Godfather of LA structure, Robert Winter, creator of “An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles”, has died | Information
Robert Winter, the architectural historian who spent his life charting the sprawling Los Angeles cityscape, died Saturday night at the age of 94. His death was confirmed by its publisher Angel City Press.
Winter, author of the seminal work An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles, is widely regarded as the godfather of Los Angeles architecture and his writings as the Bible of Southern California. The extensive collection, now in its sixth edition, was noteworthy for going beyond what was already famous and for showing the humble, man-made structures and other physical features of the city. In his writings, the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, and Gregory Ain appear alongside gas stations, subway stations, and fast-food restaurants of equal importance.
Batchelder House in Arroyo Seco.
While his travel guide covered all regions and styles, from beaux arts to high tech, Winter himself had a strong affinity for the American arts and crafts movement, for which Southern California was a source. Not only did Winter live in a Craftsman bungalow that happened to be the former home of tile maker Ernest Batchelder, but his writings on the subject also helped revive the Craftsman in the early 1970s. He even got the nickname “Bungalow Bob” among neighbors and friends.
Despite becoming one of the city’s biggest supporters, Winter – who was born in Elkhart, Indiana, in 1924 – wasn’t always a fan and initially found Los Angeles to be a huge and terrifying place. But his cultural addiction grew when he was picked up from UCLA and later Occidental College, where the longtime professor oversaw a generation of Los Angelists, including Robert Inman, whose own books (like A Guide to the Stairways of Los Angeles) were similar Encourage exploration of the many wrinkles in LA.
Through his writings and influential teachings, Winter has helped define the city over a decade-long career. His legacy leaves an essential reference and will continue to spark the imagination of the public and shape their experience of Los Angeles for generations to come.
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