You’re Nothing But An Ordinary House…

Walter L. Dodge, patron. Purchases several acres of land in the West Hollywood Hills. An important commission comes to this emerging architect to design/build a 16-room HOME. Dodge earned a small fortune for a health product called “Tiz”—a patented medicine/remedy for “tired feet”. This emerging Architect develops a HOME in reinforced concrete in a “blended” Spanish Mission and Modern architectural language. Constructed between 1914-1916 (just before the madness that was to be WWI).

The “emerging architect” was Irving Gill. The Walter L. Dodge House is (was!) considered one of Gill’s masterpieces of domestic architecture. The Dodge House is (was) one of the 15 most prominent and most significant of American houses. Yet, people were becoming complacent and apathetic about the place of modernism in daily life. There was still some nostalgia about the past and a peculiar reverence was rising for the romance of the forms/shapes of the distant past. In 1921, House Beautiful profiled the studied geometric design offered by Irving Gill for the Dodge House. “This house, though unmistakably Californian, nevertheless exemplifies certain bold and novel ideas in design, construction and decoration that make it notable, even in this land where originality in architecture is to be expected… It is without ornament save that furnished by vines, for he believes beauty should be organic and that no amount of ornament can redeem a badly designed structure. There is not even an overhanging roof to break the severity of the exterior, and as may be seen in the photograph, there is a distinction, a dignity about it that is classic. Mr. Gill thinks there is nothing more arrestingly beautiful than a plain wall across which move cloud shadows or a silhouette of flower, and that no carving or frescoing could more perfectly finish a doorway or window than a vine or creeper.”

The Dodge House was sold on several occasions eventually ending up owned by the Los Angeles Board of Education. Efforts had been made to build apartment units on the Dodge property but save the Dodge House for preservation.

In late 1969, after a lawsuit to preserve the Dodge House was rejected, the property was sold to the Riviera Management Company. Efforts to preserve the Dodge House were numerous but, unfortunately, could not prevent the utter demolition of the Gill masterful design as Riviera Management Company proceeded to create housing density on the 2.75 acres of highly desirable residential property! As a result of profit over culture, the Dodge House was demolished on a cold, rainy Monday morning on February 9, 1970. Bulldozers ripped the clean geometry lines and crisp forms of Irving Gill’s Dodge House and hauled the remains away to the dump! Architect Kurt Meyer felt this act of destruction was akin to taking a “knife and slashing a Rembrandt painting”!

Noted New York architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable wrote a scathing condemnation of the demolition of Irving Gill’s Dodge House in the New York Times one month after the event: “a tragic commentary on how we throw our national heritage away.” (New York Times, March 8, 1970)

But the general public was unconcerned and ambivalent! John Pastier wrote the following in the Los Angeles Times on August 31, 1969:

“In some ways, it’s a house only an architect would love. Nothing noteworthy ever happened there, and it’s not really old enough to claim historical status. Visually, it has neither the charm nor nostalgia of a ‘period piece,’ nor the spectacularly expressive design of many ‘modern’ residences. From the outside, it seems quite ordinary: two stories high, flat-roofed, with undecorated white walls, simple rectangular metal windows, and a few arches to remind the viewer that he is in Los Angeles and not somewhere else.”

What are your thoughts on the destruction of an architectural masterpiece in order to build seven separate three-story structures with 48 studio apartments? Where does a work of art—in this case, a work of domestic architecture—fit into the cultural life of an urban environment? Is there room for culturally important edifices in the urban space or is density more valuable than heritage and legacy?

Photograph of Architect Irving Gill
Irving Gill’s Dodge House, West Hollywood Hills, Completed 1916
Irving Gill’s Dodge House, Cubist-Like Forms with Shadows
Irving Gill’s Dodge House, Interior Cubist-Like Forms and Light/Dark Tonalities with Shadows
Irving Gill’s Dodge House, Demolition Began Monday, February 9, 1970

Published by: roberttracyphd

Academic professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I teach theory courses in Art and Architecture History. In addition, I also curate exhibitions on campus as well as in other venues nationally and internationally.

