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Q: family home ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: family home
Category: Family and Home
Asked by: shilo1-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 29 Sep 2005 09:52 PDT
Expires: 29 Oct 2005 09:52 PDT
Question ID: 574253
I recently learned that my family home was built and/or designed by the noted
architect, Gilbert Stanley Underwood.  I purchsed a book about him and
it is unclear whether this is true.  The home is at 12805 Bristol
Circle North in Los Angeles, CA 90049.  This area is referred to as
Brentwood Park and the home was built in the 1920's.  Can you confirm?
If not, then can you tell me who built/designed it?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 29 Sep 2005 17:41 PDT

Interesting question.  From what I've learned thus far, I'd be
surprised if it was an Underwood design.  I've read a good deal of the
history of Brentwood Park at this point, but no mention was made of a
man who was quite a prominent architect.

Can you tell me anything more about what leads you to suspect it might
be an Underwood home?

In the mean time, I have a query out that, I hope, will be able to
definitively identify the architect of 12805 Bristol Circle North.

However, it will probably be a few weeks before I receive a reply. 
The only way to speed things up would be to actually visit the
research archives in person in Los Angeles, but since I'm way at the
other end of the country, this isn't particularly feasible.

So....sit tight.  If no other researcher here comes forward with an
answer, I hope to be able to provide the information in a few weeks



Clarification of Question by shilo1-ga on 30 Sep 2005 09:04 PDT
Thanks for getting back to me.  After almost fifty years of owning the
house, my family sold the property in Jnauary.  The new owner did a
major restoration and put the house back on the market as an Underwood
design.  Curiously , my now deceased father was a relatively well
known builder and he was not aware of any architectural significance. 
The Listing broker works for a firm (Mossler & Doe in Los Angeles)
that specializes in architectural propeties.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 30 Sep 2005 09:08 PDT
Thanks for getting back to me...I hope you all are safe from the fires out there!

As I said, I hope to have the information I requested in a week or
two, so hang tight, and we'll see what turns up.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 17 Oct 2005 09:28 PDT

Here's an update of the situation.  

I requested a copy of the original building permit from LA County --
the permit should clearly indicate the architect's name and firm.

The permit office is terribly backed up, and won't even give me an
estimated date as to when I might receive the permit copy.

HOWEVER, if someone visits their office in person, the permit can be
retrieved the very same day.

Sooo...Do you feel like making a trip to the permit office right in
Los Angeles?  That would be the fastest way to get a response.

I'm sure there are LA-based services that can handle this for you, if
that's an option of interest.

Otherwise, I'll just have to wait for a reply from the permit office,
which may or may not respond prior to the expiration of your question
on October 29.

Let me know what you think.

Subject: Re: family home
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 17 Oct 2005 12:08 PDT

Well, I'll be...

My pleas to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety must
have struck a chord with some sympathetic public servant, because
hours after been told over the phone that I wouldn't be getting the
permit any time soon, the fax machine began humming, and there it was!

And indeed, 12805 Bristol Circle N is, in fact, a Gilbert Stanley Underwood design!

The fax I received is a very poor copy of the original permit, but
here are some of the details that appear on the document:

Permit #:  19913

Issue Date:  July 16, 1928

Number of rooms: 14

Contractor's name:  H.W. Baum & Co.

Architect's name:  Gilbert Stanely Underwood & Co.

Value of proposed work:  $22,000.00 

***$22,000!!!***  That's the cost of tool shed, these days!

The remainder of the permit (of the legible material, anyway) has to
do with materials -- brick chimney, 2 x 10 studs, and so on.

I trust this information fully answers your question.

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If there's anything more I can do for you, just post a Request
for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.


search strategy -- Google search for [ los angeles county department
buildings ], which led to the LADBS permits request site at:

Request for Answer Clarification by shilo1-ga on 18 Oct 2005 10:29 PDT
That's great, thanks.  Can you fax me copy of the permit at 310.551.6307?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 18 Oct 2005 11:18 PDT

I'm afraid faxing the copy is against the rules -- no personal contact
is allowed between researchers and clients.

However, I can scan the permit, and post a link to an image of it online.

Would that work for you?  Be aware that the link will be public, and
anyone will be able to see it for about a week, after which the link

Let me know.


Request for Answer Clarification by shilo1-ga on 18 Oct 2005 12:54 PDT
That would be great if you can scan it and post a link.  Thanks

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 19 Oct 2005 06:56 PDT

Here's a link to a PDF file of the permit:

Please save it to your local system, as the above link is not permanent.

Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.


Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 19 Oct 2005 07:20 PDT
P.S.  If you run into any problems opening the file, try saving it
first (press "Save" rather than "Open" when the gray box pops up), and
then open it.

Subject: Re: family home
From: accelerated-ga on 01 Oct 2005 08:13 PDT
i've obtained a picture of your house and i am trying to obtain
information on your house's design. I cannot answer this question
because i don't have the researcher account. so i may just comment
right here
Subject: Re: family home
From: accelerated-ga on 01 Oct 2005 08:41 PDT
anybody wanting a picture of the house in question can just ask for it
by writing in the comments
Subject: Re: family home
From: shilo1-ga on 17 Oct 2005 09:53 PDT
I am not sure what kind of response you want regarding a picture of the house.

Regarding the permits:  I belive that someone in my family tried to
get this at one point and they did not have the records from that far
back.  Maybe things have changed since then.  Any update on your end?

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