Celebrating a Remarkable Angelino: Frank Gehry turns 90

By Jjron – via Wikipedia

Frank Gehry, the illustrious Los Angeles architect famous for designing buildings composed of curves, jagged metal surfaces and broken lines that magically join into graceful, inspiring forms, just turned 90 years old. Still very much active in the field, he credits his well-being to never ceasing to work at what he loves – architecture. Gehry’s career spans decades, and he has produced some amazing structures, some of which we will feature right after this fun fact about Gehry’s practice: he loves fish!

“In Toronto, when I was very young, my grandmother and I used to go to Kensington, a Jewish market, on Thursday morning. She would buy a carp for gefilte fish. She’d put it in the bathtub, fill the bathtub with water, and this big black carp–two or three feet long–would swim around in the bathtub and I would play with it. I would stand up there and watch it turn and twist.”

We can definitely see this fondness in the scaly, shimmery surfaces of many of Gehry’s buildings, and we wonder if we will glimpse it in his upcoming project on the LA River – Los Angeles County hired Gehry to work up a master plan for the restoration and revitalization of the river. We can’t wait to see what Mr. Gehry thinks up – and if you, like us, are a fan of LA River, you should check out CoolidgePlaceLA, a collection of new modern single families just blocks from the water.

Curious to know more about Frank Gehry? Read on to find out about the career journey of this prolific architect and inspiring human.

BP Pedestrian Bridge in Chicago (2004) | Curbed LA

  • Born in Toronto on February 28, 1929 to Jewish parents, the architect was given the name of Ephraim Owen Goldberg. Concerned about anti-semitism, the Frank’s first wife insisted on a name change and Goldberg became Gehry.

Biomuseo, the Museum of Biodiversity, in Panama City, Panama (2014)|Curbed LA

  • When he was 17 years old, Gehry and his family moved to Los Angeles. After working as a truck driver for a furniture company, Frank studied architecture at Los Angeles City College and the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. Afterwards, Gehry took a job with Victor Gruen, an Austrian architect that pioneered the design of first pedestrian malls and shopping centers.
  • At 30, Gehry enrolled at Harvard University. Upon graduation and after several years of work at various firms, Frank traveled to Paris. There, he worked on restoration of French churches, and in his free time studied the works of Le Corbusier and Balthasar Neumann.
  • In 1962, enthusiastic Gehry returned to Los Angeles and opened his studio, Frank O. Gehry and Associates. He designs shops and shopping centers in the style of Gruen. After a few years, the architect decided to take a break from buildings and delved into furniture design.
  • For 4 years, Gehry focused on designing corrugated cardboard furniture, having realized that the combination of unusual materials and thoughtful design can produce a sensational effect. The success of his furniture project inspired Gehry, and he returned to architecture in search of his unique style.

Frank Gehry in front of his Santa Monica home | NY Times

  • In 1978, Gehry was working on his passion project, his house in Santa Monica – which quickly became overgrown with extensions of irregular shape home of metal grids and corrugated fiberglass. Rumor has it that his neighbors were concerned that the wildly shaped structure would bring down the real estate prices, but history certainly proved them wrong! Gehry was 50, and he was just getting started.

Gehry’s path that took him all over the world and he would leave magnificent buildings in his wake – some with profound economic consequences, his Guggenheim Museum resulting in what came to be known The Bilbao effect, in which “world-class project became the catalyst for reviving this once gritty, economically distressed, post-industrial city”. Gehry’s list of accomplishments is long, but none could speak better about it than himself – learn about his fascinating life by tuning into this NYPL interview from 2009 and catch up with the master with this recent feature by The Guardian.

Frank Gehry photographed at his Los Angeles offices. Photograph: Barry J Holmes/The Observer

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Los Angeles in Podcast

Podcasts are increasingly becoming one of the most popular formats of entertainment – you can find one just on every topic these days. Tuning in makes the commute go faster and that voice in your ear effect feels wonderfully personal. In the mood for a good story? You’ll find a bevy of podcasts devoted to fiction and history. Need to catch up on the current affairs? A wealth of pods on the subject are ready to pour into your ear. The list is truly infinite, and we too have a few favorites – all broadcast from and on the topic of our fair city of Los Angeles. We enjoy tuning in to as we drive to our Open Houses and appointments with clients (if you are in need of help with your real estate goals, we are just a click away!), and hope that you will enjoy them too!

