Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Masterful "Hong Residence" - 1968, Hovers Over Market

The "Hong Residence", Roger Hong, A.I.A in association with Buff and Hensman, F.A.I.A., 1968
It was about a year ago when I went to visit the "Chang Residence" across the street from the "Hong Residence" in Los Feliz Estates.  Since I had my camera with me, I took the opportunity to shoot some exterior photos of the "Hong Residence" which is a collaborative design by Buff and Hensman, F.A.I.A., along with the newly appointed associate architect, Roger S. Hong, A.I.A. who had just graduated from the University of Southern California School of Architecture.  It was Hong's vision, while the master architects, Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman fine-tuned the Asian-inspired architectural treasure designed in 1968 with completion in 1969.  The beauty of this mid-century lies, not only with the thoughtful piece of architecture, but within the history surrounding the people who lived there with their cultural influences infusing the soul of the home.  It is this combination of events which makes this home a spectacular treasure. 
With the front pavilion as the neck and head and the southern elevation the wings and tail, it isn't hard to envision a bird in flight with it's wings catching air. Hong set out to design and build a home for his family, Mr. and Mrs. You Chung Hong, in mind.  It was a "gift" for Roger's mother; an architectural testament of love.  Writer, Dan McMasters, mentions the home's post and beam architectural elements as, 

"...a mother hovering protectively over its nest."
- Los Angeles Times Home Magazine, 1969 

Roger's father, Y.C. Hong was a prominent immigration attorney who was responsible for helping usher in over 10,000 Chinese immigrants that entered the Country.  It is said that Y.C. Hong was the first Chinese American person to pass the California State Bar exam. Not only was Y.C. Hong a prominent lawyer, but he was an extraordinary developer.  He was instrumental in the development of Los Angeles' New Chinatown back in 1938 when the Old Chinatown was leveled to make way for the city's central train terminal, Union Station.  Roger's family owned multiple properties in the Chinatown area.
You can see how the collaboration with the duo of Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman worked for Roger Hong.  The post and beam marvel of mid-century modern design is truly a stunner.  Perched on the hillside on a corner street-to-street lot with views of the Griffith Park Observatory in the front and head-on views of the city from the back, the Asian influenced design is worthy of historical distinction. 
When I departed my visit with the Chang's (see bottom photo), I scooted across the street to snap some photos of the stellar architectural design of the "Hong Residence", noting some architectural details of the exterior.  The "Hong Residence" is now on market, but not on the MLS.  The asking price is $2,699,000.  Please contact me if you would like to set up an appointment to see this architectural gem. 
The spacious 4 bedroom and 3 bathroom 3,016 square foot interior provides an open floor plan home with meticulous and careful updates including charcoal terrazzo floors, wide-plank wood open frame stairs and subdued period lighting.  The very symmetrical layout is balanced by living room / dining area and den / study which straddle a spacious kitchen with original oil-rubbed walnut cabinets, updated Caesarstone counter tops, central island with prep sink and high-end appliances.  This home is worth every penny and I do not expect this to last long without a new owner.
As you pass through an inner garden behind stucco wall and a wooden gate, you enter the home with a 20 foot high vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beam.  Floor-to-ceiling glass walls are throughout the home showcasing the stunning Southern and western views from downtown to the ocean.  With an abundance of sliding glass doors, your lifestyle welcomes the outdoors in and vice versa.  The home's pool wraps around the back with pebble stone surround.  The western private garden area behind stucco wall has a custom wood platform conversation deck. 
Below are some vintage interior and exterior photographs of the home from 2007's first offering on the MLS where the home sold for $2,150,000. 
 The Hong Residence Architectural Details:
The arched cross beams are capped with copper and beaded glass, while the downspout is a subtle function, as water cascades to a garden below. 
The private enclosed side yard garden area is perfect for outdoor dining, intimate gatherings and a safe place for kids to play.
 The second story sleeping pavilion also acts as a two-car port.  There is no garage. 
The auto port area is scantily enclosed by the use of a wood shade screen, which is one of my favorite mid-century elements.
The use of shadow boxes around the pavilion give architectural nuance while sunlight creates interesting shadows and texture.  Original exterior lighting designs are still intact.

