|Jualita or Wattles Mansion|
The Wattles Mansion from the south
|Architectural style||Mission Revival Style|
|Address||1824 N Curson Avenue|
|Town or city||Los Angeles|
|Owner||Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Elmer Grey, Myron Hunt|
|Designated||May 25, 1993|
The Wattles Estate, originally known as Jualita, is a historic house and park in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, United States. It was built in 1907 by wealthy Omaha, Nebraska, banker Gurdon Wattles as a winter home. Next to the Wattles Mansion are Wattles Park and Wattles Gardens, now administered by the City of Los Angeles and open to the public.
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles (15 km) north of the mouth of the Platte River. The nation's 40th-largest city, Omaha's 2018 estimated population was 466,061.
Gurdon Wallace Wattles was an early businessman, banker and civic leader in Omaha, Nebraska who became responsible for bankrolling much of early Hollywood. Wattles was said to possess "all the right credentials to direct Omaha's fortunes for the twentieth century in the post-pioneer era: humble beginnings, outstanding ability, a fine intellect, impeccable manners, driving ambition, and a ruthless streak."
The estate has been recognized as "the only remaining intact example of the once plentiful Hollywood estates from the period preceding the film industry, when Hollywood was primarily agricultural and was a wintering home for wealthy Easterners and Midwesterners."According to the City of Los Angeles, "'Jualita' is one of the few remaining landscapes reminiscent of another era and tradition, possessing a genuine integrity of setting, design, workmanship, and association."
Noted local architects Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey designed the Mission Revival residence in 1907 with grounds featuring a Japanese garden, an Italian rose garden, a formal Spanish garden, a palm court, and orchards. 49 acres (200,000 m2) of agricultural land into orchards, thematic gardens and naturalistic landscapes based on his trips to Japan and Mexico.It was one of Hollywood's first tourist attractions. Wattles was responsible for gradually transforming
Myron Hubbard Hunt was an American architect whose numerous projects include many noted landmarks in Southern California and Evanston, Illinois. Hunt was elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1908.
Elmer Grey, FAIA was an American architect and artist based in Pasadena, California. Grey designed many noted landmarks in Southern California, including the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Huntington Art Gallery, the Pasadena Playhouse and Wattles Mansion. He is credited with being one of the pioneers in the development of the new American architecture in the early 20th century, with a focus on harmony with nature and eliminating features not belonging to the local climate and conditions. Grey was also a noted artist whose paintings are in the permanent collection of the Chicago Art Institute.
Japanese gardens are traditional gardens whose designs are accompanied by Japanese aesthetics and philosophical ideas, avoid artificial ornamentation, and highlight the natural landscape. Plants and worn, aged materials are generally used by Japanese garden designers to suggest an ancient and faraway natural landscape, and to express the fragility of existence as well as time's unstoppable advance.
Prior to permanent residence in Los Angeles, Wattles headed the streetcar company in Omaha. His strike-breaking efforts contributed to four days of violence in the city in 1909. The attempt to unionize failed and many of the strikers had to seek work elsewhere, but the incident damaged Wattles' social standing and worsened relations between the city's rich and the general citizenry. A jury's refusal in 1906 to convict career criminal Pat Crowe for the kidnapping of Omaha packing house scion Edward Cudahy was widely seen as an expression of contempt for the city's ruling elite. Several millionaires fled the city, including the Cudahy family. With his civic reputation damaged, Wattles himself began to spend more time in Los Angeles after the strike and permanently relocated in 1920.
After Wattles' death in 1932, his wife and his son continued to live on the property. Gurdon Wallace Wattles Jr. negotiated the sale of the residence to the City of Los Angeles in 1965.In March of that year, the City of Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Parks Commission adopted Resolution 5135, designating the Wattles estate as an acquisition area, and purchased the property for $1,917,000 in June 1968.