Design and Architecture with Frances Anderton

Frances Anderton’s voice is practically synonymous with Los Angeles’ architectural history. A witty and knowledgeable host, she discusses architecture and design in ways that are thoughtful, relatable and entertaining. Born and raised in the UK, Anderton arrived in Los Angeles in 1991, at the time that Los Angeles design community was becoming internationally renown for its  for its experimental qualities, and spent the next two decades covering LA architecture for publications including Dwell, the New York TimesArchitect’s Newspaper, and several books.

Here’s a recent episode we really enjoyed, discussing the advances and challenges in 5G connectivity, and the notion of Hip Hop Architecture:


XX|LA Architects Podcast

Here’s an excellent show featuring Los Angeles’ leading women in architecture and discussing the issues relevant to the profession. Hosted by Audrey Sato, AIA, LEED-AP, the show is dedicated to Los Angeles community of feminist architects. Tune it to learn about the achievements of female architects, and hear their stories and insights as they work towards equity in architecture.  A recent episode features Rennie Tang and Sara Wookey, the artists and creators behind Punt.Point, a project that brings together their architecture and dance backgrounds – give it a listen below.

Interview with Rennie Tang and Sara Wookey – XX|LA Episode 019


You Can’t Eat the Sunshine

You Can’t Eat the Sunshine is the podcast of Esotouric, a Los Angeles company that “turns the notion of guided bus tours on its ear” and provides great experiences for those that enjoy a hands on approach to getting to know Los Angeles history. Each month, join Kim Cooper and Richard Schave on their Southern California adventures as they conduct wide-ranging interviews that reveal the myths, contradictions, inspirations and passions of Los Angeles. Tune in to this fun episode to find out about the deep yet forgotten Gallic roots of LA!


You Must Remember This

If you are drawn to the retro charms of the silver screen, this is the perfect podcast to explore the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century. We love the way that author, Karina Longworth, delivers the stories in a tone that is reminiscent of 1930’s radio hosts, and her use of vintage radio clippings – truly making this podcast a time-traveling experience. Check it out in this fascinating episode, which focuses on artist and filmmaker Kenneth Anger’s coverage of Confidential Magazine. We also get to hear about the life of Dorothy Dandridge, the first black actress to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.


Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Robert Mitchum and Otto Preminger


Hidden History Of Los Angeles

Another splendid historic foray into the hidden gems of L.A., this podcast is a brilliant listen for the fans of Los Angeles history. Host Robert Petersons skillfully delves into the dark side of the life of Griffith Park founder Griffith J. Griffith, takes you to the oldest building in L.A, and explores “L.A. Sounds,” which feature figures from the city’s rich musical history.

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SoCal’s Iconic Butterfly Roof

Butterfly-Style Roof, a SoCal Icon

If you spent any time in California, you’ve likely noticed an upside-down roof grace the top of many a mid-century modern home. Known as the “butterfly roof”, the style gets its name from its distinct silhouette reminiscent of a butterfly wing in mid-flap. The design was popularized during the post-war period, becoming a staple in American neighborhoods across the South-West, where the butterfly roof design allowed dramatic walls of glass that showcased the natural sunlight.

Stunning Mid-Century Modern Home for Sale in Beachwood Canyon

A Tale of Two Designers

The architect that is frequently credited with developing the butterfly roof design is William Krisel. Active in 1950’s, he is particularly renown for building modern home tracts in Palm Springs, now the site of many of his trademark butterfly roof creations. However, Krisel was not the first architect to come up with this eye-catching soaring feature – that honor goes to the Swiss-French architect and Modernist Pioneer, Le Corbusier, that first designed a home with a butterfly roof in Chile in 1930. Intended to overlook the Pacific Ocean in Zapallar, Maison Errazuriz was unfortunately never constructed.

Sketches of Maison Errazuriz © FLC/ADAGP

Own a Midcentury-Modern Home with a Butterfly Roof

If you are a fan of this special design feature but don’t want to travel all the way to the desert to enjoy it, you need to see this beautiful mid-century modern home, for sale in Hollywood Hills. Nestled at the top of Beachwood Canyon, the residence was designed by notable architect Maurice L. Bein and features a soaring butterfly-style roof and an open layout with walls of glass and easy outdoor flow. A wonderful investment in the heart of scenic Hollywood Hills, the home puts you above the city in an ideal environment for relaxing and entertaining, and close to hiking trails in Griffith Park. Come visit us this Sunday, we would love to show you around!

