Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Garden Cities at Risk CHAPTER TWO: The Wyvernwood Architects – Witmer & Watson

The site plan for Wyvernwood, 1939
The entire series of blog posts about Wyvernwood can be found HERE

The architects responsible for the creation of Wyvernwood – David J. Witmer and Loyall F. Watson – have, for the most part, slipped into obscurity, though they were very well-known and respected during their lifetimes. They created many renowned and admired structures in their forty year partnership – and in the case of David J. Witmer, one particular structure which happens to be internationally known today. Looking back at their careers now, it seems rather obvious that they would be particularly well-suited to create such a pioneering and innovative community like Wyvernwood. Two recurring themes run throughout their careers – first, ensuring buildings are integrated into the landscape, with a thoughtful emphasis on the indoor/outdoor relationship; and second, their particularly adept handling of small floor plans - make them seem a logical choice for what they would accomplish at Wyvernwood.

As was the case with most of these architectural partnerships, one of the partners seems to takes the lead. With Witmer & Watson, the more driven partner was clearly David J. Witmer. In all of my research, his was the name and photograph that appears over and over, while Loyall F. Watson remains in the background, so let’s let Loyall come first here.

Little is known about the early life of Loyall Farragut Watson (1885-1960), but I was able to determine that he was born June 28, 1885, in New York at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Elizabeth “Lizzie” Watson and John Crittenden Watson (later the Admiral of the United States Navy, he also represented the United States at the coronation of King Edward VII of England in 1902).

Though information about his education seems to have vaporized, it is rather clear that he trained as a structural engineer. However, shortly after going into partnership with Witmer in 1920, he did get his architecture certificate. According to Baldwin Hills Village architect Robert E. Alexander, with whom Witmer & Watson would collaborate years later, Watson was also apparently very hard of hearing.[i]

Showing that even very early on Watson was thinking in terms of the organic integration of architecture and landscape, in 1915 (prior to his partnership with Witmer) Watson contributed to a book which advocated for the early partnership between architect and landscape architect. A collaboration between structural engineer Watson, architects Walter S. Davis and H. Scott Gerity, and landscape architect Henry Davis (Walter’s brother), the book, California Garden City Homes, was a collection of stock building types appropriate for use in California.[ii] The plans in the book made clear that in temperate Southern California, spaces for outdoor living were a must.

During World War I, Watson served as a First Lieutenant in the 2nd Training Regiment with the Corps of Engineers at Camp Humphries, Virginia. After the war, he returned to Los Angeles, going into partnership in 1919 with David J. Witmer.

He was married on March 30, 1919 to Florence Leigh, in Little Rock, Arkansas, with whom he had a son Richard Leigh Watson on March 20, 1923. Unfortunately, Florence died March 20, 1930, and Loyall next married Mildred Mary Angle on June 22, 1938, in Los Angeles.[iii]

Loyall F. Watson died May 18, 1960, in San Bernardino. His wife Mildred died in 1979. Both are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

David Julius Witmer (1888-1973) was without a doubt the more energetic and dynamic member of the partnership, and possessed an infectious enthusiasm and foresight. Not only a highly trained and talented architect, he was a fierce proponent of his profession, and was instrumental in facilitating sweeping changes in the field during the years he was in practice, some of which are still in use. His list of awards, accomplishments, organizational affiliations and medals is endless and impressive.

Part of an early pioneering Los Angeles family, David J. Witmer was born to Joseph Myer (J.M.) and Josephine Witmer on August 29, 1888, in Los Angeles. J.M. Witmer had moved to Los Angeles in the 1880’s, and with his brother Henry Clayton bought 650 acres on a hilltop near downtown, naming it “Crown Hill.” The two brothers, besides having an interest in real estate, were also possessed with an entrepreneurial streak. Together they constructed a cable railroad – the Second Street Cable Company – which went up Second Avenue and over Bunker Hill, opening up the western hills to settlement. Additionally, they founded and ran the California Bank.[iv] Unfortunately, J.M. Witmer died when David was only nine years old.

Young David Witmer got his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1910, graduating from the Graduate School of Architecture at Harvard in 1912. During his years in college, he worked as an architectural draftsman for architect H.C. Blackall.[v] After graduation, he returned to Southern California, where in 1914 he opened up his own office. During these years, he also met and married Helen Elizabeth Williams. They had three children – David, Peter and Elizabeth.

