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SPRING ARCH TOUR FEST: The Cummings Estate

May 16 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am PDT

$20 – $55

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Photo Credit: Minh Tran and Garrett Rowland

Spring ARCH TOUR FEST: The Cummings Estate

Information regarding the tour will be emailed directly to registrants 24 hours before the event.

Tour Led by:

Chet Callahan, Principal, Chet Architecture

The eponymous principle of Chet Architecture, Chet Callahan’s quiet demeanor and thoughtful curiosity belie his creative genius and intimidating height. An architect since birth, he reveled in the constant construction of his San Diego suburb. He spent his weekends touring newly minted planned communities with his doting parents, and his weekdays meticulously drawing and redrawing the interiors and exteriors he encountered. His photographic recall of spaces is legendary in his family of origin. As a designer, Chet is known for his mastery of space. His ability to think in three dimensions, which allows him to both consider and create perspective, results in spaces that delight for reasons so quiet they are often not noticed.

Chet’s designs are both subtle and breathtaking- a point of creative tension that characterizes his body of work. Chet’s vision is a studio of projects as bespoke and unique as our clients. He eschews stylistic repetition, and relishes in the challenge of variety. Having been both a client and a designer, he knows how important it is to both listen to the needs and unspoken wants of clients, but also push them in new directions and challenge their conception of the possible. In his free time, Chet can be found at the gym, on the volleyball court, or cheering on the sidelines of his two teenage boys’ barrage of sporting events. He lives in Los Feliz at the Cummings Estate, studio home of Chet Architecture, with his husband, those rambunctious teenage boys, and three dogs.

Tour Organizers:

Chet Architecture

The oldest estate in east Los Angeles was crumbling– a Grey Gardens mansion that wreaked of granny and disrepair. Relevance was achieved by painstakingly lightening yellowed paneling, re-stamping plaster moldings to reveal new openings, restoring the original window configuration to the front of house, and intervening dramatically with additions that test the limits of materials science to the back of house. The four story stair is an aria, and the diva a floating, mural-ed coiling case that reveals a reinvented sky level studio which floods all stories with sunlight from a dramatic picture dormer. The result: an estate that intimidates and tickles at the same time.

Building Credits:

Interior Designer: Ghislaine Vinas
Landscape Designer: Elysian Landscapes
General Contractor: Mark Drexler + Assoc.
Structural Engineer: TY Engineering

1.5 LU|HSW CES Learning Units Pending Approval

HSW Credits

  • Historic Preservation
  • Adaptive Reuse
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Building Design

Participants will be able to outline improvements in daylighting and indoor air quality that were achieved through the renovation of the Cummings Estate. Built sometime between 1895 and 1905, the oldest estate in east Los Angeles was crumbling– a “Grey Gardens” mansion that reeked of disrepair.

Participants will discuss issues such as the structure’s need for a proper foundation—it sat on an eroded stacked-stone base planted on a patch of dirt — as well as the necessity for serious structural reinforcement and completely new mechanical systems.

Participants will review how the restoration dealt with a mix of vocabularies (quasi-Craftsman, with elements borrowed from Spanish and other styles) to arrive at appropriate design solutions — the push and pull between preservation and innovation. Interior design, furnishings, wall coverings and finishes, and landscape design were all incorporated in the extensive revamp of the home.

Participants will be able to describe how relevance was achieved by painstakingly lightening yellowed paneling, re-stamping plaster moldings to reveal new openings, restoring the original window configuration to the front of house, and intervening dramatically with additions that test the limits of materials science to the back of house.

Participants will discuss the architect’s most dramatic gesture — the grafting of a spruce modernist addition to the back of the house. Essentially a massive glass box set within a terrazzo-clad framework, the two-story addition accommodates an expansive, light-filled kitchen that opens onto a terrace, and a home gym and carport on the floor below.

Details

Date:
May 16
Time:
9:00 am - 10:30 am PDT
Cost:
$20 – $55
Event Category:
Website:
https://www.aialosangeles.org/home/aiala-events/tours/

Venue

Cummings Estate
2020 Cummings Lane
Los Angeles, CA 90027 United States

Organizer

AIA Los Angeles