Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Garden Cities at Risk CHAPTER THREE: Hammond Sadler, Wyvernwood Landscape Architect

Landscape Architect Hammond Sadler (1886-1958)

Part of a series on the Wyvernwood community, designed by Witmer & Watson, in collaboration with Hammond Sadler, who is featured here today.

See the whole series of Wyvernwood posts HERE


Gifted from an early age with an inherited artistic creativity, landscape architect Walter Hammond Sadler was born April 23, 1886 in London, England to Walter Dendy Sadler (1854-1923) and Amelia Louise Pratt Sadler (1863- ). Known as Hammond throughout his life, he was the second son in a family of five children.

"Home, Sweet Home" by Walter Dendy Sadler

Hammond’s father Walter Dendy Sadler was a highly successful and popular artist during the late Victorian period, a master of domestic genre painting. It was written at the time that “he is a born painter, and as such was one of those fortunate youths whose life-work is clearly defined for them. He studied art at Heatherley's celebrated school, and at the age of seventeen went to Dusseldorf to continue his education under Simmler. His work was so good, even at that time, that only a year later he began to exhibit at the Dudley Gallery, and he was but nineteen when his first picture was hung in the Royal Academy. In a sense he has continued his studies ever since, for his pictures are of the kind that demand accurate knowledge, whether of bygone costumes or of the monastic life which furnishes the incidents of many of his paintings.[i]

"A Sure Cure For the Gout," by Walter Dendy Sadler
Sadler was famous for his humorous and detailed depictions of bourgeois domestic life, and in all his works showed “a close sympathy with human life in its many phases, and a keen appreciation of its spirit, whether humorous or pathetic.”[ii] It was noted that unlike many of his contemporaries, “his humour is of a quiet kind, and his satire does not greatly sting.”[iii]

Unfortunately, when Hammond was around twelve years old, Walter Dendy Sadler sued his wife for a divorce, which was granted on April 14, 1899, giving him custody of the children[iv]

A few years later, pondering his options for college and career, Hammond was informed by his father that he did not have the exceptional artistic talent necessary to follow in his footsteps, and that he should consider other fields of study. Always creative and artistic, Hammond was interested in acting and the theater, though this was presumably discouraged by his father as an unsuitable career path. Ultimately, because Hammond was also interested in landscape gardening - having been exposed to it by his father, who was well-known for his “charming garden at Hemingford Grey, the artist’s home near St. Ives, Hunts”[v] - young Hammond entered the University of Reading, England, more than likely studying horticulture. In the years before landscape architecture was widely taught in colleges, this was the first step to becoming a practitioner in the “gentleman’s profession” of landscape architecture.[vi]

Upon graduating, Hammond did some work and informal study for a short time in Paris, returning to England around 1910 to work for the Barr & Sugden Nursery in London, who later reported that Hammond had “planned for us and successfully carried out several very beautiful gardens both in England and on the Continent.”[vii]

In early 1913, at twenty-six years old, Hammond boarded the steamship Carpathia, headed for Boston and a new life in the United States. There, he joined the landscape architecture firm of the Olmsted Brothers in Brookline, Massachusetts, with whom he would be affiliated for most of the next twenty-one years.[viii]

An offshoot of landscape patriarch Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.’s original practice, the Olmsted Brothers firm was created in 1898 by Olmsted, Sr.’s son Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (1870-1957), and the senior Olmsted’s nephew (and adopted son) John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920). The Olmsted Brothers were founding members of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and they were also instrumental in the creation of the National Park Service (NPS). “From Buffalo to Louisville, Atlanta to Seattle, Baltimore to Los Angeles, the Olmsteds’ work reflects a vision of American communities and American society still relevant today—a commitment to visually compelling and accessible green space that restores and nurtures the body and spirit of all people, regardless of their economic circumstances.  The Olmsteds believed in the restorative value of landscape and that parks can bring social improvement by promoting a greater sense of community and providing recreational opportunities, especially in urban environments.”[ix] These are important considerations which contributed strongly to what Sadler would successfully achieve at Wyvernwood.