During the first World War, Witmer served as first lieutenant in the aviation section of the Signal Corps from 1917 to 1918, becoming a captain in the Air Service Reserve Corps the following year.[vi] Returning home, in 1919 Witmer went into partnership with Loyall F. Watson, which would be a fortuitous arrangement for the next 40 years.

Witmer Residence, 1921
In 1921, Witmer built a small compound of family houses on Witmer Drive (which had been named for his father), near West Second Street in Los Angeles (now HCM #538). Constructed of reinforced poured concrete (rather innovative for residential design at the time, though it would soon become a signature Witmer & Watson material due to its seismic strength), the group of houses had a very simplified Mediterranean Revival design. The Witmers would live there for the rest of their lives.

Witmer joined the American Institute of Architects in 1922, and would remain very active and involved in the organization for the rest of his life.[vii] He served as Director from 1923-27, was Secretary in 1924-25, and President in 1926-27. In 1934, at a Mexican-themed “gay affair” held on the patio of the International House, Witmer received a very special honor. “You are somebody in particular when the American Institute of Architects give you a “fellowship,” so David Witmer, who received one at the celebrations this week may be excused from waxing emotional. He said that architects are so strong in fellowship that they “live together, work together and, if necessary, die together.”[viii]

From 1925 through 1941, David Witmer was the chairman of the Advisory Committee on College Architecture for USC, teaching architecture at Allied Architects Association. Starting in 1938, he was the Director of Library Architecture and Allied Arts, becoming President of the Board of Directors in 1952. Other associations included his membership on the commission of architects at the Associated Colleges of Claremont, and he was also on the Advisory Council on College Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1930, David Witmer was involved in a very important initiative, one which would have a lasting legacy. He spearheaded the movement to create uniform building codes for structures in California, serving as chairman of the executive committee in charge of the preparation of the code. With lessons learned from the Santa Barbara earthquake, the building codes would be based first upon earthquake resistance, and the program was the “first code of this type ever attempted anywhere.” Witmer pointed out the obvious benefits to the residents of California, noting that “the code will effect a much greater degree of public safety in buildings, due to the fact that these structures erected under the provision of the code will have a far greater resistant force as regards earthquakes than buildings erected under codes now used by California cities. This, in turn, will make California a safer field for the investment of money by eastern capitalists as well as our own.”[ix]

Between 1934 and 1938, Witmer had a very important role as the Supervisor of Architecture for the Southern California District of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), often speaking on the benefits of the application of the FHA.[x] Because of this, he became an expert on FHA building and funding requirements, making him ideally adept later at getting the Wyvernwood project through the difficult approval process.[xi] Witmer actually resigned from the FHA to begin work on the Wyvernwood project.[xii]

1941 Drawing for the Pentagon
In 1941, Witmer was named co-chief architect for the U.S. War Department, serving initially as chief assistant and co-architect to architect G. Edwin Bergstrom, working on the plans for the Pentagon. Because of his experience with reinforced poured concrete construction, Witmer had the skills necessary to design the enormous structure. In July of 1941, Bergstrom and Witmer locked themselves up for an entire weekend, brainstorming on design ideas for the military complex, and finally settled on the distinctive five-sided pentagon shape. In 1942, Bergstrom was asked to step down, after which time Witmer became chief architect in complete charge of design at the Pentagon, making all decisions during the construction period. Construction began on September 11, 1941, with completion in January, 1943. Now one of the most recognizable structures in the world, the Pentagon would come to symbolize the modern military power of the United States. During the Pentagon’s development, in characteristic Witmer style, he pushed for the inclusion of “fountains, paved circles, and planting,” including a series of landscaped terraces terminating on a long, grassy mall enclosed by trees. He wrote that his idea behind the changes, improving the cohesive relationship between the large monolithic building and its surroundings, would “prove in appearance not just a neighbor strong and protective, but rather that of a powerful but friendly neighbor.” To his dismay, Witmer’s suggestions to improve relationship between building and landscape were rejected.[xiii]

During World War II, Witmer served as Colonel in General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters in Europe, and was chief of the Economic Supply Branch of the General Staff Corps, assigned to feeding civilians behind US lines. Because of this, he was awarded the Legion of Merit Medal, for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding service in the supply, allocation, requisitioning and transport of food, clothing, medical and other supplies to civilian populations of Europe.” He had also previously been awarded the Bronze Star medal.[xiv] Additionally, he won the U.S. Legion of Merit and high honors from the governments of France, Luxembourg and Belgium.[xv]

After the war, Witmer returned to Los Angeles, and the firm of Witmer and Watson went back to work designing residences and public buildings.

