Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Photo Essay: Lummis' House, Built of a River Bed

The Lummis Home is one of the renowned Museums of the Arroyo, situated in Highland Park, near the usually dry river bed, and built by Charles Lummis (founder of the Southwest Museum, and the first city editor of the Los Angeles Times) using stones from that river.

I'd been wanting to visit ever since I housesat for friends in the neighboring community of Mt. Washington in Summer 2010 before moving here. I'd done a lot of exploring east back then, and still, I always find myself drawn to LA's easternmost nethers.



People marvel at its interior, with southwest-inspired wooden furniture and railroad pole beams in the ceiling, but I am more interested in the outside...



...in the gardens that surround it...



...showcasing citrus, California native plants...



...regional plants, meadow greens...



...and desert garden varieties.



The outside of the rustic stone house is tremendous.



Also known as "El Alisal," the Lummis Home is a cultural monument and historic landmark...



...and kind of a castle in its own right...



...though small, and unlocked on weekends.



The stone walls and concrete floors make it cold inside...



...and the dim lighting and dark colors make you just want to go outside.



The Lummis Home incorporates nature back into man's habitat, as opposed to the dream homes of the midcentury modernism architectural movement, which must reincorporate nature, bringing the outdoors to the indoors. Architecturally disparate, a house like the Sheats-Goldstein Residence opens its walls up to the outside by fabricating them out of glass, while the Lummis Home uses natural materials to enclose and encase you.

And for someone like me who always seems to be on the inside-looking-out, I'd rather be able to really see out, or, just go out.

The Lummis House (as well as several other museums and nearby attractions) will be open to visitors for special tours and events this coming Saturday, March 9 for Arroyo Culture Day.

Related Post:
Photo Essay: Zanja Walk Along the Arroyo Seco

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