John Elgin Woolf (1908-1980): Hollywood Regency style houses
Owning Institution: UC Santa Barbara, Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design and Architecture Museum
About this CollectionJohn Elgin Woolf was trained as an architect at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and moved to Los Angeles in 1936, hoping to get into the movie business. He did not become an actor, but became acquainted with George Cukor, who introduced him to a wide range of celebrity clients for his design and architecture firm. The vast majority of buildings designed by Woolf were private residences, either additions, alterations, or entire houses. Hollywood Regency as an architectural style encompassed some aspects of French Normandie and English Regency styles, but with a decidedly theatrical flair in image-conscious Hollywood. With mansard roofs, oversize 'Pullman' doors, oval windows, Doric columns, and large swaths of color (both inside and out), Woolf's Hollywood Regency style stands out among the more traditional houses, and in sharp contrast to the newer mid-century modern. These residences were mostly located in Beverly Hills, along with a few in Montecito and country club commissions in Palm Desert.
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