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 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.6599 false true true false true true false auto false ease-in-out 300 auto false 0 true true
Julius Shulman photo of the Rosen House. Click on image for full view.6600 false true true false true true false auto false ease-in-out 300 auto false 0 true true
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