In late April, 1973, Witmer attended a banquet for the AIA, and while there he was stricken ill.  He died a week later, on May 5, 1973.


The firm of Witmer & Watson was formed in 1919, at the beginning of the Golden Age of architecture in Southern California – the boom years of the 1920’s. This relatively short period between the end of World War I and the Stock Market Crash of 1929 marked a period of tremendous growth in Southern California – not only in population, but also in terms of financial growth, development, and social changes.
There was a Real Estate and Oil Boom, not to mention the rise of Hollywood and the film industry, which created a regional economic power.  By 1925, there were more automobiles per capita in Los Angeles than in any other city in the nation.  Manufacturing created thousands of jobs, which facilitated a large middle class – by 1930, an astounding 94% of all dwellings in Los Angeles were single-family homes.
While Witmer & Watson were busy creating civic buildings, businesses and schools, it was their residential work that received the most notice. In 1926 Pacific Coast Architect magazine said that “due to the overwhelming demand of Los Angeles for fine homes, their work has been largely of residential character. In 1922, 1923 and 1924 the firm received honor certificates from the Southern California Chapter, AIA.”[xvi] The tastefully restrained homes they created were designed to encourage a relationship to the patios, gardens and outdoor living spaces possible in the temperate climate of Southern California, something they achieved by usually working with a landscape architect early in the design process. Winifred Starr Dobyns, in her 1931 book California Gardens, wrote that “Here is a part of the world to which people come with the avowed purpose of living out of doors at every season of the year.  Life is planned with this idea in view.  Houses are designed for it and the garden often assumes a place equal to or more important than that of the house because so much time is spent there.”
The Brashears Residence, Palos Verdes Estates, 1924

Interior, The Brashears Residence, Palos Verdes Estates, 1924
A good example of one of their “fine residences” is a home they designed in 1924 for Mrs. Marion Waugh Brashears, at 2325 Via Panale, in Palos Verdes Estates. Mrs. Brashears, a vocational analyst and the niece of “potent Publisher John C. Shaffer (Chicago Post)” was also the treasurer of the Palos Verdes Woman’s Club. Keeping with the architectural restrictions in place in Palos Verdes Estates, the home was in the Mediterranean Revival style, with stucco walls and red tile roof. Most rooms opened onto an enclosed patio, which had a rustic fountain. The landscape was designed by architect Irving J. Gill, who was later briefly married to Mrs. Brashears.
(All Brashear images used with permission courtesy Local History Room, Palos Verdes Library;http://www.flickr.com/photos/pvlocalhistory/ )
The Brashears Residence, Palos Verdes Estates, 1924

The Architect's Building
One of Witmer & Watson’s larger projects of the 1920’s was the Architect’s Building at 816 West Fifth Street (at Figueroa) in downtown Los Angeles. The building was designed by lead architects William J. Dodd and William Richards, in collaboration with architects Roland E. Coate, Carleton M. Winslow, Witmer & Watson, and Baldwin Hills Village architect Reginald D. Johnson. The Architect’s Building – which opened in early 1928 - became the prestigious hub of many of the leading architects of the day, in addition to the engineers, general contractors, interior designers and landscape architects who supported them on their projects. In addition to Witmer & Watson (who maintained their offices in Suite 903), Reginald D. Johnson, Roland E. Coate, Webster & Wilson, H. Roy Kelley, Carleton Monroe Winslow, Edgar Bissantz, Welton Becket, and Elmer Grey all had their architectural offices there, as did Baldwin Hills Village landscape architect Fred Barlow, Jr. (with his partner Katherine Bashford).
In October, 1929, the same week as the Stock Market Crash, it was announced that Witmer and Watson would stage a special exhibition of their work, to be held at the Architect’s Building.  It was noted that “the firm of Witmer & Watson is known for its treatment of Spanish, English and modern residences. It won honorable mention in the Pan-American Exposition of Architecture-Construction and Decorative Arts in Buenos Aires for 1927, and honorable mention in the 1928 National House Beautiful Small Home Competition. The exhibit will consist of about ninety photographs and sketches of constructed and proposed work.”[xviii]

Though it became increasingly difficult for architects to maintain their practices during the lean years of the Great Depression, Witmer & Watson were able to keep active, not only with architecture, but also with their individual work on committees and boards. They were still in demand for their signature residential work, for stylishly restrained homes, both large and small.

