Collection by Jaime Gillin

An Architect's Guide to Silver Lake


One highlight of my recent visit to Los Angeles was a whirlwind tour of Silver Lake with the great architect Barbara Bestor, who has lived there since 1988. She drove me around, pointing out architectural (and culinary) highlights, and offering insight into the neighborhood's unique creative culture (she should know—she wrote a book about the place a few years ago, called Bohemian Modern: Living in Silver Lake). Here's the scoop.

I met Bestor on a Friday morning in her architecture office, a cool triangular space on Fountain Avenue in Silver Lake.
Here's Bestor, ready to gather up some blueprints and chart out our driving tour.
We started at Sunset Junction, one of the neighborhood's key intersections, where Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica...
Also at that intersection is the Silver Lake branch of Intelligentsia Coffee, LA's leading cult coffee brand.
Says Bestor: "It's my favorite local project as so many people use it regularly!" Here's a view of the tiled outdoor...
The wood-and-tile interior was "inspired by the tile environments of Istanbul, mashed up with minimalist plywood wood...
We continued up the hill to Bestor's latest project: a house for her and her two daughters.
Bestor was eager to show me her house—a massive renovation project, still in the early demolition phase.
Bestor consulting with her demolition crew, in her kitchen-to-be.
Next up: a cruise down Silverlake Boulevard, where Bestor pointed out, behind a screen of trees, a pair of houses...
Neutra Place is a dead-end street that's home to a slew of Neutra-designed houses—as well as a few by his son Dion...
Here's the Neutra VDL house, a great experimental house that's available for public viewing.
Bestor also pointed out the Rudolf Schindler-designed Bubeshko Apartments on Griffith Park Boulevard, which were...
Unfortunately Speranza restaurant was closed when we drove by, but I stole a shot through the fence.
I especially loved this classic art deco structure on Hyperion Avenue, known as "the Boat." It's owned and used as a...
Further down the road is this creative fence in front of Oyler Wu Collective’s home office.
Bestor was especially excited to show off the Avenel Apartments on Avenel Street, a so-called "socialist housing...
The front gate was closed but we entered anyway.
We ended our tour with lunch at Forage, a lovely cafe with super-local food, sourced from backyards and local producers.
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