Godfather of LA structure, Robert Winter, writer of “An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles”, has died | Information
Robert Winter, the architectural historian who spent his life chronicling Los Angeles’ sweeping cityscape, passed away Saturday night at age 94. His death was confirmed by his publisher, Angel City Press.
Author of the seminal work, An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles, Winter is widely considered as the godfather of Los Angeles architecture, and his writings, as Southern California’s bible. The exhaustive collection, now in its sixth edition, was notable for going beyond the already famous to feature the humble, manmade 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 stops, and fast food restaurants of equal importance.
Batchelder House in Arroyo Seco.
While his guidebook spanned all regions and styles, from Beaux-Arts to High Tech, Winter himself had a strong affinity towards the American Arts and Crafts movement, for which Southern California was a fountainhead. Not only did Winter live in a Craftsman bungalow that happened to be the former home of tile maker Ernest Batchelder, his writings on the subject matter helped spark the Craftsman Revival in the early 1970s. He even earned the nickname “Bungalow Bob,” among neighbors and friends.
Though he became one of the city’s biggest backers, Winter—who was born in Elkhart, Indiana in 1924—was not always a fan, first finding Los Angeles to be a vast and ghastly place. But, his cultural addiction grew as he was fetched up by UCLA and later, by Occidental College, where the longtime professor mentored a generation of Los Angelists, including Robert Inman, whose own books (like A Guide to the Stairways of Los Angeles) similarly Encourage exploration of LA’s many creases.
Through his writings and influential teachings, Winter has helped to define the city over his decades-long career. Leaving behind an essential reference, his legacy will continue to capture the public’s imagination, shaping their experience of Los Angeles for generations to come.
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