Designed between 1926 and 1939 by R.M. Schindler (1887–1953) , one of the forefathers of Modern architecture, Manola Court (aka the Sachs Apartments) is a sixteen-unit apartment property on a street-to-street downward sloping lot in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Schindler’s client for the Manola Court project was his friend Herman Sachs (1883–1940), a Romanian-born muralist and decorator known for his work on the Bullocks Wilshire Building, Union Station, and City Hall. The property was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2016. Schindler’s use of a plaster skin as an affordable approach to residential projects broke the trend toward steel-and-concrete construction favored by his cohort: the Manola Court Penthouse is an excellent example of an early plaster skin design.
The hilly topography of Silver Lake presented engineering and design challenges but also offered the opportunity for spectacular views of Los Feliz, the Hollywood sign, and Griffith Observatory. Restoration of the Penthouse began in the Spring of 2015. The goal of the restoration was to honor Schindler’s original design and intent while updating each space for how we live today.
The question that the team asked was, “what would Schindler have done with the resources and materials we have now?” The team was confident that Schindler would have welcomed the modern plumbing, appliances, HVAC, and network cabling; at the same time, the original cabinetry, finishes, and Schindler-designed furniture were carefully researched and, wherever possible, restored or re-created. The restoration of the Penthouse and four other units was completed in 2018. Phase One consisted of three apartments in the 1926 building originally occupied by Sachs (the Penthouse, the Music Room, and the Maid’s Room), and two units in a building from the 1930s expansion. The second phase, currently scheduled to begin in June 2019, will consist of the restoration of three apartments (two one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom apartment).
For more about this historic apartment complex, please visit www.manolacourt.com. To book a short term stay, go to www.livetogivela.org.
1. Broadway Sheet Metal: exterior flashing
2. Luis Guerra: cabinetry and built-in furniture
3. Stucco Masters: exterior and interior plaster work
4. Caesarstone countertops