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Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 7:24 PM
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HossC HossC is offline
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The two photos below are from Julius Shulman's "Job 5555: Nathan Black, Echo Park Court (Los Angeles, Calif.), 1978". The summary includes the address, 1416 Echo Park Avenue, and the notes say these are "Photographs taken for the book Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles, in collaboration with University of Southern California faculty Stephanos Polyzoides. Shulman's photographs enforce the book's typological analysis of courtyard buildings built mostly between the 1920s and 1930s in Los Angeles."

Here's a side view from Fairbanks Place.

Both from Getty Research Institute

The building complex appears to have been well looked after.


I tried to work out the age of the building, but have found a few conflicting dates. The description of the Shulman images implies the architect was Nathan Black, but a bit of Googling turns up another 'Echo Park Court'. A few sources, including, say there was a 1912 structure called Echo Park Court designed by Irving J Gill. A PDF file at gives no address, but says it's "gone". I checked the property websites, and gives a build date of 1930 for 1416 Echo Park Avenue, while says 1908. Neither of these dates tie in with the Irving J Gill building, so I guess it must have been somewhere else.

Portions of the book mentioned in the original notes, 'Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles', is available at The Shulman photos are there, but the vital page 159 is missing from the preview. An article at references the book, and says the authors dubbed the complex "Big Mama Court" after "its tenacious manager". It continues, "One section of the complex, most of which was built in the early 1920s, consists of eight, separate two-story buildings that step down the hillside from Fairbanks Place to Echo Park Avenue. ... the complex at one point was known as McCallister Manor, with its name prominently displayed on a roof-top neon sign that is long-gone." The pictures below are from the article.

Both from

A link from the article led me to a page at the Echo Park Historical Society which gives the address as 1422 Echo Park Avenue. The description says, Architect Nathan Black and developer George L McCallister built the Spanish-Colonial style McCallister Manor in 1932. The apartment complex, once topped by a neon sign bearing its name, is one of numerous examples cited in the 1982 book “Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles,” one of the first books devoted to the study of this unique style of regional residential architecture. “Despite the existence of a small fountain, this unusual courtyard is carried out like a public narrow street of dimensions and light quality that are intensely Mediterranean,” said the authors of Courtyard Housing. It's the building next door that bears the number 1422.


Here's an overhead view of the complex.

Google Maps

The online building records have a 1922 permit for a new 3-room residence at 1416 Echo Park Avenue.

Skipping on 10 years, this new building permit for the same address lists George L McCallister as owner and Nathan Black as the architect.

Both from Online Building Records System

If anyone has a copy of 'Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles', I'd love to know what other information is on page 159.

Last edited by HossC; Jun 2, 2017 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Updated Getty link.
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