The Olmsted name was (and probably still is) the most recognizable and respected name in landscape architecture, and the firm was in great demand and busy during these years. Hammond was fortunate to secure a job with the firm, which also speaks to the exceptional skill and artistic ability he must have shown even at this early stage in his career.

World events intervened, however, and in June of 1914, with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the world was plunged into war. Walter Dendy Sadler decided that his son should return home to England, to “serve for King and country,” and Hammond, ever the dutiful son, complied. In August, 1914, he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery, where he was first a Class “A” Gunner, while later he was promoted to Second Lieutenant in the Officer Cadet Battalion Corps, entering combat in France in November 1917.

After Armistice Day in November, 1918, Hammond returned home briefly to St. Ives, Hunts, before setting sail again for Boston Harbor and the Olmsted Brothers in April, 1919 aboard the ocean liner RMS Mauretania.[x] Soon after arriving back in the United States, Hammond met Louise Carter, and after a brief courtship, they were married in 1920.

After working for the Olmsted firm for a couple more years, around 1922 Hammond briefly joined the office of Wayne E. Stiles (1884-1953), a self-taught landscape architect known primarily for his exceptional work creating golf courses. Stiles sent Sadler to open a New York office.
The year 1923 was an eventful one for Sadler and his family. In January, Hammond was elected a Fellow of the ASLA, a prestigious honor. Hammond and Louise also had a son that year - Hammond "Dendy" Sadler - on February 23, in Passaic, New Jersey (Hammond, Jr. was delivered by family friend, doctor and poet William Carlos Williams). Hammond’s father, Walter Dendy Sadler, died on November 19th, 1923.

Palos Verdes Estates - Olmsted Brothers, Landscape Architects. Photo courtesy Palos Verdes Library

By early 1924, Sadler was lured back to the Olmsted Brothers firm, given the chance to work on a monumental project – the 16,000 acre planned “City Beautiful” of Palos Verdes Estates. The Olmsted firm had been involved in the project from its inception in 1914, though the World War had stopped work for a time. By 1924, however, the project was going full force, with the Olmsted Brothers serving as Directors of Design, Charles H. Cheney[xi] as consultant in city planning, and Myron Hunt as lead architect.

Olmsted Place, Palos Verdes Estates. Photo courtesy Palos Verdes Library

Sadler moved his young family to California, joining Olmsted employees James Frederick Dawson (principal designer)[xii] and George Gibbs, Jr. (chief assistant) at the Olmsted Brothers’ Redondo Beach office. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. joined them in Palos Verdes later, where they all built homes.

Residence of Mr. and Mrs. Hammond Sadler. 2737 Via Anita, Palos Verdes Estates.
Hammond Sadler, architect and landscape architect.

Photo courtesy Palos Verdes Library

Residence of Mr. and Mrs. Hammond Sadler.
Photo courtesy Palos Verdes Library

Dendy Sadler at the gate of the Sadler Residence, Palos Verdes Estates
Photo courtesy Palos Verdes Library
According to Thomas P. Gates, “The suburban community of Palos Verdes Estates was created on an unusual landscape, and the firm of Olmsted Brothers was devoted from 1914 until 1931 to enhancing that landscape with the best design principles for city planning and residential architecture. The imagery of the Mediterranean was of utmost importance to the planners and the maintenance of the beauty of the topography of the landscape through framing of vistas--natural and landscaped--street systems integrated with the topography, sizes and shapes of lots conducive to creative placement of residential architecture and the control of aesthetic quality in each district by deed restrictions. 
Pederson Residence, 2621 Via Ramon, Palos Verdes Estates
L.A. Platt, architect; Hammond Sadler, landscape architect.