Hollywood Heritage, a private nonprofit preservation organization, began restoration efforts in 1983, and the estate served as their headquarters until May 22, 2009, when control of the property reverted to the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. Over the first decade, volunteers with the Hollywood Heritage organization removed several feet of mud from the garden, replanted landscaping, and repainted and refinished the interior woodwork. Through their dedicated efforts, the Wattles Mansion was returned to its original state.
In 1993, the Wattles Mansion was designated as City of Los Angeles Cultural Monument No. 579. In 2000, the J. Paul Getty Trust donated $75,000 toward a Preserve L.A. planning project designed to further the site's preservation.
The home is two stories with a full basement. The first-floor rooms include a paneled library, a formal dining room, a large living room with a picture window to the south gardens, two large bathrooms off the entrance hall, a servant's dining hall, and a kitchen and pantry. Five bedrooms and three baths are on the second floor.
Some of the original features in the Wattles Mansion include a black-and-white-checkerboard marble floor in the foyer, and intricately carved walnut bookcases and a hand-painted ceiling in the library. Hardwood moldings, white stucco walls, wood-beamed ceilings, and hardwood floors with Oriental carpets are found throughout the house. There is a terracotta tile terrace and a wide, sloping lawn. Brick landings on a wide stairway go down toward landscaped terraces on each side, with a Spanish balustraded patio overlooking 3 acres (12,000 m2) of formal gardens.
Once the avocado and fruit orchard of the Wattles Mansion, in 1975 a group of local residents converted a 4.2-acre (17,000 m2) section of the then-neglected Wattles estate into a community garden. Today, this members-only organic garden is among the oldest community gardens in Los Angeles. It is run by a nonprofit organization called the Wattles Farm and Neighborhood Gardeners Inc. in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
Some of the gardens surrounding Wattles Mansion have been designated as Wattles Park. In the 1970s and 1980s, the park was popular among L.A.'s punk scene.Gurdon Wattles met the original head gardener during his world travels in 1910, and retained him for the next 20 years until his death in 1930. Gurdon's concept for the gardens was influenced by trips to Mexico and Japan; he bought a tea house, shrines and lanterns from Japan for use in the gardens. Four gardens were eventually developed, with the first corresponding to the architecture of the house, the second Italian, the third American, and the fourth Japanese.
Today, Wattles Park occupies approximately 50 acres (200,000 m2) of a long narrow corridor of space that rises 950 feet (290 m) from Hollywood Boulevard. The lower park is 4.13 acres (16,700 m2) in size and fronts on Hollywood Boulevard. The Wattles Mansion and formal garden area runs along the private roadway to the building. The early American garden area is directly behind the residence and was composed of rose and vegetable gardens. The Japanese teahouse along Curson Avenue was a gift to the City of Los Angeles from Nagoya, its sister city in Japan. The Japanese garden portion of the grounds was designed by Fugo, an influential landscape architect in Japan. All of the shrubs, plants, and vegetation were brought directly from Japan for the garden.
In the 1980s and 1990s, crime at the park increased, with drug pushers and junkies using the tea house. Vandalism and a couple of fires ruined the tea house, which has since been off limits to all visitors, and only a small portion of the tea house is still standing. Heavy flooding overflowed the small lake and stream, drying them up forever. Some of the palm trees had to be cut down. The place became unkempt as a result of the cutbacks, making it difficult to maintain the gardens. Graffiti was reported on the white columns and the Japanese entrance, as well as the outdoor temple, and the roof of the temple was removed. The park now has a sign warning of rattlesnakes in the area. Benches were removed as well.
Wattles Park has become popular with dog walkers.
Hollywood Heritage was served an eviction notice in 2008 by the City of Los Angeles for failure to maintain the landmark and for throwing loud parties. Hollywood Heritage denied the allegations but ultimately agreed to vacate the mansion in May 2009.
