as a “virtuoso” of Spanish, Mediterranean and romantic revival, Coate was especially popular for his Monterey Colonial Revival homes and for the kind of residential designs that have become the definition of California charm, character and good bones.

“These nearly forgotten architects need to be memorialized, since their work is quickly disappearing,” said architect Appleton of Santa Monica-based Appleton Partners. “That’s the purpose of the series.”

The hard-cover volumes are being published by the Santa Monica-based Angel City Press. The newest volume is on sale at the publisher’s website for $60.

Bonnie McCarthy contributes to the Los Angeles Times as a home and lifestyle design writer. She enjoys scouting for directional trends and reporting on what’s new and next. Follow her on Twitter @ThsAmericanHome



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