Photo courtesy Palos Verdes Library
The ultimate goal for building Palos Verdes Estates was to create an "Ideal City" and a "City Beautiful," on a remote peninsula, yet close enough to the burgeoning metropolis of Los Angeles to permit rapid access. The aims of the planners of Palos Verdes Estates were certainly noble and their energy and idealism permeated every aspect of the community's developmental and building phases. It was "organic unity," "harmony" of design, and maintenance of picturesque images of residential architecture integrated with the natural beauty of the landscape that was at the forefront of every decision made at Palos Verdes.”[xiii]

The distinctive Palos Verdes Estates street signs, designed by Hammond Sadler.
Photo courtesy Palos Verdes Library

Sadler collaborated on the landscape plans for the entire community, in addition to creating individual landscapes for many private homes, as well as designing the distinctive street signs for Palos Verdes Estates.[xiv]

Washington State Capitol, Olympia

In addition to the Palos Verdes project, Sadler collaborated with Olmsted principal James Frederick Dawson on the plan for the Washington State Capitol grounds (they were assisted again by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and George Gibbs, Jr.).[xv] Sadler also did work on the Bixby Estate (Rancho Los Alamitos), helping with the design of various garden spaces around the property.[xvi]

Olmsted Rose Garden, Rancho Los Alamitos

British through and through, with a “gentle, sweet” spirit, Hammond Sadler was known as a polished, soft-spoken, and well-mannered gentleman – making sure to be home for 4 o’clock tea each afternoon with his family, and properly tipping his hat to the ladies of Palos Verdes. Even so, on December 4, 1925, Hammond Sadler became a United States citizen. The following year, 1926, Hammond and Louise had a second child, a daughter they named Suzanne. She was the first baby born in Palos Verdes Estates.[xvii]

Hilda Boldt Weber Residence, Bel Air
James Dolena, Architect; Hammond Sadler
and Benjamin Morton Purdy, Landscape Architects

In 1934, with work slowing down in Palos Verdes due to the Great Depression, Sadler left the Olmsted Brothers firm after 21 years, opening up his own landscape architecture firm with an office in Westwood Village. One of his first jobs was on the campus at nearby UCLA, perhaps on the areas surrounding the Janss Steps.[xviii] He was able to maintain a practice even in these difficult times, creating landscapes for some of the most lavish homes still being built in Bel Air and Beverly Hills.

Entry Drive to the Hilda Boldt Weber Residence "Casa Encantada," Bel Air
James Dolena, architect; Hammond Sadler and Benjamin Morton Purdy, landscape architects.
The most spectacular of these estates was the Bel Air home of Hilda Boldt Weber, known as “Casa Encantada,” a collaboration between architect James Dolena and landscape architects Hammond Sadler and Benjamin Morton Purdy, with interiors custom designed for the home by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.[xix] An exquisitely majestic and cohesively designed estate, every element, inside and out was thoughtfully planned. 

Fountain at "Casa Encantada"
Formal and restrained on the outside, it combined both a Georgian and Grecian vocabulary - though in a modern, simplified interpretation - emphasizing the indoor/outdoor relationship. The gardens and garden elements reflected this sober formality, with an axial arrangement of mostly Mediterranean plant material and Neoclassical hardscape elements. The interiors by Robsjohn-Gibbings, however, successfully interpreted this traditional vocabulary in a dynamic and modern way.[xx]         

Frances Griffin House, Beverly Hills
Sumner Spaulding, architect; Hammond Sadler, landscape architect.
In 1936, Sadler hosted the first annual Palos Verdes Garden Contest, which was jointly sponsored by the Pacific Coast Chapter of the ASLA and the Palos Verdes Estates Chamber of Commerce, with a rules committee consisting of Sadler, Ralph D. Cornell and Katherine Bashford. The contest attempted to determine the most successful new garden in Palos Verdes, and would “judge entrants on a points system that is based on the fundamental principles of landscape design.”[xxi] Also in 1936, tens of thousands of visitors saw Sadler’s work at the California House and Garden Exhibition.[xxii] Sadler joined landscape architects Edward Huntsman-Trout, Ralph D. Cornell, and Charles Gibbs Adams, who collaborated with architects Richard Neutra, Paul R. Williams, Gordon B. Kaufmann, and Winchton L. Risley on designs for the popular show, which occupied a whole city block on Wilshire just east of Fairfax.[xxiii]

Harold S. Anderson Residence, Los Angeles
Sumner Spaulding, architect; Hammond Sadler, landscape architect;
Donald Deskey, interiors

Harold S. Anderson Residence, Los Angeles
Sumner Spaulding, architect; Hammond Sadler, landscape architect;
Donald Deskey, interiors. Sadler's austere, formally modern landscape echoed the 

severe geometry of Spaulding's modern architecture.
The following year, Hammond Sadler was part of a small core group of landscape architects responsible for the formation of the Southern California Chapter of the ASLA.[xxiv] Around 1939, Sadler moved his offices from Westwood Village to Beverly Hills.

