Resource Description

Resource Summary

Names
Wilkinson-Rhodes Multi-Family Residential Historic District (Primary)
Resource Types
District
Important Dates
No dates recorded
Keywords (Subjects)
Maxwell Starkman
1950s
1960s
car
courtyard
apartments
Post World War II
Traditional Ranch
suburbanization
Valley Plaza Apartments

Location Information

Addresses
Location Description
No descriptions recorded
Administrative Areas
North Hollywood - Valley Village Community Plan Area (Community Plan Area)
Los Angeles City Council District 2 (Council District)
GREATER VALLEY GLEN COUNCIL (Neighborhood Council)
VALLEY GLEN NEIGHBORHOOD (Neighborhood)

Classification

Classification
Type: Residential District
Related Features
No features recorded

Resource Descriptions

General Description
The Wilkinson-Rhodes Multi-family Residential Historic District is a small historic district of multi-family residential properties on individual parcels adjacent to the 170 freeway, in the North Valley Glen area of the San Fernando Valley. It is located along Wilkinson Avenue, Archwood Street, Rhodes Avenue, and Lemay Street. There are 23 buildings within the historic district boundaries; of these, 96% are contributors to the historic district. Developed between 1958 and 1960, the subdivision primarily contains two-story Traditional Ranch multi-family residences on a residential block with sidewalks, shallow lawns, and mature trees. All of the buildings have rear parking in soft first stories accessed through an alley that cuts through the center of the block. One Mid-Century Modern, multi-family residential complex is also present; it was constructed at the same time as the Traditional Ranch buildings and was designed by the same architect. Each building is set back from the street, with the same basic rectangular plan featuring a one-story portion at its front with a two-story portion at its rear. In the main block, 12 buildings are grouped into pairs, forming courtyard apartments. Each pair has a common inner walkway with minimal landscaping. The unit entrances are accessed by open concrete walkways running between the buildings. Each unit also has a private fenced patio in the inner courtyards of the paired buildings and on the street-facing facades of the unpaired, outer buildings.

Summary of Significance
The Wilkinson-Rhodes Multi-family Residential Historic District is an excellent example of multi-family residential development comprising 1950s courtyard apartments. The historic district is a discrete subdivision with low-scale, multi-family development that is representative of the pattern of automobile-centered, post-war suburban development in the San Fernando Valley. Its period of significance is 1958-1960, corresponding with the dates of its development. Of the 23 buildings within the historic district boundary approximately 22 buildings (96%) are contributors to the historic district. The historic district's contributors are excellent examples of courtyard apartment complexes, with central common areas, exterior access to units, patios and balconies, and parking restricted to the rear of buildings. The courtyards are Traditional Ranch in style, with alterations limited to the replacement of some windows, patio fences, and doors; the enclosure of some balconies; some wall cladding alterations; and the addition of metal awnings. San Fernando Valley commercial and residential developer Bob Symonds subdivided the tract in which the historic district sits in 1957, creating the historic district's main residential block. As with his Valley Plaza shopping center, Symonds anticipated the expansion of transportation systems into the Valley and knew the subdivision would benefit from its location immediately west of the planned 170 freeway (an extension of the Hollywood Freeway, completed in the late 1960s). The subdivision was developed by contractor Zahler Enterprises and owner Morris Steinbaum. Steinbaum owned multiple Los Angeles properties, and in 1959 he and Zahler developed a subdivision on Whitsett south of Vanowen; the Wilkinson-Rhodes Historic District was likely originally part of this eight-acre subdivision, called the Valley Plaza Apartments. The buildings in the Wilkinson-Rhodes Historic District were designed significant postwar architect Maxwell Starkman, who at that time primarily designed postwar tract housing. He was later better known for his Mid-Century Modern-style commercial and institutional buildings, including First Los Angeles Bank in Century City and the Filmland Corporate Center (Sony Pictures Plaza) in Culver City. The historic district's contributors retain their character-defining features and the historic district as a whole retains its original landscape plan, streetscape, and layout. It is readily recognizable as a late 1950s-early 1960s automobile suburb and evokes the time and place of its period of significance.