33 Comments

33 thoughts on “You’re Nothing But An Ordinary House…”

  1. Architectural Masterpieces should not be destroyed for seven separate three-story structures with 48 apartments. This argument is like important art pieces throughout history, where those have value and kept in preservation to show culture. The architectural masterpiece is part of history and needs to be preserved to share with people. They did not have to destroy the architectural piece because that can be moved into a different place and preserve the building. An example is a city in the Philippines where ancestral colonial homes were moved into one compound and preserved there because new buildings occupied the old setting, they were in. Building new buildings for future residents is beneficial for boosted housing but negative for the preservation of historic architectural masterpieces. The solution is to uproot the architectural masterpiece and place it for preservation or the developers can go look somewhere else.
    Domestic architecture influences the future developments of buildings within the area. They influence the type of culture and environment people will be in, the interaction of space and people. This can go both ways, where people can also influence the architecture within the urban environment.
    There is always room for edifications of valued heritage and legacy. It is a matter of choice, what is the priority. Both can be given importance, if the site is important and central to the new building development and it benefits the city, then they should proceed but with caution. The city should preserved and move the heritage building or use adaptive reuse, and appreciate the architecture.

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  2. The destruction of The Dodge House as Louise mentioned, is an example of “…how we throw our national heritage away.” The time period in which the house was constructed signifies the changes and evolution the industry was gearing to. The house would continue to be a model for future projects that would later shape Los Angeles. An article written by Jefferey Head from the LA Times, mentions “A reflecting pool was a “mirror of the sky”; a wall fountain with bright mosaic tiles and a blue basin provided yet more color”. Shifts in light and shadow along with the usage of these elements, created this sense of “distinction” and classic feeling. Though urban expansion seems to be the trending market, a piece such as the Dodge House is unique in its own form. These projects represent more than a mere building, they define an artistic & cultural aspect of its time. Los Angeles is a cultural hub that is constantly evolving; at times the city is looking for ways to reinvent itself to meet new demands. The idea of density vs heritage and legacy is a struggle between emerging topics. There isn’t a comparison of which ideals are more important, but rather a balance between both.

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  3. Maria Dos Santos
    ART699
    September 28, 2020

    I am deeply opposed to the destruction of an architectural masterpiece. I feel like the Dodge House was of architectural significance and special. I have learned about this house through my architecture studies many times. The fact that we still talk about it today is proof of its significance. To destroy something in order to build seven separate three-story structures with 48 studio apartment seems ludicrous. I completely disagree with the statement by John Pastier, the Dodge House is not a “house only an architect would love.” This oversimplification and underappreciation of the building is almost as heartbreaking as it is disrespectful. The Dodge House has many characteristics that set it apart from other buildings of the time and it is a true Los Angeles masterpiece.

    A work of art (in this case, a work of domestic architecture) belongs anywhere and everywhere into the cultural life of an urban environment. I don’t believe we should designate specific spaces for these works of arts. They fit in wherever their context allows them to fit into. There absolutely is room for culturally important edifices in the urban space. Density should never be seen as more valuable than heritage and legacy. The art and architecture of yesterday are significant and important today and tomorrow as well. It is our job as architects, artists and just residents in general, to help protect the significant works of art in our communities. If we do not take charge, we can be left without any important masterpieces from the past to inspire us.

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  4. The destruction of architectural masterpieces to build simple housing that does not add any value historically reflects how often, “we throw our national heritage away” to make a profit. I disagree with the idea of destroying art since it’s a unique workpiece that cannot be reproduced in the same manner 48 studio apartments can be constructed to all be the same. The studio apartments will eventually be demolished and will not be remembered. However, the dodge house is often studied in architectural courses for the language it constructed during the time era. Domestic architecture should be preserved and fit into the urban environment accessible to the public to understand the impact it had in history. In the case of Albert Frey, his iconic Aluminaire house was relocated from New York to Palms Springs in the effort to preserve the modernist design that revolutionized architecture. Thus, culturally important edifices in the urban space should always have room in the city or in another location that celebrates the importance of the architectural legacy similar to Aluminaire by Frey.

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  5. Architecture should always be seen as an extravagant implementation of the time and era when it came about. The Dodge House served as an emblematic house that was ahead of it’s time, a house that became influential to the future of Los Angeles’ shelter and place. Therefore, the deconstruction of buildings such as this becomes the destruction of an era and what was learned from it. When you look at the fact that it was replaced by a residential development that removed that portion of Los Angeles’ character and history, you begin to wonder why this sort of development keeps on occurring. The ahead of it’s time modernism the Dodge House displayed such as the simplicity, its clean lines, and landscape as its decorative features taught Los Angeles about what its future built environment could become. The quick rash to demolish cultural importance and historical built significance such as the Dodge House is the reason why we keep losing the idea of heritage and historical understanding of our past, whether its culture or architecture. Therefore, with a city that has expanded horizontally as much as Los Angeles the idea of density becomes necessary, but historical significance should still be prominent. Thus, the balancing between future developed density and historical significance should become about preservation and working to integrate all aspects of urban development that preserves our past and allows us to learn from it.