Contemporary Monterey Colonial-Revival home 
For the residence of Mr. and Mrs. George Goldie in Redlands, Witmer & Watson designed a Monterey Colonial Revival-style house with a floor plan that was “well thought-out and executed as it includes all of the modern conveniences to be found in homes of today arranged with the idea of efficiency and comfort in mind.” 

One of the home designs displayed the the Barker Brothers exhibit, 1933
In 1933, Witmer & Watson were invited to display photos of their most recent work at the Barker Brothers Furniture Showroom in downtown Los Angeles. The exhibit was meant to show faith in the future of Southland architecture, in the midst of the worst years of the Depression. “The artistic beauty of the photographs adds emphasis to the designs as applied by the architects to cottage and mansion alike. The homes shown in the exhibit in the main are landmarks readily recognized by most lovers of the architectural beauty of the Southland.”[xix] One of the homes featured was a fine Monterey Colonial Revival style house, “the most fitting type for dignified simplicity. As shown by the sketch, this type home permits a more informal treatment, with its hanging balconies and adjoining patio.” It was noted that each room provided for two or more exposures, which offered excellent circulation of air and ventilation. The architects believed that the home should be integrated with the landscape, “built with a background of trees, real shade trees spreading over the edges of the roof. Large shrubs should be placed adjoining the building, and a soft, velvety green lawn should sweep the area between the white picket fence and the shrubbery beds. Directly off the rear porch one may provide a spot of green lawn, or a bed of favorite flowers.”[xx]

Model Town, San Diego
Witmer & Watson joined architects H. Roy Kelley, Webster & Wilson, Wallace Neff, Douglas Honnold, Edgar F. Bissantz, Winchton L. Risley and others in an FHA sponsored exhibit called “Model Town,” at the San Diego Exposition fairgrounds. Consisting of fourteen miniature models of homes designed by the esteemed group of architects, the exhibit was a popular hit, and travelled to Portland, Oregon after its regular run in San Diego.[xxi]

In 1936, Witmer & Watson built an “ultra-modern,” open-air market for Safeway at Third and Witmer. The store, which featured chromium, copper, glass and concrete building materials, was built on land owned by Witmer’s family - the Los Angeles Times made note of the fact that the property was “leased from the Witmer Brothers Company, and has been owned by the pioneer Witmer family since 1887, the year in which the street became known as Witmer.”[xxii]

Apartment Building Design, 1937
In 1937, two apartment buildings they designed were featured in the Los Angeles Times. One of these, at 1022 North New Hampshire Street, was to be a $10,000 four-family building, and featured a simplified, modern style, with unadorned stucco walls, steel casement windows, and a small outdoor living area. The other was a larger structure at 761 Stanley Avenue, a $22,000, 20-unit building which consisted of two bungalows, a duplex, and a five-room apartment unit, with four garages provided.

Richard and Eleanor Campbell Residence, San Marino, 1934
It was their work on comparatively modest homes, at usually less than 2,000 square feet, that brought Witmer & Watson the majority of acclaim and awards during the years of the Great Depression. It also paved the way for their successful floor plan designs for the apartments at Wyvernwood.

Witmer & Watson won honorable mentions for their small house designs in the national House Beautiful Small Home Competitions in 1928, 1929, 1930, and 1932. Photographs of the winning entries were displayed in the lobby of the Architect’s Building.

In 1932, their design for yet another successful small home was featured in the Los Angeles Times as a home which “exemplifies the type that home builders now realize is best suited to Southern California.” The modest two-bedroom home, at 1,100 square feet, was estimated to cost around $3,000, and featured a simple and convenient floor plan, with ample access to the outdoors, with provisions made for outdoor living. 

Design for a small, hillside home, 1933

Another small home design, created for one of Los Angeles’ many still vacant hillside locations, had a design that was described as “Californian.” “The wood siding, shingle or shake roof and colored shutters (all Witmer & Watson signatures) give it the informal and homey appearance characteristic of this style of architecture. The room arrangement features both comfort and compactness.” 

