The Magic of Mellenthin

A good friend and spectacular agent, Alan Taylor, has just had the great good fortune of listing a beautiful updated Mellenthin home in coveted Hidden Woods.  What, you may ask, is a Mellenthin?

mellenthin-1If you know anything about San Fernando Valley real estate then you know the name William Mellenthin (1896-1979) is a magic one. One of the Valley’s pioneer developers, Mellenthin was responsible for constructing literally hundreds of homes throughout Valley (and elsewhere) from the 1930’s through the 1950’s.   Like his later contemporary Joseph Eichler, Mellenthin built homes that were a cut above the standard cookie cutter tract house.  Mellenthin designed homes were high quality in both architectural design and in the materials used in construction and finishing. Mellenthin knew what features to add to make a house attractive to prospective home buyers and he became renowned for his so-called “birdhouse” additions (dovecotes, to be technical) over the garage that were a hallmark of many of his structures.  Birdhouse houses became, and remain, an almost ubiquitous sight throughout the San Fernando Valley and could, I suppose, even be called the quintessential Valley home.20_sr13023857_0_1360954449

Although he was described in several 1930’s news articles as a “wealthy architect,” it appears that he was never formally trained or certified in that profession.  Mellenthin’s building success began and grew right out of the depths of the Great Depression that was putting an end to the careers of so many other architects/developers. Whether he was a “wealthy architect” or not, he assuredly must have been wealthy at least to some degree as he had the capital to invest at a time when many others didn’t. Mellenthin was able to use the downturn to his advantage and was able to buy land and materials cheaply and hire the best workmen to construct his homes.

Although he was known for his San Fernando Valley homes, Mellenthin built houses throughout the Los Angeles area.

A partial list of Mellenthin/Bachman homes from the 1933-1936 period. Addresses are all North Hollywood (Studio City, Valley Village, etc.) Wherever possible, date of construction and original client are noted.

11923 Addison Street (1935) – Grace Mottram

505 South Arden Boulevard, L.A. (1936 Remodel of 1921 House) – Edward Sears, Jr.

4836 Ben Avenue – Pete E.F. Burns

4905 Ben Avenue (Alt. 12009 Huston) (1936) – C.A. Balch

4957 Ben Avenue (1935) – Louis Laughlin

4961 Ben Avenue (1935) – John Swallow

5119 Bluebell Avenue (Demolished) – Jack West

10717 Bluffside Avenue (Demolished) – Gertrude Michael

4516 Densmore Street, Encino (Demolished) – Ernest Pagano

4147 Dixie Canyon Drive (1934) – T.M. Bell

4147 Faculty Avenue, Lakewood Village (1935) – Melvin Diebele

4251 Faculty Avenue, Lakewood Village (1935) – Roy V. Schwab

4616 Fulton Avenue, Monterey Village (Demolished) – Southwest Development Corp.

4942 Gentry Street (1935) – C.B. Warren

4830 Gloria Street, Encino (Demolished) – Reeves Dutton

12003 Hartsook Street, Laurelhurst (1936) – Francis King

12038 Hartsook Street, Laurelhurst (1936) – Virginia Michael

12220 Hillslope Street (1936) – Frank Figgins

12241 Hillslope Street (1935) – Edward Churchill

12127 (12125) Holly Glen Place (1936) – Charlotte Harriss

12138 Holly Glen Place (1936) – Milton C. Brittain

11853 Kling Street (Demolished) – Chalmers O. Stout

475 La Mirada Avenue, San Marino (1936) – John Pierce

5601 Laurel Canyon Boulevard (Demolished) – Ward Groshong

12055 Laurel Terrace Drive (1934) – J.D. Farquhar

12145 Laurel Terrace Drive (1935) – Isadore Gross

12180 Laurel Terrace Drive (1935) – H. Anderson

12305 Laurel Terrace Drive (1934) – W.P. Esrey

12382 (12384) Laurel Terrace Drive (1934) – John McKeon

11902 Magnolia Boulevard (Demolished) – Sun Record Home Beautiful

644 South Mariposa Street, Burbank (1935) – William A. Godsoe

12113 Maxwellton Road (1935) – Alice Greenfield

3743 Mound View Avenue (1934) – Arthur N. Watson

3774 Mound View Avenue (1935) – R.H. Pearsall

3781 Mound View Avenue (1935) – Ira Rohland

3804 Mound View Avenue (Demolished) – Robert Fellows

3822 Mound View Avenue (1935) – Ralph Everson

11856 Otsego Street, Laurelhurst (1936) – Robert W. Stanhope

11941 Otsego Street, Laurelhurst (1936) – Sam Bevis

12039 Otsego Street, Laurelhurst (1936) – Roy Culverwell

11915 Riverside Drive (Demolished) – John Ewing

12940 Riverside Drive, Monterey Village (Demolished) – Helen White

16325 San Fernando Mission Boulevard, San Fernando (Demolished) – Judge Oda Faulconer

4053 Shady Glade Avenue (Demolished) – Helen L. White

4147 Shady Glade Avenue (1932) – Roy Atwell

3145 Silverado Drive, Moreno Highlands (1936) – O.W. Dickens

6253 Simpson Street (1935) – J.A. Ernst

14310 Valley Heart Drive, Van Nuys (Demolished) – Floyd L. Knudtson

2150 Valley Oak Drive, Hollywood – A.B. Hess

5667 Valley Oak Drive, Hollywood (1936) – Walter Ward

4727 Van Noord Street, Monterey Village (Demolished) – Southwest Development Corp.

12108 Viewcrest Road (1935) – Frederick H. Starr

12123 Viewcrest Road (1934) – C. Duncan Hutton

12152 Viewcrest Road (1935) – Carl L. Sutton

12205 Viewcrest Road (1936) – Clifford R. Gard

12230 Viewcrest Road (Demolished) – Kolia Levienne

12301 Viewcrest Road (1935) – Joseph LaShelle

1200 Viscano Street, Glendale (1926) – E.F. Franklin

10503 Whipple Street, Toluca Lake (Demolished) – Roy H. Henry

7223 Woodman Avenue, Van Nuys (Demolished) – John J. Schmitz

7218 Yarmouth Avenue, Encino (1935) – Virda Mann

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