Author Lucky McKee used the park as a backdrop in the novel May. The mansion was featured on the television series The O.C. and Buffy the Vampire Slayer ("Reptile Boy"), in the movie Troop Beverly Hills , and the sanatorium scenes in the film Rain Man were shot there as well.It was also featured in Jennifer Lopez's first film, My Family . Wattles was also used extensively for the 1985 movie Ghoulies and for the Diana Ross music video "Eaten Alive". The park was used for many scenes in the 1983 film The Lost Empire directed by Jim Wynorski.
The Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition was a world's fair held in Omaha, Nebraska from June 1 to November 1 of 1898. Its goal was to showcase the development of the entire West, stretching from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Coast. The Indian Congress was held concurrently. Over 2.6 million people came to Omaha to view the 4,062 exhibits during the five months of the Exposition. President William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan were among the dignitaries who attended at the invitation of Gurdon Wattles, the event's leader. 100,000 people assembled on the plaza to hear them speak. The Expo stretched over a 180-acre (0.73 km2) tract in North Omaha and featured a 2,000 feet (610 m)-long lagoon encircled by 21 classical buildings that featured fine and modern products from around the world.
Michael Cudahy was an American industrialist who, along with two brothers, established the Cudahy Packing Company in 1890.
Hakone Gardens is an 18-acre (7.3 ha) traditional Japanese garden in Saratoga, California, United States. A recipient of the Save America's Treasures Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, it is recognized as one of the oldest Japanese-style residential garden in the Western Hemisphere, and an enduring American treasure. Notable features include a bamboo garden, a Zen garden, a strolling garden, tea houses, and the Cultural Exchange Center, which is an authentic reproduction of a 19th-century Kyoto tea merchant's house and shop.
Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park is a 50-acre (20 ha) state park located at 151 Charlotte Street in Canandaigua, New York, at the north end of Canandaigua Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. The house and gardens are open to the public every day, May through October.
Hampton National Historic Site, in the Hampton area north of Towson, Baltimore County, Maryland, USA, preserves a remnant of a vast 18th-century estate, including a Georgian manor house, gardens, grounds, and the original stone slave quarters. The estate was owned by the Ridgely family for seven generations, from 1745 to 1948. The Hampton Mansion was the largest private home in America when it was completed in 1790 and today is considered to be one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the U.S. Its furnishings, together with the estate's slave quarters and other preserved structures, provide insight into the life of late 18th-century and early 19th-century landowning aristocracy. In 1948, Hampton was the first site selected as a National Historical Site for its architectural significance by the U.S. National Park Service. The grounds were widely admired in the 19th century for their elaborate parterres or formal gardens, which have been restored to resemble their appearance during the 1820s. Several trees are more than 200 years old. In addition to the mansion and grounds, visitors may tour the overseer's house and slave quarters.
Runyon Canyon Park is a 160-acre (65 ha) park in Los Angeles, California, at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, managed by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The southern entrance to the park is located at the north end of Fuller Avenue in Hollywood. The northern entrance is off the 7300 block of Mulholland Drive. The Runyon Canyon Road, a fire road that is closed to public motor vehicle access, runs roughly through the center of the park between the northern and southern entrances along Runyon Canyon itself, and there are numerous smaller hiking trails throughout the park. The highest point in the park at an elevation of 1,320 ft is known as Indian Rock. Because of its proximity to residential areas of Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills, celebrity sightings are common. The park is also noted for having a fairly liberal dog policy, with dogs allowed off-leash in 90 of the park's 160 acres (0.65 km2).
The Virginia Robinson Gardens are the period landscape, historic mansion, and botanical gardens located at the Virginia Robinson Estate in Beverly Hills, California, United States.