From the beginning, Sadler was deeply involved in his Palos Verdes community.  In 1931, Sadler was one of the founding members of the Palos Verdes Community Arts Association (PVCAA), becoming its second President in 1937. Under his leadership, the Arts Association “expanded its program of exhibits, lectures, teas, concerts and summer art classes.”[xxv] Later, he began to advocate for the idea of an auditorium which could double as an arts center, writing in a 1940 letter, “I’ve had in my mind for some time that the area should have an auditorium controlled and run by the Palos Verdes Community Arts Association, and the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it should be an arts center.” He envisioned a center where arts and crafts could be studied and displayed, and thought a perfect setting would be on the edge of the Palos Verdes Golf Club.[xxvi] Through the PVCAA, an orchestra was formed in 1939, and Sadler launched the first concerted membership drive. He was also chairman of exhibitions for the organization. Long interested in acting and the theater, he served on the Drama Section of the PVCAA, and in 1937 Sadler performed in three short plays at a small theater with the Palos Verdes Players.[xxvii] He later performed in “A Christmas Carol,” playing Bob Cratchit opposite Frank Conroy, a British born Hollywood and Broadway actor, who also lived in Palos Verdes Estates.[xxviii]

In December, 1939, Palos Verdes residents voted to incorporate as a city, and Sadler was one of five men elected to the newly formed City Council.[xxix]

During the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, Sadler became interested in and involved with the creation of landscapes for modern housing, beginning with the private housing development of Wyvernwood, which opened in 1939. Because of his years of community planning with the Olmsted firm, Sadler would be naturally and uniquely adept to collaborate with Witmer & Watson on such an innovative and unprecedented Garden City.

The site plan of Estrada Courts in foreground, with oval central court. Wyvernwood is immediately
adjacent in the distance. 
Based on his work at Wyvernwood, Sadler did the landscape designs for two of the government funded Housing Authority projects for the City of Los Angeles. The first of these, Estrada Courts, was immediately adjacent to Wyvernwood, and was also created in collaboration with Witmer & Watson, with the addition, however, of Baldwin Hills Village architect Robert E. Alexander (Chief Architect) and Winchton Risley. 

Enjoying a new life at Estrada Courts.
Ground was broken on the comparatively small community (214 units in just 31 buildings) on Sunday, December 7th, 1941 (besides being Pearl Harbor day, it's also the same day Baldwin Hills Village opened) . He also worked on another government housing project called Rose Hill Courts (100 units on 5 acres – slum clearance, 125 houses destroyed). Both of these communities, completed in 1942, served as defense housing for the duration of World War II.

Collaborating again in 1941 with architects Witmer & Watson, and Robert E. Alexander, Sadler provided the landscape plans for the 2,500 homes planned for the suburban community of Lakewood City. As I pointed out in yesterday's blog post, Lakewood City was perhaps the first fully planned, mass-produced suburban community, predating Levittown, New York by six years. Though nearly every single reference to Lakewood City has it breaking ground around 1950 (even the official Lakewood website and history book), in fact 585 homes were completed by 1942, when labor and materials shortages stopped construction for the duration. This would make Sadler's innovative mass-produced landscape designs for these homes a novel breakthrough, possibly the first ever. These "homes for youthful incomes" came fully landscaped, including all irrigation and sprinklers, street and shade trees, lawns, shrubbery - even flowers were provided!

