Amsalem A. Ernst House, photo by Charles J. Fisher, 2005
Amsalem A. Ernst House, Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument #840
Built: 1937 Declared: 03/17/2006
This house was designed by the Modernist architect, Gregory Ain (1908-1988) and was the home of Amselam A. Ernst and his wife from its construction in 1937 until 1963. This house was early in the architect’s solo career and has been noted in many publications as a marvel of how Ain dealt with a very difficult site. The pure lines of the house have a tendency to remind one of the work of Ain’s mentor, Richard Neutra, although the house also displays many nods to Rudolph Schindler, whom Ain greatly admired and had worked with whenever he could. However, the Ernst House shows much in original design as well. Ain was not yet a licensed architect, so he chose not to put his name on the permit. It appears he originally listed himself as the engineer, but that name was changed to Robert Gwynn. However, the plans for the house are clearly drawn by Ain. The contractor was S. H. “Shy” Kaplan, for whom Ain was to soon design the Dunsmuir Flats complex.