"Chang Residence", Edward H. Fickett, F.A.I.A., 1974
Biographical Notes

Roger S. Hong (September 23, 1941 - October 27, 2006) 
Born in Los Angeles.  Hong earned his Master of Science degree in City and Regional Planning in 1968.  Hong worked at several firms: Buff & Hensman; Bodrell Joer'dan Smith; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Stone, Marracini & Patterson and John Carl Warnecke & Associates.  Hong also did work under his own name, and as a consultant to other firms.  After working at several firms, he co-founded the architectural firm Arechaederra/Hong/Treiman Architects (AHT Aechitects) in 1981. Hong retired from his firm in 1993 and devoted himself to preserving the Hong family history, the restoration and preservation of Los Angeles’ Chinatown, and various charitable and community causes.
Roger Sai-keung Hong, architect  in 2006
Roger S. Hong, architect - Partial Job List:
  • Hong Building, 451A and 451B Ginling Way, alterations (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; 2002); Hong, Roger (architect)
  • Hong Building: Bar and Bistro at Central Plaza, 951 N. Broadway, 425 Ginling Way, proposal plan (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; 2000); Hong, Roger (architect)
  • Imperial Dragon Gift Shop, 451 Ginling Way, remodel (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; 1979-80); Hong, Roger (architect), S. Perlof (engineer)
  • Ling Tower: Senior Citizen Residence and Community Commercial Plaza (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; 1978); Hong, Roger (architect)
  • Mandarin Palace: Garden, hotel and public parking structure (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; undated); Hong, Roger (architect)
  • Pergola and stage, design plans (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; undated)
  • Residential renovation of 445 Ginling Way for Roger S. Hong (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; undated); Hong, Roger (architect)
  • Survey maps (Los Angeles (Chinatown), (Elysian Park), CA; 1990); City of Los Angeles
  • United Bank building, 951 N. Broadway (formerly 405, 407, 409 Ginling Way), renovation plans (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; 1984); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architects), Hong, Roger (architect)
  • United Bank building, 951 N. Broadway, fence design and landscape plan (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; 1996); Hong, Roger (architect, landscape architect)
  • Blossom Garden Hotel and mixed-use project, 900 N. Broadway (Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA; 2000); Laeroc Partners, Inc. (architects), Hong, Roger (architect), Urban Concepts (architects) 
  • Chinese Times, The: 686 Sacramento St., remodel. (San Francisco, CA; 1976-77); Hong, Roger (architect)
  • Encinitas Hotel (Encinitas, CA; 1989); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architects)
  • Fitzgerald, Dan and June, residence, 10118 Empyrean Way #102, interior design (Los Angeles, CA; 1991); Hong, Roger (interior design)
  • Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital (Wauwatosa, WI; 1977); Stone, Marracini & Patterson (architects), Brust-Zimmerman (architects)
  • Hong, Mr. and Mrs. Y. C., residence, 5146 Los Franciscos Way. (Includes many rough sketches.) (Los Angeles, CA; 1967-69); Buff & Hensman (architect), Hong, Roger (architect), Shulman, Julius (photographer)
  • Hong, Roger S., residence, 10551 Wilshire Blvd. #1703, interior design. (Includes many rough sketches.) (Los Angeles, CA; 1986-87); Hong, Roger (interior design)
  • Hotel at the L.A. Zoo (Los Angeles, CA; 1981); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architects), Stolte, Inc. (developers)
  • Hotel Nikko, 477 S. La Cienega Blvd. (Beverly Hills, CA; 1989-91); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architects), Fong & Associates (landscape architects), Mingis Design (interior design) [Ph]
  • KCET building (Los Angeles, CA; c. 1980); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architects)
  • Kun Lun Hotel, early concepts (Beijing, China; 1980); John Carl Warnecke and Associates (architects)
  • Neiman-Marcus (Honolulu, HI; 1988); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architect), The Darrall Partnership (interior design)
  • Neiman-Marcus (1979)
  • Office building, Ohio Ave. and Sepulveda Blvd. (Los Angeles (Westwood), CA; 1983); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architects)
  • Pan Pacific Center (Los Angeles, CA; 1981-82); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architect), CCM Financial (developers)
  • Park Place (Fluor Properties conversion) (Irvine, CA; 1985-88); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architects), Trammell Crow Co. (developers)
  • Paseo de los Rosas complex (Pasadena, CA; ca. 1980s); Arechaederra, Hong, Treiman (architects), Trammell Crow Co. (developers), Ahmanson Commercial Development Co. (developers)
  • Quong, Chin H. and Mabel C. Hong, Four-unit apartment building (Alhambra, CA; 1948-49); Joseph, B. G. (contractor)
  • Ralph's grocery stores (Fullerton (and unknown), CA; c. 1973); Maxwell Starkman & Associates (architects)
  • Rossmoor Towers and Life Care Center, Rossmoor Leisure World (Laguna Hills, CA; 1969-70); Bodrell Joer'dan Smith and Associates, Inc. (architects), Lent-Forsum Associates (landscape architects)
  • Unidentified residences and commercial buildings (1970-72); Hong, Roger (architect)
  • UNLV Sports Arena (Thomas & Mack Center), University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV; c. 1984); John Carl Warnecke and Associates (architects), W2C (architects)
Listing courtesy of Rose Ware & Terry Canfield - Pru


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  2. Brilliant piece on Mr. Hong and a spectacular house. Let's go to Chinatown and toast Mr. Hong since I am familiar with many of his projects there. It is nice to have a human connection to his work. Many thanks Steve.



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