Ghost House: A Haunting Video of a Demolished LA Mansion

Isometric drawing of Dodge House, 1916, Irving Gill

The Walter L. Dodge House, West Hollywood, designed by Irving Gill in 1916. 

 Irving Gill  (1870–1936), one of the pioneers of Early Modern Californian architecture, designed the iconic Walter L. Dodge House in 1916. A Cubist masterpiece that blended Spanish Mission and Modernist styles, the West Hollywood house was demolished in 1970, despite a vigorous seven-year battle to save it from the wrecking ball. One of its champions was architectural historian Esther McCoy, who made a short color film to help save the house. The Women’s Film Preservation Fund recently sponsored a restoration of the historical footage, which is the best visual record of what the American Institute of Architects rated one of the 15 most architecturally significant residences in the United States. You can watch McCoy’s fascinating–and heartbreaking–video below.

Rear elevation of Dodge House, 1916, Irving Gill
The rear elevation of the Dodge House, showing its superb Cubist proportions.

Rear gardens at Dodge House, 1916, Irving Gill

The house was surrounded by formal gardens.


Esther McCoy’s  short color film of the Dodge House in 1965.