Roosevelt Naval Base, Terminal Island, 1942.
Adrian Wilson and Paul R. Williams, architects; Hammond Sadler, landscape architect.
Photo courtesy John Crosse
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, most landscape architecture work eventually came to a halt. Sadler did create one last significant landscape before all work ceased, collaborating with architects Adrian Wilson and Paul R. Williams on the design for the Roosevelt Naval Station on Terminal Island, in San Pedro Bay. Dedicated on September 1, 1942, this strikingly modern facility contained many recreational facilities for use by Naval officers housed nearby.

After World War I, the military had made efforts to use new and more cohesive planning ideas, based on City Beautiful movement principles (which Sadler was extremely familiar with, from his years with the Olmsted Brothers). In addition to designs which would incorporate order, beauty and harmony, an effort was made to maintain local landscape character.

Roosevelt Naval Base, Terminal Island, 1942.
Adrian Wilson and Paul R. Williams, architects; Hammond Sadler, landscape architect.
Photo courtesy John Crosse
At the Roosevelt Naval Station site, the plan was a formal, axial rectangular grid, and according to a HABS study done before the demolition of the site, “landscaping was considered an integral part of the design of the Base, and $175,000 was allotted to it in the 1944 budget. Extensive landscaping heightened the linear grid pattern; concrete planters, lawns and specimen trees provided a formal backdrop for the buildings. The streets are lined with Mexican fan palms (Washingtonia robusta), California fan palms (Washingtonia felifera), Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis), Indian laurel fig (Ficus microcarpa), Moreton Bay fig (Ficus microphylla), carob (Ceratonia siliqua), or olive trees (Olea europaea). A formal entrance to the base, consisting of a double street, with central lawns, extended from Gate #1 at Ocean Boulevard to the harbor, passing in front of the hub of the Base, the administration building.” The overall formality of the site was enhanced with the planting of mature specimen trees along every major street, which emphasized the linear design of the grid.

The modern formality of the entrance to Roosevelt Naval Station
After work was completed at the Roosevelt Naval Station, Sadler, like most landscape architects at the time not engaged in active military service, wanted to be useful, going to work for Bethlehem Steel in San Pedro as the head of the Drafting Departments. According to his daughter Suzanne Sadler Stone, he went to work “landscaping battleships instead of gardens.”[xxx]

After graduating high school in 1941, Sadler’s son Dendy went to work for the Douglas Aircraft Company. After Pearl Harbor, he joined the US Army Air Forces in 1942, graduating as pilot. Stationed at Pecos Army Air Force Base in Pecos, Texas, Dendy was assigned to co-pilot a four-engine B-29 bomber, leaving for combat duty in May of 1945.

In October, 1945, expecting to hear about her brother’s promotion from Flight Officer to 2nd Lieutenant, daughter Suzanne picked up an official looking letter at the Palos Verdes post office, rushing home to share the good news with her parents. The shocking letter, however, which had been sent by his commanding officer in error, told of the disappearance of Dendy. The letter was sent before an official telegram from the War Department had informed the family.

Sadler scrambled to get information, writing countless letters, and the story finally unfolded. After the war’s end, on October 3, 1945, 2nd Lt. Dendy Sadler took off on a routine training flight, leaving from North Field on the island of Tinian (a small island in the Northern Mariana Islands, east of the Philippines). After about an hour, the plane experienced engine trouble, both propellers went out on one side, and then finally caught fire. The plane suddenly lost altitude, and the crew attempted to ditch the plane, which broke up upon contact with the sea. Only one man, Sergeant Charles E. Jackson, survived.
Hammond "Dendy" Sadler, 1945
In 1947, Hammond Sadler designed a small memorial park to honor his son’s memory, and that of two other young Palos Verdes men who lost their lives in World War II - John Bleeker and Morris Shipley. Designed as a quiet and serene place for contemplation, the garden featured a natural woodland plant palette, which would fit gracefully into the urban forest of Palos Verdes.

