Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

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SDR
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by SDR »

Jones fans will recognize this as Model 102 of the houses he and Contini designed for the Mutual Housing Association at Crestwood Hills (Brentwood), in Los Angeles. Architect Cory Buckner restored and owns the original MHA Site Office, a Model 102 which is reversed from the other examples shown.


Subject house: Image

Pilot House 102: Image

Early view of Crestwood Hills; Model 102 left center: Image

Buckner's Site Office 102: Image

Matt2
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by Matt2 »

What sort of carpet is that in the vintage photo. I assume some sort of grass or sisal material. Was that laid down in tiles or did it come as a roll?

The Seattle Architect I'm researching used that material a lot, as well as that black (vinyl?) tile with white flecks in it. They must have been very popular at the time.

SDR
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by SDR »

We had a brief discussion about that. Yes, it shows up in a surprising number of MCM interiors: H H Harris seems to have liked it, among many others. My parents bought a rug for the living room. I don't know if it was typical, but there were two related drawbacks: its thickness produced a tripping hazard at the edges, which began to fray (under the onslaught of three active teens) before too long. (You wouldn't have wanted to sit on that Eames DCW in the photo, with one leg only on the grass carpet; it would be a rocking chair . . .)

And yes, the flecked vinyl tiles were popular too, in all colors. I recently scored samples of a product from Artoleum, "Piazza" linoleum. I haven't researched it yet to determine dates and other particulars. I don't know if these were tiles, sheet, or both.
Nice colors; that last one is a black, though the lighting puts a sheen on it.

Image

Matt2
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by Matt2 »

Were these linoleum or vinyl? Or are those terms interchangeable?

Oak Park Jogger
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by Oak Park Jogger »

The colorful tile in the picture above is way nicer than the tile that would have been used back in the day. Maybe its my age, but EVERY school had a less attractive version--solid color with lots of flecks and nothing that would make you say "Wow!" But it was easy to clean and took enormous amounts of abuse.

SDR
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by SDR »

"Linoleum is a floor covering made from materials such as solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), pine resin, ground cork dust, sawdust, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate, most commonly on a burlap or canvas backing."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linoleum

Vinyl tile:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinyl_composition_tile

No, the materials are not the same.

S

DRN
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by DRN »

The tile commonly used in the 1930’s-1960’s was called asphalt tile or asphalt composition tile and typically measures 9”x9”. This material has asbestos content, as does some of the glue used with it. It can be brittle and when it’s Wax coating is worn off, the tiles can shed asbestos containing dust.
Our office policy is to remove it when it is encountered and if that is not possible, it is to be encapsulated by covering it with vinyl tile, plank, or sheet goods.

If authenticity is key for a mid-mod, copious layers of wax could be maintained on a floor in good condition. For replacement, vinyl tiles can be cut down to 9x9.

Roderick Grant
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by Roderick Grant »

DRN, that is exactly what was used in my family's old house upstairs, 9" asphalt with wax applied every Saturday. Not because of the asbestos, which was not known to be toxic, but because it lost its luster quite easily. The hall was green and the 3 bedrooms were beige, blue and red. There were streaks of white in the green, blue and red, and streaks of black in the beige. The only advantage of these tiles over the original oak flooring they covered was that they were cool to sleep on during the insufferably hot summer nights.

The playroom in the basement that replaced the old coal bin was tiled in the leftovers, placed randomly. The chess club taped off an 8x8 square and used the floor as a 6'x6' chess board with tiny pieces. Two sets could be played at the time, one team on the north/south sides, the other east/west. We called it "Adjacent Simultaneous Chess," and the only way one could tell whether a piece was his or not was by the way it was facing.

SDR
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by SDR »

Wonderful. You can't make this stuff up; reality gives fantasy a good run for its money, every time . . .?

I continue to fume over the wasted effort associated with the fantasy that tiny amounts of asbestos fiber floating in the air can lead to asbestosis. Those who contracted the illness were bathed in the stuff for years on end, in work environments where that was a primary material being processed or manufactured, and when face masks were unheard-of. I wonder if this matter is handled any differently in other parts of the world . . .

. . . and with all due respect to architects and others, everywhere, who actually have to deal with this subject in the course of their efforts.

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by Roderick Grant »

There is a similarly overstated fear of lead. A hint of lead in a building, and they get the hazmat suits out. I bought a gallon of lead-based oil paint on the last day it was legal to sell in California about 35 years ago. I painted various pieces of furniture, and have suffered no ill effects. Aside from a low hum that amounts to a subtle white noise, and a greenish, undulating glow impossible to perceive except in pitch dark, I have noticed no troubling side effects. Nor has chewing my kitchen table caused any trouble.

yogiwork
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by yogiwork »

The design of this Whitney smith house is very innovative. Each and every thing is placed on perfect position. This is looks like my friend's house. She also likes to do creative things like this. Coupon For Gadgets

Matt2
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Re: Article: A. Quincy Jones & Whitney Smith house - Los Angeles, CA

Post by Matt2 »

I love the design of these homes, but do wonder about the raised shed roof. This would make sense if the shed were raised to the north and the clerestory filled with glass. It looks, however, like some sheds faced south or west and had that clerestory strip filled with wood panels to block what was perhaps an annoying glare.

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