The Greystone Mansion, also known as the Doheny Mansion, is a Tudor Revival mansion on a landscaped estate with distinctive formal English gardens, located in Beverly Hills, California, United States. Architect Gordon Kaufmann designed the residence and ancillary structures, and construction was completed in 1928. The estate was a gift from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny to his son, Edward "Ned" Doheny, Jr., and his family. Following the purchase of the estate by the city of Beverly Hills in 1965, the property became a city park in 1971, and was subsequently added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 as Doheny Estate/Greystone. The house and grounds are often used in filmmaking and television production. The house's descending staircase is one of the most famous sets in Hollywood.
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, which includes the Coe Hall Historic House Museum, is an arboretum and state park covering over 400 acres (160 ha) located in the village of Upper Brookville in the town of Oyster Bay, New York.
Barnsdall Art Park is a city park located in the East Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California. Parking and arts buildings access is from Hollywood Boulevard on the park's north side. The park is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, and a facility of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
The Staatsburgh State Historic Site preserves a Beaux-Arts mansion designed by McKim, Mead, and White and the home's surrounding landscape in the hamlet of Staatsburg, Dutchess County, New York, United States. The historic site is located within Ogden Mills & Ruth Livingston Mills State Park. The mansion, a New York State Historic Site, is considered a fine example of the great estates built during the Gilded Age.
The George and Sarah Joslyn Home, is a mansion located at 3902 Davenport Street in the Gold Coast Historic District of Omaha, Nebraska, United States. Built in the Scottish Baronial style in 1903, the Castle was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It was designated as an Omaha landmark in 1979.
Edward Aloysius Cudahy Jr., also known as Eddie Cudahy, was kidnapped on December 18, 1900 in Omaha, Nebraska. Edward Cudahy Sr. was the wealthy owner of the Cudahy Packing Company, which helped build the Omaha Stockyards through the 1950s. Cudahy Sr. paid the ransom for the return of his son and made the kidnapper, Pat Crowe, a popular author, lecturer and actor for a brief period. The Cudahy case is said to have influenced many succeeding kidnappings, including those of the Lindbergh baby, Bobby Greenlease, and Marion Parker.
The Wattles House is located at 320 South 37th Street in the Midtown area of Omaha, Nebraska. Designed by renowned Omaha architect Thomas Kimball in the Chateauesque style, the house was built in 1895. It was designated an Omaha Landmark on April 11, 1995, and is part of the Gold Coast Historic District, which was listed as on the National Register of Historic Places.
Banning House, also known as the General Phineas Banning Residence Museum, is a historic Greek Revival-Victorian home in the Wilmington section of Los Angeles, California. Built in 1863 by Phineas Banning near the original San Pedro Bay, it remained in the Banning family until 1925 and has been owned by the City of Los Angeles since 1927. The home, barn and gardens are now operated as a museum. The Banning House property, also known as Banning Park, has been designated as a city Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and state California Historical Landmark and has been federally listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Harold Lloyd Estate, also known as Greenacres, is a large mansion and landscaped estate located in the Benedict Canyon section of Beverly Hills, California. Built in the late 1920s by silent film star Harold Lloyd, it remained Lloyd's home until his death in 1971. The estate originally consisted of a 44-room mansion, golf course, outbuildings, and 900-foot (270 m) canoe run on 15 acres (61,000 m2). Greenacres has been called "the most impressive movie star's estate ever created." After Lloyd died, the acreage in the lower part of the estate along Benedict Canyon was subdivided into approximately 14 large home lots. The mansion, on top of its own hill, retained approximately 5 original acres of flat land. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
The Adamson House and its associated land, which was known as Vaquero Hill in the nineteenth century, is a historic house and gardens in Malibu, California. The residence and estate is on the coast, within Malibu Lagoon State Beach park.
The Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center, formally known as Rancho Sombra del Roble, is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument located in the West Hills section of Los Angeles, California, USA.
A.E. Hanson (1893–1986) was an American landscape architect and real estate developer in Southern California. He designed gardens on the campus of the University of Southern California as well as in Bel Air. He developed two gated communities near Los Angeles, California: Rolling Hills and Hidden Hills.