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  6. I keep thinking about the statemnet made by Architect Kurt Meyer; he felt this act of destruction was akin to taking a “knife and slashing a Rembrandt painting!” When we view paintings I would say most see its significance to technique and its time era. We learn from them. Whether its painting techniques, or about the time they were created in. We have museums for that reason, so we can share them with each new generation and continue to learn from. Most would be up in arms if we went in those museum and decided to destroy them to make room for new and current art. By destroying the Dodge House, I think we lose a form of art. And with that we lose our ability to continue to learn from it. Seeing pictures of it, isn’t the same as viewing it in person. I think destroying the house was a disservice in many ways.

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  7. I think that making housing available is important, but I don’t think it is necessary to demolish an entire building just to make way for a new residential building. I also think the issue of cultural heritage is an important one to consider. It is a real shame to deprive future generations of a beautiful work of architecture from its era. But, at the same time, it is a private dwelling and the only people who would really benefit from its cultural value would be its private owners, so how much cultural value does it really have? For me, the biggest issue with demolishing the building is that it not only eliminates the work and vision of the architect, it is also a massive waste of material. Instead, the house could have been divided into apartments and an addition could have been added if it needed to be bigger. To me they missed a great opportunity here. I think the repurposing and modification of a building is far more beautiful and pays better homage to the original people behind it than the demolition and replacement of it.

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  8. Reading about the Dodge house, I was actually really intrigued about all the detail that went into the house. Designing with so much detail, going down to the flush surfaces to prevent dust collection and just making the Architecture aid in convenience for Gill’s mother doing tasks at home I thought the project was really thinking about the habitant in mind. There was also an interesting play in simplifying the form of the structure and letting the natural take over as an ornamentation device; and I think that was a great way that the landscape and architecture were both considered in the project.

    Im against the destruction of architecture like this, this residential project really had the inhabitant in mind all the way down to the detail. It really is something that is a work of art, a lot of thought has seemed to go into it to really create something thats not only very useful for the inhabitant but also quite beautiful. I think some people – talking about people I’ve talked with in my family – think that incredible architecture are these bigger, new tract homes but its really not. Incredible architecture is something like the Dodge house.

    Unfortunately, with bigger projects they aren’t designed so detailed in this same way. I kind of view the inclusion of bigger projects as being because of a need to cram more people into cities. Unless they’re more of the higher cost apartment unit projects, these bigger projects can have units that are generic and not as architecturally moving as a smaller project. Its an unfortunate situation that given high costs of living and housing, that people become forced to living in studio apartments because its what they can afford. On the other side, living in a studio apartment for some people is all they need. They dont plan to live in surburban housing with a bigger family.

    I think there is space for these cultural edifices in the urban space. Theres a lot of things that can be learned from them if you really look closer. I think theres a lot of non-architecture related ideas/values that need to be changed in order to get more people to see value in these edifices.

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  9. I think that the eagerness with which historical buildings are destroyed to make room for more profitable urban density is very unfortunate. Historical structures on the west coast are relatively newer than those in the rest of the country and the rest of the world, and getting rid of this history does a disservice to culture and communities. If buildings are properly maintained they can either continue serving their original purpose, or they can be repurposed to serve as facilities for educating and archiving. Making more “usable” spaces in place of historical buildings most likely comes from a desire to maximize profit on the land, rather than a place of necessity. In the case of the Dodge House, the innovations that Irving Gill made can now only be understood through images and texts. Having the real thing to be able to experience and learn from is valuable, and I believe that taking measures to preserve historical buildings is well worth any trouble or missed development opportunities to undertake

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  10. “There is a hole in the fabric of history.” The words of Esther McCoy from the closing of the short documentary The Dodge House, 1916, are quite rattling. If we continue to wipe away the immediate past, she says, we cut ourselves off from a future that builds upon our greatest achievements.