3133 Hollyridge Dr 90068 Hollywood Hills Home for Sale Tracy Do

3133 Hollyridge Dr 90068 Hollywood Hills Home for Sale Tracy Do


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Frankfurt Kitchen: A Brilliant Invention

Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, The Frankfurt Kitchen (c) MAK Center

As real estate agents, we definitely love a well-designed kitchen. It’s hard to imagine, but the kitchen as we know it is a fairly new invention. In fact, the modern kitchen is less than a hundred years old. The new design came into being in 1926 and radically reinvented the meaning of this space. Until that time, the kitchen was often a large mixed-use room used for dining, bathing, and even sleeping. The sinks, cabinets and the stove were scattered throughout the house, creating a hectic environment where preparing meals was rushed and stressful.

The Woman Behind The Modern Kitchen

Enter Margarete (Greta) Schutte-Lihocki, a designer who reimagined the kitchen to focus on usability and empowering women. In 1918, when young Greta enrolled in Vienna School of Applied Arts to study architecture, “it was unthinkable that a woman could be involved in the construction of houses, ” recalled Schutte-Lihocki. Everyone around her, family included, doubted that she could ever work professionally, and yet she went on to become the first woman architect in Austria.

Schutte Lihotzky

A Measured Approach to Domestic Architecture

After World War I, Germany experienced a severe housing shortage, and new apartment buildings rose to satisfy a dire middle-class demand. The 1920’s were marked by many initiatives in the architectural sphere, all aiming to construct light, airy and modern living environments for the modern era. Greta Schutte-Lihocki was hired to work on one such project, a housing development called “Neues Frankfurt”. The building held a collection of urban apartment units that were expected to demonstrate a new, functional form of urban living.

Tasked with designing an efficient kitchen, Greta embraced ideas of production optimization. She did detailed time-motion studies to determine how long each processing step in the kitchen took, re-designed and optimised workflows, and planned her kitchen design to support its function. Dedicating the kitchen exclusively to cooking, Schutte-Lihocki took it out of the living room by inserting a sliding door; thus separating the functions of work from those of living and relaxing, in accordance with her personal philosophy: “Firstly, life is work, and secondly it is relaxing, company, and pleasures.”

The resulting design brought together appliances, cabinetry and work surfaces into an efficient configuration that is familiar to us today; although now we see a changed attitude in the approach to separation from the living areas – instead of the sliding door of yesteryear, contemporary homeowners  often opt to have a breakfast bar or kitchen island. 

The kitchen reigns supreme as one of the most important spaces in the home, and the homes for sale we have open this weekend boast some exceptional examples – come take a look, we’ll be open rain or shine!

1827 Fanning St Silver Lake William Kesling Home for Sale Tracy Do

Exquisite Art Deco Home by William Kesling | 1827 Fanning St. Silver Lake


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New Homes and Giveaway at Palmea in North Hollywood

This Saturday and Sunday, January 26th and 27th from 1-4P: Join Us to Tour Beautiful New Homes and Win Prizes

It’s a special weekend at Palmea as construction is complete on the stylish, contemporary homes in North Hollywood. To celebrate, the first 20 groups will receive a $15 gift card to local favorite Groundwork Coffee and be entered into a raffle to win a Bodum Pour-Over Coffee Maker, Groundwork Coffee, and two diner-style mugs.

Palmea offers a limited collection of uniquely modern homes in NoHo designed and built by award winning Planet Home Living.  With only 7 homes available and its extremely popular location, the opportunity to own at Palmea will go quickly.  Enjoy living a short stroll to the vibrant NoHo Arts District, contemporary theaters, art galleries, cafes, and shops.

Come visit us this Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm, you will love these gorgeous new homes!
5131 Cartwright Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601.

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Book Goals for the New Year

Do your New Year resolutions include reading more? Books are definitely on our list, especially since we discovered that a good home library has shown to be a strong factor in academic achievement and success – so says research that was conducted on the subject in no less but forty two nations! There is also research that points at the benefits of reading a printed book rather than an electronic one, which makes sense in today’s world when we are surrounded by glow of screens. If you are ready to take break and build up your home library, we recommend paying a visit to one of these excellent bookstores we frequent and love:


695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 449-5320

Vroman’s first opened doors in 1894 in Pasadena: a testament to Southern California readership (we are not just movie-goers!), it stands as an oldest and largest independent bookstore in the state.  Check in for a frequent author events, and once you are done browsing books, be sure to check out the Pasadena Laemmle Movie Theatre (lots of indie greats playing at every time) right next door.


