The August walk with “Secret Stairs” author Charles Fleming was led by the organizer of Los Angeles Stair Street Advocates, Dave Ptach. He did a walk in Silver Lake which incorporated some of stairwalk #26, Cove-Loma Vista, from the “Secret Stairs” book.
On this walk, a gentleman named Bob Inman had historical photos of the area. When we got to a spot where Bob had a photo, we’d stop and he’d pass around the photo so we could see what the area once looked like.
He even had a photo of a home designed by the famous architect, Richard Neutra.
Richard Neutra has a street named after him and he designed many of the homes on and around Neutra Place, as well as many other homes in Silver Lake and southern California. From Neutra Place, you see the garages of the homes. The fronts of the homes are on the other side and face out to Silver Lake Reservoir.
In order for the homeowners to have the perfect view of Silver lake Reservoir while eating, Richard Neutra would have his clients sit at the table so he could determine where to place the window. He would also have his clients fill out questionnaires so he could determine their needs. Richard died in 1970, but the Silver Lake firm of Richard and Dion Neutra Architecture remains open and is run by his son Dion.
I have done this stairwalk before and it is one of my favorite areas. I enjoyed seeing historical photos of the area, learning about Richard Neutra and talking with Bob Inman. Bob became interested in the area’s history after a professor at Occidental College took the class on field trips to different areas of historical interest. Over the years, he collected photos and articles of different areas.
After climbing over 600 steps and multiple staircases, I was glad to finally head downhill and back to the car. It was quite the workout.
Dave did a good job and talked about the history, just as Charles Fleming does.