(UPDATE: This Old House has picked a Spanish Revival home in Silverlake to renovate. Click through to see the entire news release, with quotes from the LA Conservancy's Linda Dishman and LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti.) "This Old House" has been renovating homes on TV for thirty years and only now is taking on a project in Los Angeles. Listen as Off-Ramp host John Rabe talks with the show's Kevin O'Connor and Norm Abram for the inside story, and COME INSIDE for guidelines on nominating your project for the show.
Photo by Bob Martin from the LA Public Library/Hollywood Citizen News/Valley Times Collection: Debris tumbles down the hill and dust rises from demolished walls as a wrecking crane does its job on the Anthony's Hollywood Tudor-style house. The Anthonys' house is being razed to build a Hollywood television and film museum that never came to pass. Photo dated: Apr. 15, 1964. Here's the latest from WGBH, which produces "This Old House:" FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THIS OLD HOUSE® EMBARKS ON FIRST-EVER RENOVATION PROJECT IN LOS ANGELES Spanish Colonial Revival to Get Hollywood Treatment on New Season of Emmy® Award-Winning Show CONCORD, Mass., (September 23, 2010) - For the first time in its 30-year history, the PBS home improvement series This Old House is traveling to Los Angeles to tackle a West Coast renovation project. A charming 1930s Spanish Colonial Revival home located in the picturesque hillside community of Silver Lake will get a Hollywood makeover from the show's expert crew. The This Old House Los Angeles project, featuring 10 brand-new episodes, premieres nationally on PBS beginning Thursday, January 27, 2011 (check www.thisoldhouse.com/tvschedule or your local listings). In order to accommodate a growing family, the This Old House team, with the help of local tradespeople, plans to expand the home's existing footprint, add a second floor and make updates for modern living, while preserving the quaint period details that make the property unique. Homeowner Kurt Albrecht purchased this home in 1998 and moved in with his wife, Mary Blee, shortly thereafter. The couple was not only drawn to the original period style of the house and its view of the Silver Lake Reservoir, but they loved the diverse community and its central location to most Los Angeles areas like Downtown, Glendale, Burbank and Hollywood. The one floor, 1,500-sq.-ft. house was the perfect size for a young, married couple so they only made minor cosmetic updates at first. However, in recent years as their family began to expand and basically outgrow the two-bedroom, one-bath house, they decided it was time for more extensive renovations. The This Old House experts are working with Los Angeles-based contractor Steve Pallrand and his design-build firm Home Front on a modest 750-sq.ft. expansion which includes a new second floor, larger kitchen, new family room, two additional baths and two more bedrooms. The plan also calls for preserving and replicating some of the homeowner's favorite existing period details such as arched doorways, tray ceilings, plaster ornamentation, inlaid floors and art deco light fixtures. "This project embodied all the elements we were hoping to find in our first-ever Los Angeles renovation, and Spanish Colonial Revival is a style we've never worked on before, so it's particularly exciting for us," said This Old House host Kevin O'Connor. "Southern California is rich in architectural history, but much different than the New England homes we normally feature on the show. We are looking forward to sharing this and many other amazing aspects of the area with our viewers." These Los Angeles project episodes will also feature side stories highlighting the distinctive lifestyle, world-class building projects and talented local craftspeople in the city and surrounding areas. One segment will focus on the active renovations to the spectacular city-owned Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright's first Los Angeles project built between 1919 and 1921. Another episode will spotlight preservation efforts at the Silver Lake home and studio of the late architect Richard Neutra, known for his influence on California Modernism. "This Old House will introduce to the nation those mid-century, Craftsman, Spanish and other neighborhood landmarks that aren't as well known as the Chinese Theater, for example, but that are just as defining in terms of who we are as a city," Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti said. "This Old House will highlight Los Angeles' rightful place as a leading city in terms of architecture and will help homeowners recognize and preserve our city's architectural gems." "We love the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame, but Los Angeles is so much more than that," said Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, a non-profit historic preservation organization. "We're essentially a city of neighborhoods, many of them historic and filled with excellent examples of Victorian, Craftsman, Spanish Colonial Revival and other architectural styles, not to mention our unparalleled collection of residential modernism. Residents here are using historic preservation to strengthen and revitalize their communities and protect the unique, authentic character that attracted them to these neighborhoods in the first place. We know that This Old House is committed to telling those stories and showing viewers a side of Los Angeles that they don't normally see." Show producers found this Silver Lake property after an exhaustive search, which included extensive outreach to the local building/architectural community and a public call for entries earlier this spring, which yielded several hundred project submissions. Previously, the expert crew renovated four other homes in California, two in Santa Barbara, one in Napa Valley and one in San Francisco. The last California project was completed 10 years ago. For more information about this and other This Old House projects, please visit www.thisoldhouse.com. Viewers can also become a fan of This Old House on Facebook or follow the show on Twitter. ----- Here's the news release from WGBH, which produces "This Old House." THIS OLD HOUSE® PLANS FIRST-EVER RENOVATION IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY Home Improvement Series Seeks Project Submissions CONCORD, Mass., (May, 3, 2010) - For the first-time ever, the Emmy® Award-winning television series This Old House is looking for a historic home to renovate in Los Angeles County. The TV crew is hoping to find a dynamic family with a classic old house in need of help, with plenty of things to save and update. However, the project's scope must be "just right" - not a whole house, but more than just a kitchen. The renovation must be able to be completed in about five or six months, with construction potentially beginning as early as August 2010 and finishing by January 2011. The ideal project should already be underway with architectural plans and/or have the ability to be "fast-tracked" to the building phase. The selected project will be featured on multiple This Old House episodes airing on PBS in early 2011. The deadline for submissions is June 14, 2010. Please note that the renovations are completely funded by the homeowners and not by This Old House, though the show coordinates product discounts and donations where possible. All donated items are considered gifts, on which the homeowners pay taxes. This Old House is reviewing proposals now. To be considered, submit the following: · Brief description of the renovation project - be sure to also include house style, location and year built · Low-res digital pictures of the home's interior and exterior · Brief description of the current owners · Low-res digital pictures of the homeowners · How much you plan to spend · When you need to start and conclude the project Please e-mail proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit them via regular mail to: This Old House Project Proposals, P.O. Box 130, Concord, Massachusetts 01742. Select homeowners will be contacted by show producers for further interviews. Due to the volume of proposals received, This Old House will not be able to respond personally to everyone or return submitted materials. For more information about this and other This Old House projects, please visit www.thisoldhouse.com. Viewers can also become a fan of This Old House on Facebook or follow the show on Twitter. WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of fully one-third of PBS's primetime lineup, along with some of public television's best-known lifestyle shows and children's programs and many public radio favorites. For more information, visit www.wgbh.org.