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Tom of Finland house in Echo Park
Tom of Finland house in Echo Park
Martyn Thompson, courtesy Tom of Finland Foundation

Mapping LA's newest landmarks

A lavish supper club and the home of gay icon Tom of Finland are among the newest Los Angeles landmarks

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Tom of Finland house in Echo Park
| Martyn Thompson, courtesy Tom of Finland Foundation

Los Angeles is ringing in the new year with more than a handful of new local landmarks. From October to December, the city's Cultural Heritage Commission awarded the designation to seven structures, including a 1960s bank building on the Sunset Strip facing demolition, the first LA home of Walt Disney, a studio that once housed a lavish supper club, and the home of erotic artist Tom of Finland.

Without further ado, a warm welcome to our city's newest landmarks, all mapped below:

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Lytton Savings

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Landmark protection probably won't save this 1960s bank building on the Sunset Strip from demolition. Developer Townscape Partners and starchitect Frank Gehry plan to knock it down to build a new mixed-use complex. But the designation is buying it some time, and in that time, Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu is asking the city's Cultural Heritage Commission to either look into relocating the building or incorporating some of its architectural details into Gehry's design.

The city's office of historic preservation says, "the bank was constructed in a distinctive Mid-Century Modern style that melds Googie and New Formalist stylistic influences, reflected in its glass walls, travertine cladding, concrete columns, and zigzag folded plate roof."

Charlotte and Robert Disney House

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Walt Disney's uncle and aunt owned this 1923 Craftsman in Los Feliz, and it's where he first lived when he moved to Los Angeles from Kansas City. In a makeshift studio in the property's garage, he "experimented with animation techniques and constructed his own animation table," says the city's office of historic preservation. The city also says the 4406 Kingswell Avenue address appeared on some of Disney's earliest business cards and documents. The garage was auctioned off in the 1980s and later donated to the Stanley Ranch Museum in Garden Grove, where it still stands today.

The bungalow, meanwhile, has been altered over the years, and its latest owners, apparently totally unaware of the Disney connection, planned to demolish it for a bigger residence. But they retreated from those plans after the city's planning director took the unusual step of nominating the property for landmark status.

Japanese Garden

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In the 1930s, the former Japanese Hospital in Boyle Heights was one of the only places in Los Angeles where Japanese Americans could go for medical treatment. Immigrants were often turned away from major hospitals, because public health officials associated them with disease. The hospital was designed by a Japanese architect and founded by Japanese American physicians.
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S. Charles Lee Residence

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This is the fourth Los Angeles landmark designed by architect S. Charles Lee. The Mediterranean Revival-style duplex in Carthay Square was his personal residence, and the city's office of historic preservation says it represents elements of the movie palaces for which he is best known, including the Tower Theater (Historic Cultural Monument No. 450) and the Los Angeles theater (Historic Cultural Monument No. 225).

Tom of Finland House

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From 1980 until his death in 1991, erotic artist and gay icon Tom of Finland made this handsome Craftsman in Echo Park his Los Angeles home. The home was and still is owned by Tom's friend, Durk Dehner, who uses it as a cultural center and informal museum filled with erotic art that some of LA's AIDS victims left behind.

S.T. Falk Apartments

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A perfect example of Rudolph Schindler's ability to "design for less than ideal sites," the Falk apartments were built on two sloping, triangular lots in the Silver Lake hills. Each of the four units is configured differently and features private outdoor space. The International-style building features clerestory windows and stained pine plywood ceilings.

Earl Carroll Theater

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Now the home of Nickelodeon on Sunset, the Earl Carroll Theatre opened in 1938 as a lavish supper club featuring dining, dancing and stage shows. Designed by architect Gordon B. Kaufmann (who also designed the Los Angeles Times building), its marquee read, "The Most Beautiful Girls in the World.” Developer Essex Property Trust plans to restore the theaterwhile building a seven-story mixed user nextdoor. In its next iteration, the old theater will either remain studio space or turn into creative offices.

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Lytton Savings

Landmark protection probably won't save this 1960s bank building on the Sunset Strip from demolition. Developer Townscape Partners and starchitect Frank Gehry plan to knock it down to build a new mixed-use complex. But the designation is buying it some time, and in that time, Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu is asking the city's Cultural Heritage Commission to either look into relocating the building or incorporating some of its architectural details into Gehry's design.

The city's office of historic preservation says, "the bank was constructed in a distinctive Mid-Century Modern style that melds Googie and New Formalist stylistic influences, reflected in its glass walls, travertine cladding, concrete columns, and zigzag folded plate roof."

Charlotte and Robert Disney House

Walt Disney's uncle and aunt owned this 1923 Craftsman in Los Feliz, and it's where he first lived when he moved to Los Angeles from Kansas City. In a makeshift studio in the property's garage, he "experimented with animation techniques and constructed his own animation table," says the city's office of historic preservation. The city also says the 4406 Kingswell Avenue address appeared on some of Disney's earliest business cards and documents. The garage was auctioned off in the 1980s and later donated to the Stanley Ranch Museum in Garden Grove, where it still stands today.

The bungalow, meanwhile, has been altered over the years, and its latest owners, apparently totally unaware of the Disney connection, planned to demolish it for a bigger residence. But they retreated from those plans after the city's planning director took the unusual step of nominating the property for landmark status.

Japanese Garden

In the 1930s, the former Japanese Hospital in Boyle Heights was one of the only places in Los Angeles where Japanese Americans could go for medical treatment. Immigrants were often turned away from major hospitals, because public health officials associated them with disease. The hospital was designed by a Japanese architect and founded by Japanese American physicians.
Google Maps

S. Charles Lee Residence

This is the fourth Los Angeles landmark designed by architect S. Charles Lee. The Mediterranean Revival-style duplex in Carthay Square was his personal residence, and the city's office of historic preservation says it represents elements of the movie palaces for which he is best known, including the Tower Theater (Historic Cultural Monument No. 450) and the Los Angeles theater (Historic Cultural Monument No. 225).

Tom of Finland House

From 1980 until his death in 1991, erotic artist and gay icon Tom of Finland made this handsome Craftsman in Echo Park his Los Angeles home. The home was and still is owned by Tom's friend, Durk Dehner, who uses it as a cultural center and informal museum filled with erotic art that some of LA's AIDS victims left behind.

S.T. Falk Apartments

A perfect example of Rudolph Schindler's ability to "design for less than ideal sites," the Falk apartments were built on two sloping, triangular lots in the Silver Lake hills. Each of the four units is configured differently and features private outdoor space. The International-style building features clerestory windows and stained pine plywood ceilings.

Earl Carroll Theater

Now the home of Nickelodeon on Sunset, the Earl Carroll Theatre opened in 1938 as a lavish supper club featuring dining, dancing and stage shows. Designed by architect Gordon B. Kaufmann (who also designed the Los Angeles Times building), its marquee read, "The Most Beautiful Girls in the World.” Developer Essex Property Trust plans to restore the theaterwhile building a seven-story mixed user nextdoor. In its next iteration, the old theater will either remain studio space or turn into creative offices.