The Rosen House

A California Modernist Icon

craig ellwood rosen house mid century modern california post beam
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Above: The Rosen House, Craig Ellwood, 1961. Render: evermotion.org

Located at 910 Oakmont Drive, Los Angeles, California is what may be one of the definitive American Modernist homes. Commissioned by Gerald and Arlene Rosen the post and beam home was designed by Craig Ellwood and Jerrold Lomax. However, when the house was published in Architectural Record House of 1964 Lomax was frustrated that he was not given proper credit for the home and left the firm shortly afterward. The Rosens sold the house in 1970 to Iris and Alan Mink and is now held by the Iris Mink Trust.

craig ellwood rosen house mid century modern california post beam

Architectural rendering of the Rosen House, Craig Ellwood, 1961.

craig ellwood rosen house mid century modern california post beam

Floor plan of the Rosen House, Craig Ellwood, 1961.

craig ellwood rosen house mid century modern california post beam

Construction of the Rosen House. Photo: North Carolina Modernist Houses

Craig Ellwood was a bit of a character. Born Jon Nelson Burke in Clarendon, Texas, Ellwood moved with his family to California when he was a child. After serving in the army during the Second World War he started a construction company in 1946 under his newly made up moniker Craig Ellwood (taking the name after a liquor store called Lords and Ellwood located in front of his office). It was also during this time he took a second job as the head of publicity for the Hollywood Bowl, demonstrating a clear talent for promotion. In 1948 Ellwood’s construction company failed and he found work as a cost estimator for Jack Cofer of the architectural firm Lamport Cofer & Salzman in Los Angeles. While in his employ Cofer asked Ellwood to design the Lappin House (1948). With the success of the Lappin House Ellwood kept his new name and started his own architectural firm in 1949 – although not entirely legally as he was not a licensed architect. But that did not matter to Ellwood, who was a confident, determined visionary.

Craig Ellwood's Rosen House. Click on image for full view.

craig ellwood rosen house mid century modern california post beam

One of a kind stereo console designed by Ellwood specifically for the Rosen House. Photo: LA Modern

 

Julius Shulman photo of the Rosen House. Click on image for full view.

craig ellwood rosen house mid century modern california post beam

Jon Nelson Burke aka Craig Ellwood (1922 – 1992)

 

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Jos
Guest
Jos

the furniture is the final touch, always the same though in all these “modern” houses smile

Karen
Member

What is the square footage of this house and how large are the bedrooms? It is hard to tell from the floor plan, which I appreciate.