2424 Fourth Street
Santa Monica, 90405

John W. & Anna George House

Known As: John W. & Anna George House
Architect: Unknown
Built: 1910
Designated: March 17, 1981

The John W. and Anna George House is a beautiful example of the Craftsman style bungalow, an architectural form that reached its peak in the years before World War I and embodied dreams of the good life in Southern California.

The house was built in 1910 for John W. and Anna George. At the time, Ocean Park was a fast-growing resort area with both full-time and seasonal residents attracted by the area’s beach-oriented amusements and fine climate. Both the Georges were active in civic affairs—John as a city councilman and Anna in women’s clubs.

While the name of the architect who designed their home is now lost, he created a harmonious structure rich in details typical of the time. The low-pitched roof with multiple eaves creates the strong horizontal lines frequently seen in Craftsman-style bungalows, emphasizing the sheltering quality so essential to the bungalow’s character and reflecting the idea that a building should be “tied to the earth” and in harmony with its surroundings. The Craftsman style valued honesty and simplicity in decorative elements. Therefore structural features, such as the notched rafters extending past the eave lines and the posts supporting the porch at the front of the house, are both beautiful and useful at the same time. Handcrafted stained glass panels are found throughout the house, in line with the Craftsman preference for individually-made (as opposed to industrially-produced) items. The Craftsman ethic also valued a connection with the natural world and bungalows were often designed to mesh with a surrounding garden, thus promoting a healthful and relaxed lifestyle. In the George House an ample front porch, a glassed-in sunroom on the southeast corner, and several large picture windows elsewhere allow residents to enjoy the fresh air, space and greenery surrounding them as well as views of the ocean and mountains.

This house is one of the finest examples of the Craftsman style bungalow in Ocean Park today. It looks much as it did when first constructed thanks to sensitive repairs and restoration done in the 1980s. At that time the house was returned to its original gray color and the garden was renewed with landscaping typical of the 1910s. An addition made to the upper floor blends harmoniously with the original structure.

Sources:

  1. David Gebhard and Robert Winter. Los Angeles: An Architectural Guide. Salt Lake City: Gibbs-Smith Publisher, 1994.
  2. Sam Hall Kaplan. LA Lost and Found: An Architectural History of Los Angeles. New York: Crown Publishers, 1987.
  3. Wendy Kaplan. The Arts & Crafts Movement in Europe & America: Design for the Modern World. Los Angeles: Thames & Hudson/LACMA, 2004.
  4. James Massey and Shirley Maxwell. Arts & Crafts Design in America: A State by State Guide. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998.
  5. Santa Monica Landmarks Tour. Santa Monica: City Planning Division, 2004.
  6. Staff Report on 2424 Fourth St., John W. & Anna George House. City Planning Division, Santa Monica.
  7. “A Superb Example of Craftsman Architecture,” Santa Monica Mirror, April 23-29, 2003.
  8. Robert Winter. The California Bungalow. Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1980.