Kline Residence, Los Angeles, 1946
After the war, Sadler went back to work on landscape designs, mostly in and around Palos Verdes. He was involved in the development of landscapes for parks and schools in the area, including the landscaping, grading, curbs and sidewalks for improvements and additions to the Malaga Cove school in Palos Verdes Estates,[xxxi] the design of Lincoln Park and the playground at Lincoln School in Redondo Beach,[xxxii] and El Camino College in Torrance, where Sadler “used representative plants and shrubs throughout the campus for use by horticulture labs. The campus already boasts the most representative display of plants and shrubs of any California campus, its landscaping plan being noted throughout all of Southern California.”[xxxiii] He was also part of a group hoping to develop the Pacific Bowl in the Palos Verdes area, an open air bowl theater similar to the Hollywood Bowl, which would be used for outdoor musical events.[xxxiv]

On December 5, 1952, his beloved wife of over thirty years, Louise, died at home in Palos Verdes after a short illness. Sadler continued to live in Palos Verdes, designing landscapes for mostly residential homes. One of these, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Armi, was one of five homes selected to be shown on the seventh annual Peninsula Homes Tour in May of 1956.

In 1957, Sadler was offered a significant commission, which unfortunately would be his last. He was contacted by Sir Daniel J. and Countess Bernadine M. Donahue (the first Americans ever to be given the titles of "Papal Count" and "Papal Countess” by a Pope - John Paul XIII), who had recently purchased the Bernard Maybeck designed Earle C. Anthony estate in Los Feliz. The Donahues had the foresight not to subdivide the property, but preserved it, hiring Sadler to re-interpret the landscape, according to Sam Watters, to more faithfully represent “a medieval Italian country villa in a Renaissance garden.” [xxxv]

Around this same time, Sadler was diagnosed with throat cancer. Forging ahead on the Donahue commission, he nonetheless decided to visit England one last time, to see his favorite sister and his home country. While he was there, Donahue wired him, inviting Sadler to meet him in Italy, to see first-hand the Italian gardens he wanted to emulate, and to begin collecting architectural elements which would be used to enhance the garden.[xxxvi]

Hammond Sadler was unable to finish the Donahue landscape, as his health suddenly declined. He died on March 29, 1958, at age seventy-one.

(Special thanks to Suzanne Sadler Stone, Hammond Sadler's daughter, for providing the photograph of her father, and for her help gathering information about his life and career.

Thanks also to John Crosse (from the wonderful Southern California Architectural History blog) for permission to use photographs from the Roosevelt Naval Station. See his blog HERE

Thank you to the Local History Room of the Palos Verdes Library for permission to publish photographs from their collection, and special thanks to Marjeanne Blinn for her assistance.

Thanks also to author Sam Watters for his help and excellent research!)


[i] From the book "Famous Paintings" printed in 1913. 

[ii] A popular handbook to the National Gallery: including by special permission notes collected from the works of Mr. Ruskin, Volume 2; Macmillan, 1901, p. 427

[iii] Shepp's library of history and art: a pictorial history of all lands and times; the great incidents of history set forth by the magic pencils of the world's greatest artists, Globe Bible Pub. Co., 1905,By Daniel B. Shepp, p. 236

[iv] “A Scandalous Divorce: A Wife’s Folly – Protests of Virtuous Villagers,” Auckland Star, June10, 1899

[v] The Review of reviews, Volume 32; William Thomas SteadOffice of the Review of Reviews, 1905, p. 640

[vi] The landscape architecture program didn’t start at University of Reading until 1930. Also, according to Suzanne Sadler Stone, her father was able to recite all the Latin names for flowers and plants, suggesting he had a strong background in horticulture.
[vii] “Hardy Flower Border Plans,” Barr’s Nursery Catalog, 1912, Barr & Sugden Nurseries, England. The catalog of 1912 noted that Sadler had had “special training for this important branch of horticulture in addition to some years’ practical experience in Landscape work under our supervision.”
[viii] The Library of Congress shows correspondence to and from Hammond Sadler beginning in 1907, and then again in 1912, so it’s possible he had a job lined up prior to his leaving England.
[x] He listed Percival Gallagher as his contact in Brookline. Gallagher was later a full partner at the Olmsted Firm.
[xi] According to Marjeanne Blin, the Local History Librarian at the Palos Verdes Library, Hammond Sadler designed "garden theatre, walls, and service buildings" for Charles Cheney’s residence on Via del Monte. Email to author, June 15, 2011
[xii]Long Island country houses and their architects, 1860-1940”; Robert B. MacKayAnthony K. BakerCarol A. Traynor, p. 316, W. W. Norton & Company, 1997