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The Last Bookstore

453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 488-0599

A must visit, this downtown LAbookstore occupies a 22,000-square-foot space in the Spring Arts Tower at 5th & Spring. It boasts a most impressive number of 250,000 new and used books on two floors, as well as a curiosities room and an atmospheric book labyrinth where you’ll find the ultimate Instagram backdrop – whole stacks of volumes arranged by color. Also not to be missed, especially around Halloween, is a “terror vault” of scary books.


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READ Books in Eagle Rock

4972 Eagle Rock Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041Eagle Rock

We are big fans of this intimate independent bookseller that’s filled with used books, including covetable first editions. It’s a great place both to shop for books (there are lots but the resident bookish canine, Florence, is on hand to recommend the latest read), and connect with community (we love the monthly reading group & thematic potluck). Come browse books and then stop in for a visit to our new home community, The E.R.B. Homes, right down the street.


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Serving local communities in 2018 and for years to come

As the year draws to a close, we took a moment to reflect on how we spent these past twelve months. With so many successful home search stories and life-changing home sales to look back on, it’s amazing to realize how many clients we were able to help this year! And the numbers speak for themselves.

There are over 1.3 million licensed realtors in the United States and over 30,000 working in Los Angeles. According to BrokerMetrics, from January to December 2018, the Tracy Do Team ranked:

Rankings are an end-point, a result, and we’re proud of where we stand. But our real job is what comes first; listening, and putting all the pieces into place, so that our clients can realize their goals.

If you’re ready to sell a property, or are thinking of buying a home, reach out to Tracy at 323-842-4001 or tracy@tracydo.

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Experience Echo Park From Your New Home

If you love the Eastside, you probably love Echo Park. It’s hard not to – because it’s a neighborhood that brings together the many qualities that make LA so special to live in. Colorful and artistic, Echo Park is constantly teeming with action, offering the best in dining, nightlife and cultural events. Representing homes in Echo Park is always a special treat for us, because we know how happy living there will make the future homeowners! Right now, we are excited to bring your Colline, luxurious new homes situated in the midst of this happening enclave.

Colline at twilight

Each home comes with a large rooftop deck to relax and entertain against a backdrop of unobstructed vistas. Inside, there are two levels of airy, open living space that’s filled with light and finished with wood flooring. The homes are complete and ready for occupancy, including a full set of Viking kitchen appliances, and a washer & dryer by Electrolux, which means you can move right in and feel at home.

Nestled into a residential hillside, your Colline home puts you just blocks away from Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard with all the shopping, dining, coffee and nightspots you can dream of – you’ll never have a dull moment.Read on to get a glimpse of what weekend is like when you live at Colline  and come visit us this Sunday to explore these wonderful new homes, we’ll be open from 1-4P.

9am – Start your day with a latte from Stories, a local staple that brings together coffee and books (a most natural pairing). Pick up a novel to leaf through as you sip your beverage, or just browse to your heart’s content.

11am- Head to nearby Echo Park Film Center and take a cyanotype printmaking workshop – print with sunlight to create a cyan blue and white print that you can gift or keep for yourself. (Saturday, Dec. 7th $5. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

1pm – Pop out of the workshop to catch the annual Echo Park Community Parade along Sunset Boulevard between Vin Scully Avenue and Park Avenue – a cultural event attended by thousands of Angelenos and visitors for over 50 years. Expect revelry, cheer, community spirit, and of course Parade floats, classic cars, and fun performances by community groups.

3pm – Get some holiday shopping done at Mohawk General Store. Discerning gift givers will find tasteful presents by local and international designers ranging from SMOCK, Dries Van Noten, Mansur Gavriel, Engineered Garments, Acne, Nonative and Kathleen Whitaker.

7pm – It’s dinnertime! So many places to consider, but here are our two suggestions that are certain to satisfy: If you feel like Traditional/Californian fare, we recommend the relaxed atmosphere of The Park. Or, if you want to get your dinner and drinks sorted in one fell swoop, take a chance on Mohawk Bend – this trendy gastropub serves up delicious bar food and mixes excellent cocktails.

Sweeping city views from the rooftop eck at Colline, beautiful new homes in Echo Park.

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Highland Park: A Dining Destination

The last few years saw Highland Park becoming the scene of a culinary zeitgeist, with choice dining options emerging on a regular basis. Here’s our guide to where and what to eat and drink in this exciting historic neighborhood. Have your heart set on moving to the area? Check out some of our beautiful listings located just up the street: this bright Bungalow in the quiet Garvanza enclave is available for lease, and come see our stunning view home 1620 Kilbourn St, just minutes drive from from all the happenings along Figueroa Blvd. Also coming soon to Highland Park is ArroyoHP, a collection of 20 modern homes with rooftop decks, available in 2019 but you can get on the interest list already – just send us an email.

