John Parkinson was one of the most prolific and influential architects of Los Angeles in his day, lending his design vision to several historic landmarks, including City Hall, the Coliseum and Grand Central Market.
In 1913, Parkinson purchased 22 acres between 14th and 17th Streets stretching along north side of San Vicente Boulevard to the land along Santa Monica Canyon and completed his home around 1920, where he lived until his death in 1935.
The 22-acres of land remained intact until 1947 when the property was subdivided into lots for residential development, and reduced to a little over an acre. His wife Florence lived on the property until her death in 1966, when Howard and Drucilla Alphson purchased the estate.
Given the main residence’s architectural integrity and history, the original Parkinson residence has been recognized with a Landmark designation. However, the home and its external environment have changed dramatically over the decades.
Positioned far back from Woodacres Road, a circular driveway leads to the Italian Renaissance-style mansion with its smooth white unadorned stucco, brick and barrel terra cotta roof. A triple-arched loggia defines the façade with the arcade set on columns with a spiral fluted pattern and Corinthian capitals.
Many of the 1921 details remain today, including the geometrically patterned tile in the loggia, full-length French windows and arched doorways and entrances, however, the Alphsons added new features such as flooring, brick walls with fireplace, light fixtures, and built-in bookcase shelving. Several alterations were also made to the floorplan, including expanding the kitchen and enclosing the patio. The two-story guesthouse with a mansard roof, two-car garage, tennis court and 20 x 40-foot swimming pool were also added in 1970 under the Alphsons’ ownership, and are not considered to be contributing elements to the main historical building designed by John Parkinson.
ICONIC VISION: A JOHN PARKINSON DOCUMENTARY
JOHN PARKINSON LANDMARKS THROUGHOUT LOS ANGELES
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles City Hall
Multiple USC Structures
The Rowan Building
The Crocker Bank
The Security Building
Pacific Mutual Building
The Los Angeles Athletic Club
The Terminal Warehouse Market
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum under construction, 1922
Opening day at Union Station, 1939