    For quite some time, we’ve lived in a culture of the ephemeral. Everything is single-use, disposable, tomorrow’s trash. It’s a mindset that’s led to the near-destruction of our climate. It applies to our view towards art and architecture as well. I’m not sure how necessary the seven apartment buildings built on the ruins of the Dodge House were for the urban development of West Hollywood, but I think the value of a unique part of the culture of the recent past is worth far more than whatever money one can generate by squeezing all the profit possible out of a tract of land. I could imagine a situation when some public good might come from demolishing (or re-locating) an architectural masterpiece. This wasn’t it.

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  11. Architecture is often overlooked as masterpieces of art, especially in a more mundane setting such as the Dodge House. Certain architectural and non-architectural achievements should be cherished and protected as they are a part of history. Paintings and sculptures can be removed and stored in different locations if the space they are occupying is needed to be used by something else, however with architectural achievements, such as Dodge House, these are houses and structures that cannot be removed. Destroying such things prevents the ability to learn from such great work and be able to continue to build off of these ideas and structures. The fact that the Dodge House was demolished for something such as studio apartments is appalling. Apartments and living spaces can be built in so many other surrounding areas, yet the need to destroy great art took a president over the preservation of the work itself. This reminds me a lot of the gentrification of Hutongs in Asia. These used to be small apartments and living spaces in the alleyways of large cities such as Beijing, but are being converted into stores and bars as tourist attractions. Due to this, many people are losing their historical and cultural presence in the areas.

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  12. The Dodge was an masterpiece. You can’t just create something that amazing again. For them to destroy such an amazing and brilliant House, it wasn’t right. I did not know this place was demolished. When I seen it I absolutely told myself I would love to see it in person. So to read that it was destroyed just to create 48 studio apartments is I cant explain it. You destroyed beauty for apartments that will be reconstructed several times over decades that doesn’t make any sense to me. “But the general public was unconcerned and ambivalent!” I read that statement and I wonder is it because to the public, a house is a house and if it isn’t my house I don’t mind. I suppose architecture is only important to those who understand the deep process and work put in to something like this. Thankfully we are able to still see its masterpiece through images and read about it.
    I believe there is room for legacy and heritage. We as a community need to appreciate and acknowledge the work put into these creations and not think about money schemes and keep these buildings because with out, what makes the community special?

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  13. Although I find it a great shame that we tore down something so unique, I personally would love to have a skylight in my bathroom, and the labor-saving devices of the time were a push for better luxury we all live off of today. I do think it is important and possible to incorporate more heritage and legacy into our cities. Prague, for example, has massive modern business buildings right next to historical land sites. I believe that we have struggled to preserve culturally, partially, because we feel the need to give space to anything from the past. You can have historic buildings and renovate them to fit modern needs. Las Vegas Historic 5th Street School is proof of both. I also see the need and importance and sometimes spares Urban space. Although the United States is vast and there is a lot of land, it is difficult to build homes that keep getting farther and farther away from schools, workplaces, entertainment, hobbies, etc.

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  14. ART 434
    Though it is a shame that an architectural masterpiece is demolished to build a bunch of studio apartments, I understand why it happened. Old buildings need a lot of work and money to maintain, that’s why some people opt to sell their homes and move into a new one as the years go by. It’s the same for the Walter L. Dodge House, eventually it passes through different hands and then someone wants to tear it down to build something else. Apartment buildings and townhouses are on the rise to meet market demand and the lure of decent profit is hard to resist for people with the money to spare. There is also the rather “niche” appeal that the Dodge House had that played a part in its eventual destruction. John Pastier’s writing in the Los Angeles Times summed it up perfectly: “In some ways, it’s a house only an architect would love. Nothing noteworthy ever happened there, and it’s not really old enough to claim historical status.” The Dodge House did not have a big historical significance and was largely unknown and uncelebrated to the public. It did not appeal to a wide audience, so the general populace did not see the reason in preserving such a building. Rarely are the numerous amounts of art produced over the years is ever make a mark in history and cherished by the general public, most are forgotten and fade in time.

