Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A small camouflaged cement house in Los Angeles

Engineering and Cement World (c1918)—Walter S. Davis of Los Angeles is now in the camouflage service with the United States Expeditionary Forces in France. Mr. Davis went to France as an interpreter attached to a regimental staff and later secured a transfer to the camouflage service.


Walter Swindell Davis (1887-1973), architect, A SMALL CEMENT HOUSE IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA in House Beautiful (September 1920)—

There has been so much speculation as to the sources of inspiration for this house [as pictured here] that we are only glad to “reveal.” While in the camouflage section of the Army Engineer School, Fort de Saint Menge, France, we were greatly impressed with the effects of time, the weather, and vegetation on the tile and thatch roofs. The whole rainbow was there in mosses, lichens, grasses, time-stained tile, and weather-bleached thatch: all blending together in an indescribably beautiful medley of color. Being camoufleurs, we speculated upon just how we could imitate in Los Angeles the colorful work of kindly time. And we have succeeded! The exterior was a memory materialized of the charming cottages of Cote d’Or. The interiors—the gold bathroom, the vaulted chambers, the mural decoration belie our faltering pen. The garden in front is planted informally with wildflowers and pungent-smelling native shrubs. A winding path of flagstones winds across the sunken garden to the grandsward. The wide-spreading sycamore covers the entire front garden and with its time-gnarled branches protects the picturesque little garage nestling at its base.