In case you just tuned in, I’m doing a little fact-checking as I go through Scotty Bowers’ “Full Service.” This will be fairly tedious except to a research drudge.
I’m examining the history of 1110 Benedict Canyon Drive, where, as far as I can tell, Scotty Bowers allegedly had his first tryst in Los Angeles in 1946 with Walter Pidgeon at the home of Jacob/Jack/Jacques Potts.
In the last post, I was mystified by the reference in a real estate ad to a “John Wolfe Regency.” Thanks to Lysandra Yaxley, who dug up a Vanity Fair article, I have found some answers about John Elgin “Jack” Woolf. And more questions.
Fact-Checking “Full Service”: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22
There’s more information in Ruth Ryon’s 1987 Times article “Architect to the Stars: Museum Shows Woolf Work.”
Ryon gives a thumbnail biography of Woolf (1908-1980) and mentions a connection to Fanny Brice (recall that Jacob/Jack/Jacques Potts purchased one of her homes).
More to the point is the information that his drawings are in UC Santa Barbara’s Architecture and Design Collection. Wouldn’t it be fun to take a research field trip up to Santa Barbara and peruse the archives to see if there’s anything about Bowers’ tryst HQ at 1110 Benedict Canyon Drive? Perhaps there’s some information on whether the driveway was paved – or gravel. And whether there was a pool.
But wait a minute. The house was built in 1929, when Woolf was about 21.
What’s this? Matt Tyrnauer’s Vanity Fair article indicates that Woolf’s career in Los Angeles didn’t get underway until 1942, when he designed the Pendleton home (the one referred to in the Jack Nicholson book as belonging to Robert Evans).
That’s awfully hard to reconcile with a 1929 house and an 1939 remodeling of some sort. Is this really a John Woolf house or is that just real estate agent hype? My head hurts.
It’s real estate hype: anything here that is other than “victorian” or “modern” is described by realtors as “colonial”. “colonial” on the east coast implies “derivative style from English speaking countries”. I would guess that in LA “So and So Regency” implies English Regency (as in Jane Austin) and that “not spanish” is implied. (You could make a case that these are political/racist code words.) “John Woolf Regency” becomes the generic phrase, as in Eames modern.