[xiii]THE PALOS VERDES RANCH PROJECT:Olmsted Brothers' Design Development For A Picturesque Los Angeles Suburban Community Of The 1920s” Thomas P. Gates,Kent State University,Libraries & Media Services

[xiv] Marjeanne Blin, email to author June 15, 2011: “He also may have designed the metal street signs for PVE, as there is an Art Jury approval for his design in the Feb. 1927 issue” of the Palos Verdes Bulletin
[xvi] Recollection by Suzanne Sadler Stone. Hammond Sadler was coming home from the Rancho Los Alamitos job the afternoon of the 1933 Long Beach earthquake.
[xvii] June, 1926 issue of the Palos Verdes Bulletin. Email to the author from Marjeanne Blin, June 15, 2011
[xviii] Sadler’s daughter Suzanne Sadler Stone believes Sadler did work on or around the Janss steps. Aerial photos in the UCLA archives show the Janss steps in place by 1930, but the surrounding areas are completely devoid of landscaping. By 1936, the areas have been landscaped. Ralph D. Cornell, the UCLA landscape architect for over thirty years, didn’t begin at UCLA until 1937.
[xix] “Houses of Los Angeles, 1930-45,” Sam Watters, p. 341
[xx] The house was later bought, furnishings intact, by hotel magnate Conrad Hilton (Zsa Zsa Gabor, his wife for a short time, lived in the house.) David Murdoch bought the house, keeping it intact, but a later owner (Gary Winnick) bought the house for $66 million, cash, but sold the furnishings and modified the house.
[xxi] “Annual Garden Contest,” LA Times, August 16, 1936, p. E2
[xxii] In 1934, Sadler served with Ralph Cornell and Katherine Bashford on the LA Times sponsored “Everybody’s Garden” exhibit at the Architect’s Building in downtown Los Angeles.  The exhibit was meant to serve as landscape inspiration to the general public. (LA Times, Oct 10, 1934, p. A2).
[xxiii] “Throngs See Home Show,” LA Times, Aug 23, 1936, p. E1
[xxiv]The other landscape architects included Fred Barlow, Jr. – the landscape architect responsible for Baldwin Hills Village; Katherine Bashford – Barlow’s partner in the firm of Bashford and Barlow; Ralph D. Cornell; Tommy Tomson; Lockwood de Forest; and Edward Huntsman-Trout.
[xxv] “Big Year for the PV Art Assn.” LA Times, Aug 28, 1981, p. CS8
[xxvi] “Group Mixes Art With Fun(ds) to Build Center,” LA Times, Oct 4, 1973, p CS1. The center wasn’t built until the 1970s.
[xxvii] “Palos Verdes Players Will Appear Tonight,” LA Times, March 7, 1937, p. D6
[xxviii] Email from Suzanne Sadler Stone, June 17, 2011
[xxix] “Palos Verdes Incorporates,” LA Times, Dec 10, 1939, p. 8
[xxx] Email to author, April 20, 2011
[xxxi] Torrance Herald, September 18, 1947, Section B
[xxxii] Sadler’s Fee - $450.00. Redondo Beach City Council meeting notes, November 17, 1952
[xxxiii] Torrance Press, April 26, 1956, p. 20
[xxxiv] Torrance Herald, Oct 15, 1953
[xxxv] According to Sam Watters in Los Angeles Houses, 1920-35, “Mrs. Donohue was the daughter of Daniel Murphy, a Los Angeles philanthropist and president of the Portland Cement Company and the Brea Canon Oil Company.” Watters, p. 287
[xxxvi] The garden design was eventually completed by Lutah Maria Riggs – Watters, p. 288


  1. Steve-- Excellent post, bursting at the seams with great detail. I wasn't familiar with Sadler until reading it. Thanks.


  2. Unbelievable post Steven. Sadler was extremely versatile. Thanks for the keepinghis work alive and for gracious link to my site as well.