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  15. I feel conflicted. The Dodge House was an extremely beautiful piece of architecture, and I would have loved to see it in person. However, I also understand the need for housing in urban spaces. There were several attempts to preserve the Dodge House; but they were all failures. I wonder why they failed? Is it because capitalism is a monster? I mean, yes. The fact that there were several attempts to preserve it, shows that there was some interest in persevering the space, which is good. However, I am curious what the general public felt about the space. I am willing to bet that your average joe did not have any strong feelings about the Dodge House, and I think that this lack of interest by the general public could have also played a role in its destruction. Now I don’t believe that we must reason why we or things we create have a right to exist (and to continue to exist), but in the society that we live in (and the society back then) you must do that, especially if someone else can gain a profit by your creation not existing anymore. I believe that there is room for culturally important edifices in urban spaces. However the public at large needs to feel invested in that space, so that they feel the need to protect and advocate for those buildings.

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  16. I do not agree with the destruction of architectural masterpieces; however, I think that if this piece were kept alive, then maybe it would not be as important or as significant as it is today. I believe that the Dodge house was built and served its full purpose while it stood. Its days came to an end, perhaps a bit sooner than we would have liked, but what people were able to learn from the Dodge house will be forever preserved in history, pictures, this blog haha. The Dodge house lives on within its own fascinating story and we continue to learn about it even though it has been knocked down. So, while I would love the opportunity to see the original house, I look forward to applying what I have learned about the Dodge house to my own design and seeking it within other’s designs.

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  17. It’s a shame to see art being destroyed, especially when so much love goes into it. It’s clear after learning about Irving Gil, a lot of innovation went into creating this home. It can be seen in its design that it is a house that was way ahead of its time. In fact, looking at the pictures, it looks like something that can still be seen up in Studio City or the Hollywood Hills today. Considering this home is from the early 1900s and modern homes are still not as common for, well, the commoners like myself, Gil clearly had influential talents. However, I feel like in this instance the John Pastier commentary sums it up pretty well. People like us who have an appreciation for art will look at a work like this and see its significance. However, for a work like this to be preserved a larger number of people have to feel similarly. If the people during that time weren’t particularly attached to the building then it’s not surprising that it was torn down, regardless of the 48 studios apartments, and regardless of whatever reason, someone purchasing the land would want to use it for. Imagine people in 2020 picking places to visit on their vacation, would they or would you pay $30 to tour this place? We might right because we love art/architecture but a tourist who has the option of seeing Marilyn Monroe’s grave or Elvis Presley’s Palm Springs home is probably not going to choose this place at the top of their head. Not everything can be preserved and even for new art to take place sometimes we need to move on and start fresh. Cultural heritage in art is very important but at the end of the day it has to serve the community that is going to sustain it and vice versa.

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  18. The destruction of an architectural masterpiece in order to build an apartment complex is a reflection of societal value in commodity and profit. The cultural significance of an architectural artwork such is this has much more value than that of seven three-story structures with 48 studio apartments. An artist spent his own resources and time on building a place that he had a passionate vision for. This architectural masterpiece was innovative and signified a transition of thought and artistic expression during the time in which it was built. Beyond its structural beauty and importance, it held symbolic significance. Earning it a vital place in an urban environment, as a part of a larger community. It is no different than a canvas painting or sculpture. However, corporations and cities do not place value in something that cannot be profited on, such as apartments in which tenets will always be there to fill. There will always be room for culturally important edifices in urban spaces, but those in control of making such decisions often prioritize immediate intrinsic profit rather than heritage and legacy.

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  19. I agree with Kurt Meyer statement of “The deconstruction of the Dodge House was akin to taking a knife and slashing a Rembrandt painting”! I believe that the Riviera Management Company should have preserved the domestic architectural masterpiece of the Dodge House and should of either found a new site for their apartment complex or design another layout to fit 48 studio apartments without demolition the Dodge House. The Dodge House being a staple for domestic architecture fitting into the cultural life of the urban environment in Los Angeles, it should be monumental to cubist non-ornamental architecture, a landmark to the neighborhood, and not demolition into ashes. Density is very important in making cities sustainable compared to a horizontal sprawl but landmarks are culturally important to the city and create a specific identify for that urban space.

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  20. Nostalgia is something I feel everyone enjoys to a certain degree. But in this case, The Doge House is a mark of history. It was sort of beginning towards what Los Angeles has today. I certainly believe it was wrong being sold for different form of housing. Any artist or architect could of been inspired by exploring in person rather than writings or photographs. Like paintings or sculpture, you cannot get the same experience absorbing through an image then in real lifebecaus eof all angles one could see!
    I don’t think it is the cultural life of an urban environment but rather a place for the public to visit. Maybe it could of been a place where other art is displayed or for small businesses. That way it could be used and could be talked about for it legacy.