Kitchen Mouse

Arguably the beacon of the culinary delights that were to come to Highland Park, the sunny Kitchen Mouse cafe opened doors in 2014. Bohemian interior sports macrame wall art, light timber benches and fresh flowers, a delightful setting to tuck into the many gluten-free options on the menu. The Moros Cakes plate (mushroom and rice patties with a side of salad) makes for a hearty lunch, as does the dill quinoa salad. For breakfast, the vegan and gluten-free pancakes, adorned with toasted coconut and a dram of Vermont maple syrup, are the uncontested crowd favorite in all their light, flakey, and fresh berry topped wonder.

Photo by @hunryrightmeow


A few steps from Kitchen Mouse, another beast, aka a new dining sensation recently appeared: HiPPO offers a fun selection of plates that range from fresh oysters and grilled pork ribs to light pastas. The beautifully rendered interior is charmingly woodsy, setting up a perfect stage for palate-delighting meals paired with delectable wines. We found that the Wax Beans surpassed what we imagined beans could do, and were utterly smitten with the autumn squash cappellacci pasta and the grilled chicken thighs. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong – chef Matt Molina is a James Beard Foundation Award-winner and his HiPPO partners Joe Capella and Randy Clement hail from the Eastside oenopphile’s favorite, Silverlake Wine.

Photo by @hippohighlandpark

Triple Beam Pizza

In the mood for a quick bite? That deeply human need is exactly why pizza was invented, probably in Rome, some centuries ago. Luckily, we need not travel to Italy to obtain a slice of Roman-style pie, because we can get it at the Triple Beam Pizza, right here in Highland Park. The pizza is served in long, thin sheets, cut by length into squares and served at room temperature just like in Rome (you can opt for a heated version too, if that’s your preference). Grab a slice and a glass of vino and be like the Romans!

Photo @triplebeampizza

Mason’s Dumpling Shop

Photo by @masonsdumplingshop

November is drawing to an end, which means shorter days and brisk nights – the perfect time to indulge in some delicious dumplings. In Highland Park, you’ll find these tasty morsels at Mason’s Dumpling Shop, from the folks behind Monrovia’s famed Luscious Dumplings. There are options for boiled, steamed, and pan-fried dumplings, as well as vegetable sides, beef and pork buns, and smaller rice bowls. Get your fill, then head over to Highland Park Bowl for a post-prandial drink as you hone your bowling skills and watch the pins fall.

Photo by @highlandparkbowl

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Home Notes: Our Guide to Fall Lighting

It’s the spookiest month of the season, and while autumnal foliage is sparse in Los Angeles, pumpkins have indeed appeared, so fall is definitely in the air! The days are getting noticeably shorter, but we know just the way to keep the early twilight blues at bay – and the answer lies in lighting. A strategically placed lamp is certain to brighten your evening and update your space for the season. Good lighting is so important and we are passionate about design, so we thought this a perfect opportunity to curate a selection of lamps and pendants that we admire and hope you’ll enjoy. Keep on reading to find design inspiration for your home this fall!

Ceramic Lantern by Morgan Peck

We already mentioned how much we love the sculptural practice of Los Angeles-based artist Morgan Peck. Her newest collection of functional ceramics is equally enchanting, and includes gorgeous cylindrical lamps that feature cut-outs, a design that will produce a magical, shadow-play effect when illuminated.


Scandi Lighting Ideas

Nordic designers traditionally don’t get much sunny weather so they are pretty great at conjuring warm interiors with light – here’s to coziness of hygge and elegant simplicity of lagom. We love this clever rocky table lamp by Jonas Edvard of Copenhagen:


we also find this sharp lighting-shaped pendant by Lotta Lampa of Stockholm quite delightful:

and we are big fans of this luminous glass lamp by Norwegian Duo Domaas/Høgh


Italian Illumination

Italy has a long-standing reputation for excelling at both lighting and glass design. A case in point is this dainty lamp, a sphere in hand-blown white satin glass, elegantly suspended within a thin metal structure, designed by Francesco Librizzi:

Cosmic Wonder in Your Living Room

And last, but not least, of our design picks today is another Angeleno designer: Brandon Ravenhill takes on the familiar mid-century modern sputnik shape and reworks it into an inspired chandelier that resonates with celestial beauty that would look stunning in every interior, whether your home is a Craftsman Bungalow in Silver Lake or a contemporary home in North Hollywood. 

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