Sunday, February 12, 2012

Unknown Moderns off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood Hills

I've not been able to discover the architect of this 1967 modern with the eye-catching roofline, which recalls Buff and Hensman's wonderful design done for Saul Bass' Altadena house. Perched on a cliff on Pyramid Place and overlooking the Valley, the pool actually sits at the front of the house, behind the fence. I toured this house when it was up for sale about six years ago. It had been sadly neglected and still had acres of 1970s deep pile shag. Even worse were the bathrooms, which had every available square inch recovered in awful 1980s mirror tiles. As the exterior is now as authentic as it was in 1967, I'm hoping the interior is now just as sensible.

Where Pyramid picks up again down the hill off Woodrow Wilson is this rather unusual mid-century nestled in a eucalyptus grove on a double lot. According to Zillow, the large (4,000 square foot) modern was designed by Carl Matsen in 1964.
It appears there is a very large covered patio in the back.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Assembly Line Board Game

This was manufactured by the venerable Selchow and Righter company in 1953. If the name doesn't ring a bell, their games will -- Parcheesi, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit were their top sellers, all licensed from other creators. The company was sold to Coleco in the 1980s which in turn was sold to Hasbro. Apparently Assembly Line isn't as rare as one might think. At this writing there is a later edition of the game for sale on ebay for about twenty dollars. I've actually never played it, but reading the instructions, it sounds rather tedious. There are four 'factories' -- Plymouth, Studebaker, Ford and Chevrolet, yet all the cars look the same. The moves are a bit complicated. Whomever gets his cars out of the factory first wins. To me the best part of the game is this box art, which looks more 1930s than 1950s as does the terminology. "Motor Czar" sounds like what Sinclair Lewis called Dodsworth.
The board itself isn't that fun to look at in a rather dull Parcheesi way, not nearly as ambitious as Milton Bradley's Test Driver game which came along a few years later.