Resource Description

Resource Summary

Names
Agnes Avenue Residential Historic District (Primary)
Resource Types
District
Important Dates
No dates recorded
Keywords (Subjects)
motion picture
Arthur and Nina Zwebell
Period Revival
Central Motion Picture District
film
movie
Mack Sennett
American Colonial Revival
1930s
car

Location Information

Addresses
Location Description
No descriptions recorded
Administrative Areas
Sherman Oaks - Studio City - Toluca Lake - Cahuenga Pass Community Plan Area (Community Plan Area)
Los Angeles City Council District 2 (Council District)
STUDIO CITY NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL (Neighborhood Council)
STUDIO CITY NEIGHBORHOOD (Neighborhood)

Classification

Classification
Type: Residential District
Related Features
No features recorded

Resource Descriptions

General Description
The Agnes Avenue Residential Historic District consists of a grouping of five American Colonial Revival single-family residences lining both sides of Agnes Avenue, between Woodbridge Street on the north and Valleyheart Drive on the south, in Studio City. All of the properties are contributors to the historic district. Ranging from one to one-and-a-half stories, the residences were constructed in 1937 and 1938 as varied but cohesive examples of the American Colonial Revival style. The cohesiveness of the district is further enhanced by its deep, uniform setbacks and large lots, concrete sidewalks and landscaped parkways, mature landscaping and street trees, and period light standards. In addition, a decorative wrought-iron fence spans several of the properties on the west side of Agnes Avenue.

Summary of Significance
The Agnes Avenue Residential Historic District is significant as an excellent example of American Colonial Revival residential architecture, and as an early residential district associated with the entertainment industry in Studio City. The district's period of significance is 1937 to 1938, when all of the residences were constructed. The area that comprises the Agnes Avenue Residential Historic District was first subdivided in 1927 by the Central Motion Picture District, Inc., a consortium founded by producer and early Studio City booster and developer Mack Sennett, producer Al Christie, and a group of real estate professionals. The consortium's goal was to build a new studio in the area, as well as a residential and commercial district "to support the economic growth of their new city." In 1928, Sennett succeeded in establishing Mack Sennett's Studioland, just across the Los Angeles River from the Agnes Avenue district, which helped jump-start residential settlement in the area. After Sennett filed for bankruptcy in 1933, his studio was purchased by Mascot Pictures, which later became Republic Pictures Corporation (now CBS Studio Center). By 1939, the district had become home to "business and professional men, retired capitalists, [and] motion picture executives" in the income range of $4,000 to $10,000. The first home constructed in the district, 4227 Agnes Avenue, was the long-time home of Arthur and Nina Zwebell, self-taught husband and wife architectural team known for their innovations in courtyard apartment design in Southern California. While Zwebell was not a licensed architect, he was the original owner of 4227 Agnes Avenue and his signature appears on building permits for the two homes adjacent to his own. The three homes share a highly ornamental wrought-iron fence and gates with low concrete piers. The residence at 12075 Valleyheart Drive, constructed in 1937, was designed by architect James H. Hoose. According to historian Kevin Roderick, the street is lined with pecan trees, a remnant of an early 20th-century grove, much of which was lost with the development of Sennett's Studioland. This district is significant for the high quality of design exhibited in the American Colonial Revival residences and their high level of material integrity. Common features include side-gable roofs with multiple gabled dormers; horizontal wood siding; divided-light wood windows with fixed wooden shutters; and wide recessed porches. In addition, this district represents a rare example of residential development with a direct link to the burgeoning entertainment industry in the area.


External System References

SurveyLA ID: 734b5dd4-8d7d-4441-ad4f-1d94f34da949

Resource Significance

Evaluation Details

Date Evaluated
2012-09-14
Context/Theme
Architecture and Engineering, 1850-1980
Housing the Masses, 1880-1975
Period Revival Neighborhoods, 1918-1942
Automobile Suburb
Subdivision
Eligibility Standards
  • Was developed during the period of significance
  • Unified entity with a significant concentration of residences designed in Period Revival styles including Mediterranean Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Colonial Revival, Late Tudor Revival, French Revival, and Exotic Revival
  • Must retain the majority of the original planning features including street patterns, buildings setbacks, landscape or street features
  • May include one or a full range of Period Revival styles
  • Conveys a strong visual sense of overall historic environment from the period of significance
  • Retains original planning features including street patterns, buildings setbacks, landscape or street features
  • Physical infrastructure such as curbing, street lights, street trees, and other amenities will ideally be present if they existed originally
  • An accumulation of minor alterations may render a residence non-contributing
  • District as a whole should retain integrity of Location, Setting, Design, Workmanship, Feeling, and Materials
  • Mostly one- and/or two-story single-family residences
  • May contain some buildings from outside the period of significance
  • Residences that have been stuccoed may be considered contributing as long as it is the only exterior alteration
  • Some windows and doors may have been replaced, as long as openings have not been altered and original fenestration patterns have not been disrupted
  • The enclosure of front entry porches is an acceptable alteration if original features have not been removed
  • Within districts, the threshold of integrity for contributing properties is defined as the ability of a particular residence to reflect the architectural style and form that it would have possessed at the time of construction
  • Detached garages located at the rear of lots, if present
  • May be associated with important developers, architects and/or landscape designers
  • Integrity Aspects
    Design
    Workmanship
    Setting
    Location
    Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
    Materials
    Feeling
    California Historic Resources Status Codes (explanation of codes)
    3S
    3CS
    5S3
    Significance Statement
    Excellent collection of American Colonial Revival residential architecture in Studio City.
    Periods of Significance
    From: 1937-01-01
    To: 1938-12-31

    Date Evaluated
    2012-09-14
    Context/Theme
    Entertainment Industry, 1908-1980
    Residential Properties Associated with the Entertainment Industry, 1908-1980
    Entertainment Industry Housing and Neighborhoods, 1908-1949
    Residential
    Residential District
    Eligibility Standards
  • Contributors to a district may have a greater degree of alteration than individually significant properties
  • May be composed of single-family and/or multi-family properties
  • May contain some buildings from outside the period of significance, including infill development
  • May also be significant as a good representation of residential architecture from a specified time period
  • Conveys a strong visual sense of the overall historic environment from its period of significance
  • Is a definable geographic area composed of residential properties developed adjacent to motion picture studios specifically to house people working in the entertainment industry
  • Contains a substantial number of buildings constructed during the period of significance
  • The physical relationship between the residential area and the adjacent entertainment-related facility or facilities may still be apparent
  • Possesses a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of buildings united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development
  • May also contain individual properties that are significant examples of residential architecture
  • As a whole, retains the essential physical and character-defining features from the period of significance
  • Should retain integrity of Location, Design, Feeling, Setting, and Association (relationship to the adjacent entertainment-related facilities)
  • The physical relationship between the property and the motion picture studio or other entertainment-related property may not be apparent as the original facility may no longer be extant
  • Integrity Aspects
    Setting
    Association
    Feeling
    Materials
    Design
    Location
    Workmanship
    Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
    California Historic Resources Status Codes (explanation of codes)
    5S3
    3CS
    3S
    Significance Statement
    Excellent example of entertainment industry-related residential development in Studio City.
    Periods of Significance
    From: 1937-01-01

    Related Resources

    Related Historic Resources

    Arthur and Nina Zwebell House (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    4222 N AGNES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    4233 N AGNES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    4221 N AGNES AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    4212 N AGNES 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

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

    Related Information Resources