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  21. The destruction of architectural masterpieces like Dodge House saddens me. Although, I do see the economic benefits of replacing it with apartments that will offer more housing for residents and provide income for the developers, builders, and landlords; I do not think the economic gain outweighs the value of the historical site. I think a better solution could have been to create businesses and properties around Dodge House that would help promote and benefit the place. As a historical place, I think Dodge House could have functioned better as a sort of museum, where people could come and visit the place. Rather than replacing historic housing with contemporary housing, perhaps they could have developed the surrounding area with restaurants, shops, and other tourism attractions. I certainly think there is room in today’s society for culturally important edifices, even if they are in urban space. These sights are special because you cannot replace or rebuild them how they originally were. A place existing in images will not be sufficient to record a place because a two dimensional image is not an immersive experience or location. In this regard, I think it is very tragic what happened to Dodge House, but I do hope that the records and memories of it will persist over time.

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  22. I find destruction to such architectural masterworks is awful. This is like the hundreds of beautiful castles and mansions/estates that exist across Europe with full stone walls, double helix staircases, handmade molding, and beautiful motifs. Left to rot and be abandoned than being occupied and protected. Destruction to history is horrifying because one day we will regret abandoning and demolishing such historical buildings.

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  23. The destruction and demolition of architectural masterpieces is heart-breaking. The contribution of Irving Gill’s Dodge House to national heritage far outweighs the profit of the 48 studio apartments that were built. The Dodge house was a marker of time in Los Angeles history and what would start a new trend in domestic architecture. I feel sad that Gill’s masterpiece was not appreciated for its intricate design, but I am glad that it has not been forgotten.

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  24. Architectural masterpieces should not be destroyed in order to build seven separate three-story structures with 48 studio apartments. Any art masterpieces in general, whether it is architecture, paintings, sculptures, etc. should be preserved and not ruined. The quote “knife and slashing a Rembrandt painting,” definitely applies to the Dodge House situation. The Dodge house represented an architectural significance and demonstrated the change from traditional/ symmetrical design. It truly was a Los Angeles architectural masterpiece. The architecture work is recognized as a masterpiece and should have remained intact as a part of history. There is definitely room for culturally important edifices in the urban space. Future generations will have to learn about the Dodge House through photos, and not be able to experience its significance and beauty in person.

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  25. Tearing down a building is more of an act of destroying memories than destroying the building, but memories will continue to exist in people’s memory for a long time where the building was. Our touch before the demolition will differentiate the reason for the destruction of the building. Because the artistic intervention in the building will also turn it into a work of art. As a result, it will not only be an old building but also a work of art. Although the word destruction evokes dramatic consequences, sometimes it can be a new beginning. A space consisting of concrete, iron, doors, and windows, which has been a long effort and witnessed different experiences, will be demolished. On the agenda of architects, there are not always and only “buildings built”; from time to time, on the contrary, there are “buildings collapsed.” The history of architecture is the history of destroyed buildings as well as building structures.

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  26. Destroying an architectural masterpiece in favor of building 48 studio apartments is a heinous act. Why can’t housing developers move elsewhere? The only reason I could justify destroying a building, is if it is dilapidated and damaged beyond all repair. Having a work of domestic architecture preserved shows that a town/city is proud of their history and how far they have come and how much they have grown since the erection of the building. History, heritage, and legacy should absolutely take precedence over overpriced studios/apartment/townhomes. San Jose would throw a fit over the demolition of the Winchester House. San Fransisco would go into a rage if The Painted Ladies were torn down.

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  27. A a non architectural individual, I do not see it as a complete loss if I am being honest; however I understand where the sentiment comes from and I think it is valid. Even though I do not personally think that the house was worthy of historical recognition. It might just be because I do not find the house personally attractive or engaging. Though I do think that works of art should be respected and should have spaces within everyday society, but then again if the house was not being used for anything, then it was just in the way I think.