External System References

SurveyLA ID: 262ec628-dc2a-42d1-9f65-89b13c8b256e

Resource Significance

Evaluation Details

Date Evaluated
2013-02-13
Context/Theme
Residential Development and Suburbanization, 1850-1980
Multi-Family Residential Development, 1910-1980
Multi-Family Residential, 1910-1980
Multi-Family Residential District, 1910-1980
Residential-Multi Family
Multi-Family District
Eligibility Standards
  • Retains original planning features including street patterns, building setbacks, landscape or street features
  • Contains a substantial number of buildings constructed during the period of significance
  • Is a definable geographic area composed of related properties
  • Is a good representation of multiple-family residential development from a specified time period
  • Retains most of the essential character-defining features of the type from the period of significance
  • Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance of the district as a whole
  • Possesses a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of buildings united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development
  • May be composed of a single multiple-family residential property type or a variety of types
  • May also be significant within themes related to streetcar, automobile, or freeway suburbanization
  • Contains a substantial number of properties that are good examples of architectural styles of the period
  • May include some buildings constructed outside the period of significance
  • Contributors to a district may have a greater degree of alteration than individually significant properties
  • As a whole, should retain integrity of Location, Design, Setting (the relationship between the buildings and landscapes), and Feeling
  • Unified entity composed of a substantial number of properties originally constructed as multiple-family residences during the period of significance
  • Conveys a strong visual sense of the overall historic environment from its period of significance
  • Integrity Aspects
    Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
    Location
    Materials
    Setting
    Design
    Association
    Feeling
    Workmanship
    California Historic Resources Status Codes (explanation of codes)
    5S3
    3CS
    3S
    Significance Statement
    Excellent example of a multi-family residential district comprising Traditional Ranch-style courtyard apartments with attached parking in the rear. Designed by noted architect Maxwell Starkman. Exhibits distinctive and innovative buiding and site planning features, accommodating multiple families on single lots while maintaining a low-density feel.
    Periods of Significance
    From: 1958-01-01
    To: 1960-12-31

    Date Evaluated
    2013-02-13
    Context/Theme
    Residential Development and Suburbanization, 1850-1980
    Automobile Suburbanization, 1908-1937
    Suburban Planning and Development, 1908-1937
    Automobile Suburb
    Multi-Family District
    Eligibility Standards
  • May feature a variety of multi-family types and be significant within the Multi-Family Residential Development theme in this context
  • Conveys a strong visual sense of overall historic environment from the period of significance
  • A single subdisivion or group of subdivisons developed exclusively with multi-family buildings
  • Overall retains cohesiveness as a planned multi-family development
  • May be associated with important developers, architects and/or landscape designers
  • Demonstrates suburban planning concepts related to residential development and the accommodation of the automobile
  • Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance of the district as a whole
  • Repaving of streets and sidewalks and some loss of street trees acceptable
  • Overall subdivision layout remains intact including street patterns, setbacks, massing, scale and streetscape
  • District as a whole should retain integrity of Design, Feeling, Setting and Association
  • Contributors to a district may have a greater degree of alteration than individually significant properties
  • Contains a substantial number of buildings constructed during the period of significance
  • Retains original planning features including street patterns, building setbacks, landscape or street features
  • Is a definable geographic area composed of related properties
  • Integrity Aspects
    Feeling
    Setting
    Materials
    Design
    Workmanship
    Association
    Location
    Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
    California Historic Resources Status Codes (explanation of codes)
    3S
    3CS
    5S3
    Significance Statement
    Excellent example of a multi-family automobile suburb developed by Bob Symonds, who was also the developer of nearby automobile-centric commercial development at Valley Plaza. Exemplifies planning principles of multi-family automobile suburban development designed in proximity to major freeways and commercial development.
    Periods of Significance
    From: 1958-01-01
    To: 1960-12-31

    Related Resources

    Related Historic Resources

    12401 W ARCHWOOD ST (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    12415 W ARCHWOOD ST (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6648 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6643 N RHODES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6665 N RHODES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6661 N RHODES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6717 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6655 N RHODES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    12409 W ARCHWOOD ST (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6637 N RHODES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6636 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6642 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6701 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6664 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    12408 W ARCHWOOD ST (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6701 N RHODES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6649 N RHODES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    12420 W ARCHWOOD ST (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6654 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6658 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Non-Contributor, is a non-contributor to / has as a non-contributor)
    6700 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6707 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    6661 N WILKINSON AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)

    Related Historic Districts

    None

    Related Activities

    None

    Related Historic Events

    None

    Related People/Organizations

    Architectural Resources Group (Surveying Firm, was surveyed by / surveyed)

    Related Information Resources

    Images
    Documents
    SurveyLA: North Hollywood-Valley Village Historic Resources Survey Report (Document/Text, is referred to in / refers to)