Peterson Residence, San Marino, 1932

A modest but elegant San Marino home built in 1932 for John H. and Esther Peterson, was featured in the Architectural Forum’s “1936 Book of Small Houses,” published in regional newspapers at the time, and followed in 1947 by a two-page feature in the Los Angeles Times. 

Patio of the Peterson Residence

Built like much of their previous work, the relationship between the house and the landscape was accounted for very early on, during the initial design phase. “The entire arrangement is a fine illustration of what can be done through foresight in planning a house and garden.” Built on a large lot, and enclosed by a high hedge for privacy, “wide, white gates open to reveal the intimate relationship that makes this house and garden one. 

Site plan of the Peterson Residence
Designed as a vital unit, the house and garden go together with each part augmenting the other in an inspiring setting for outdoor living.” One bedroom, the dining room and living room all opened onto an enclosed patio, which was partially covered by an awning, providing a secluded spot for quiet relaxation or a game of table tennis. On the opposite side of the house, a flagstone-bordered swimming pool was the focal point of the large garden area, which benefited from “abundant cool shade beside it for leisure comfort.” On this side, between the garage and house, there is a dressing room for the swimmers, complete with shower. “It is difficult to tell where the house stops and the garden begins.”[xxiii]

Wyvernwood, 1939
In 1938, Witmer & Watson, in collaboration with landscape architect Hammond Sadler, were busy designing the first privately funded, large-scale housing development built in Southern California, the FHA-insured Wyvernwood project.

This would be followed by the government-funded housing project for the Housing Authority of the city of Los Angeles - Estrada Courts – which was directly adjacent to the Wyvernwood community. Designed again in collaboration with landscape architect Hammond Sadler, Witmer & Watson were joined on this project by Winchton Risley and Baldwin Hills Village architect Robert E. Alexander, who served as chief architect on the project .

Homes for "Youthful Incomes" at Lakewood City, 1941
In 1941, collaborating again in with Robert E. Alexander and Hammond Sadler, Witmer & Watson created the drawings for the 2,500 homes planned for the suburban community of Lakewood City, near Long Beach. Though World War II interrupted its momentum (only 585 homes "for youthful incomes" were completed during the early years of the war), Lakewood City was the perhaps the first fully planned, mass-produced suburban community, predating Levittown, New York by six years.

During World War II, David J. Witmer was busy with war work, and Loyall F. Watson maintained the office for the duration, though no Southern California projects were initiated.

Small home in Montebello, 1946

After World War II, Witmer returned to Los Angeles, and Witmer & Watson quickly picked up where they had left off. In 1946, one of their “conservatively modern” homes, with “cement plaster exterior, shingle roof and hardwood floors” in Montebello was showcased in the local press. 

In 1947, Lowell Walter Pidgeon (1901-1988) was made partner in the firm, which became known as Witmer, Watson & Pidgeon. Pidgeon had graduated from USC with a degree in architecture, in 1925. After working as a set designer at Columbia Pictures, he had become chief draftsman at Witmer & Watson. After Watson’s death in 1960, the firm became Witmer & Pidgeon, until Pidgeon opened his own office in 1966. Some of the projects created during these years include the Claremont College Dispensary Building (1952) and Maintenance Plant (1953), the North Hollywood High School Physical Education Building (1955), Christopher Columbus High School in Canoga Park (1960), and the Gulf Avenue School in Los Angeles (1963).[xxiv]

After Pidgeon’s departure, David J. Witmer continued to remain active, working under his own name until his death in 1973.