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  28. I believe the destruction of the Dodge House created by Irving Gill is an immense loss. The exchange of more housing for folks with the destruction of Gill’s impressive home isn’t equal by any means. The Dodge House wasn’t a building that only an architect could love as said by Pastier. I myself am a Graphic Designer and not an architect at all and was impressed by the design of the home. Especially with the fact that it was definitely something that wasn’t really seen or at least what people think of when it comes to homes in the 1910s. My first impression of the house was that it was created sometime in 1940s the least, but knowing it was made even earlier than that, it was ahead of it’s time. I believe the building could have been retained in some way to fit the addition of apartments in some way without having it been destroyed. If anything it could have been redesigned and I believe the decision to remove it and replace it was a poor decision.

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  29. I would say with the destruction of the Dodge house is unfortunate but a testament to how developments work. It is normal to demolish buildings to make way for new developments, and the value of such structures are considered when it is way too late. I think people want to build neighborhoods that flow with another, and if houses from past times were kept up, it would disturb the flow of the environment. I for one do not mind things being out of order, but business people, and their prospective clients, do. I think old buildings if maintained act as interactive works of art and a little pocket of the past.

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  30. Arron Adams
    Art 473-1001
    One question I had while reading this is, can the building not be rebuilt? I realize that it is terrible that they destroyed the original building, but don’t architects make the blueprints for the building and then others actually build it? So can the blueprints not be followed in order to rebuild the house? It seems to me that something as iconic as the Dodge House, assuming the blueprints still exist, should be able to be rebuilt.

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  31. Personally, I have mixed feelings about the destruction of the masterpiece in order to build the apartments. The masterpiece has depth to it. It is not only just a building, but there are memories and history connected to the building. This is the main argument for destroying pieces such as this one. They would like it to be reserved and kept to display the development and past of the area. However, the opposing side argues that times are changing and the place can be built elsewhere in a new light. The problem with this is that it’s not genuine and the original thing. I believe places should still be preserved because heritage and legacy is significant.

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  32. I personally resent the idea of demolishing architectural works of art especially if the structure is in good working condition. I am a lover of ancient History and art and to think of the many ancient wonders we may have seen if the world left these places alone could brings me almost tot he brink of anger. from the pyramids of Giza to the Ancient City of Rome we are left with only a shell of what the buildings used to look like and these too are only a fraction of what was. to this effect I feel that we really need to start recognizing the importance of preserving our legacy of magnificent structure. The fact is there are plenty of other buildings that are run down or out use that do not represent any achievement in architecture that could be demolished in place of them. So really at the end of the day there isn’t any worthy excuse that could get me to think others wise. And so I do not think urban density is anywhere near as important than heritage/ legacy because I really do feel there is always another alternative in regards finding a solution that appeases both side in this case.

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  33. I have mixed feelings about the destruction of the Walter L. Dodge House. I believe that demolition of these kinds of buildings can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Specifically, I believe that destroying historical buildings such as this can be good as it makes room for new and possibly better buildings to be made, especially if the destroyed building in question is one that is old, torn-down, or in otherwise poor condition. On the other hand, it can also be a bad thing because houses like this can mean something to people, as in, they might contain memories for people or they could be an important part of the history and/or culture of the place that they are based in. Though, personally, I lean a bit more towards the camp that believes that the Dodge House shouldn’t have been torn down. I could understand if it were in bad condition, but the photos of the interior and exterior of the house show that it was in pretty good condition. The photos also show how beautiful the house was inside-out, so I think that it might not have been a good idea to tear it down. Though, I understand that sometimes, buildings such as these probably need to be torn down, especially if they are “outdated” and/or can be replaced with something better. In other words, it could signal that times are changing and that better architecture can be built in the future. It’s like the saying goes, “out with the old, in with the new.” I believe that a work of domestic architecture such as the Dodge House fits into all cultural parts of an urban environment, especially in the historical department and in future development. I believe that the Dodge House is representative of the history of Los Angeles, as it had design elements that were typical of buildings in Los Angeles, such as arches. It could also aid in future development in that its materials and make-up could inspire evolution and influence architects to build a more advanced and modern building that could surpass the Dodge House. I believe that there is always room for culturally important edifices in the urban space, especially if those edifices house something valuable like art (such as in a museum). It can also be used to educate and inform people who have not been in the city for a very long time and/or are not familiar with the city’s landmarks. However, I believe that density in space can also matter, especially in a small space, since there may not always be room for new buildings and older and more “outdated” buildings may have to be demolished to make room for them. While I believe that preserving a city’s heritage and legacy is important, I can understand if limited space and “keeping up with the times” means that something’s got to give.

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