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Sunday, August 23, 2009

The photographer of modern Los Angeles living preferred a traditional home in Echo Park

The photographs of mid-century homes by Maynard Parker helped promote the reputation of Los Angeles as a city fascinated with the new. Thousands of his photos, which appeared in the pages of the Los Angeles Times and national home decor magazines, are being put online by the Huntington Library, according to the LA Times and Curbed LA. But while Parker was known for capturing images of trend-setting West Coast homes, he and his family lived in a traditional house - complete with shutters and a white picket fence - on Lemoyne Street in Echo Park. The house, with the exception of new paint and mature landscaping, looks pretty much the same today (bottom image) as it did about sixty years ago when it made appearances in national magazines (top image).

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He was obviously proud of the hilltop house on Lemoyne Street because it showed up in some of his published photos, including the cover of House Beautiful. Parker also used his family as well as neighbors in the shots, according to the Echo Park Historical Society:

"Maynard and his wife, Annie May Parker, moved to Echo Park in the late 1930s. They spent some time on Delta Street before building their lifelong home in 1939. That home, which stands at 2230 Lemoyne Street, soon showed up on the cover of home and garden magazines – along with Maynard's two daughters, who could be seen picking flowers or having a picnic. His daughter Ann showed up on a World War II era cover of House Beautiful. Eventually, his neighbors got into the act as well. Beverly Graham, who has lived in Echo Park since 1933, remembers posing for Parker as he shot various outdoor garden scenes. 'He loves his hill,' Beverly Graham recalled."

Top image from HistoricEchoPark.org

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