See the whole series about Wyvernwood HERE

[i] His obituary requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the “California Home for the Aged Deaf.”
[ii] Davis and F. Pierpont Davis, known primarily for their innovative Courtyard housing in Los Angeles, went on to become affiliated with some design work in Palos Verdes Estates, with the Olmsted Brothers, and Hammond Sadler. F. Pierpont was the founding member of the California Garden City Company, which was “ an organization of members "who are actively engaged in practicing some of the larger aims of the Association; namely the designing and building of beautiful homes and gardens, the consistent architectural development of real estate subdivisions, and the layout out of such subdivisions and town sites."
[iii] A Sesqui-centennial history of Kentucky : a narrative historical edition, commemorating one hundred and fifty years of statehood, preserving the record of the growth and development of the commonwealth, and chronicling the genealogical and memorial records of its prominent families and personages. Hopkinsville, Ky.: Historical Record Association, 1945. P. 939
[iv] “A History of California,” Volume II,  by J. M. Guinn, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1907;
Watson. wrote “Suggested Measures for Protection Against Earthquakes” in “Bulletin Allied Architects Association of Los Angeles 1,” No. 10, 1925.
[v] AIA Directory, 1962
[vi] Archeological assoc. web articl3e
[vii] In 1941, Witmer was appointed by the AIA to serve as chairman of a committee of architects which “have taken a stand against the centralization of planning and design in Federal bureaus. Plans for public buildings in every locality, it is held, should be placed in the hands of competent architects, engineers, and landscape architects.” Also serving on the committee under Witmer was Reginald D. Johnson, lead architect at Baldwin Hills Village. The other architects on the committee were Carleton M. Winslow, David C. Allison, Harold Chambers, Gordon Kaufmann, Roland Coate, Palmer Sabin, Pierpont Davis, Paul R. Hunter, Edgar Maybury and William Schuchardt. From: “Architects of Nation to Meet at Yosemite,” Los Angeles Times, Mar 9, 1941, p. 15.
[viii] “Sugar and Spice” Alma Whitaker, Los Angeles Times, Sept 18, 1934
[ix] “Uniform Building Codes Assured,” Los Angeles Times, Nove 9, 1930, p D1

[xi] “Clinic of Dwellings Announced,” Los Angeles Times, Mar 17, 1935, p. D1; “Home Displays Draw Crowds,” “Los Angeles Times, Apr 25, 1938, P 10
[xii]ARCHITECTURE,PLANNING,AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, Volume One” Robert E. Alexander, interviewed by Marlene L. Laskey, The Regents of the University of California, 1989

[xiii] “The Pentagon: a history,” by Steve Vogel, Random House Digitial, Inc., 2008., p. 257
[xiv] “Southlanders Win More War Honors,” Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1945, p. A3
[xv] “Rites Set for David Witmer, L.A. Architect,” Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1973, p. D2
[xvi] PACIFIC COAST ARCHITECT, VOL 29-30, 1926 ;The magazine also pointed out that Loyall F. Watson was the firm’s structural engineer
[xvii] “Milestones,” Time Magazine, June 11, 1928. From 1936 to 1941, Witmer served on the Architectural Board of Control (Art Jury) at Palos Verdes Estates, along with Wyvernwood landscape architect Hammond Sadler.
[xviii] “Exhibition of Model Homes to Open Soon,” Los Angeles Times, Oct 27, 1929
[xix] “Exhibit Exemplifies Faith in Southland,” Los Angeles Times, Nov 26, 1933, p. 17
[xx] “Monterey Idea Shown in Plan,” Los Angeles Times, Dec 3, 1933, p 19
[xxi] “Home Plans Win Favor,” Los Angeles Times, Nov 1, 1936, p. E2
[xxii] “Metal and Glass Feature Store Building Design,” Los Angeles Times, Jun 21, 1936, P. D3
[xxiii]“The House Steps Into the Garden,” Los Angeles Times, Jul 20, 1947, p. D5; Also “The 1936 Book of Small Houses,” by the Architectural Forum, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1936. The house, which still exists, has been added on to, and the large yard subdivided.
[xxiv] AIA Directory, 1970


  1. What a fantastic article you've written. I learned a ton, it filled in a lot of blanks and gave me much to consider. Great research and writing, thanks so much for posting!

  2. Thank you, Barbara! Coming from you, I consider that the highest compliment, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  3. We have lovingly updated the Eleanor and Richard Campbell house and it is not detectable from the front. I was thrilled to find your blog and some of the history of Witmer & Watson and the Garden Communities of Southern California.

    I have tried to learn what has happened to Wyvernwood. Was it torn down as it appeared this was considered in the past from around 2008-2012? It is hard to tell from information on the internet--- it seems to stop at 2013. Did the existing homes and land get a facelift?

    Thank you for your wonderful work and memorializing some history for all, Kim

    1. Dear Kim, that is wonderful news! It looks to be a wonderful house, did the house come with any landscape plans, I wonder who the landscape architect was?

      Wyvernwood is still in limbo, the project is, at this moment, on hold. Nothing has happened, good or bad, to change the status as it was when I wrote this several years ago.

      I would love to hear more about the Campbell residence, please email me at srk1941@gmail.com.

      Thank you!


  4. Outstanding Steven. I've turned to your article repeatedly. Top notch.