The Fountain at Park Moderne

Park Moderne (2 of 2)

The Park Moderne fountain, designed by Jock Peters.

William Lingenbrink was an interesting figure in 1920s-30s southern California art and design, both as an art dealer and a promoter of “modernistic” architecture. Lingenbrink thought his artists would benefit from a place to get away from the city, with modest cottages.

There was no reason the cottages had to be boring. And being a booster of the modern, Lingenbrink made sure they weren’t. He founded a small artist’s colony, Park Moderne in Calabasas, in 1931. 174 lots were sold at $525 each. Some of the cottages were designed by Rudolph Schindler and others by Jock Peters.

Calabasas is still a lovely area and I wish I could report that things are little changed at Park Moderne. But by all accounts, Park Moderne got off to a rocky start and with one exception, these days it’s just a memory.

It’s even difficult to find photos of the original houses but here are a few from one of Lingenbrink’s publications, celebrating the Moderne.


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From William Lingenbrink’s Modernistic Architecture portfolio


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A closer look. The photo reproduction isn’t the best but these seem to be from the construction stage. You can see the corner window panes have tape on them.


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Not bad, eh? Quite striking, even today.


Park Moderne hasn’t vanished entirely. The skyscraper-style fountain designed by Jock Peters remains, and has been restored by the Calabasas Historical Society. If you’re not familiar with Peters, among other things he designed the perfume hall at Bullocks Wilshire.


Park Moderne-6

Perfume counters at Bullocks Wilshire, Los Angeles (now Southwestern Law School.)

Park Moderne (1 of 2)

Another view of the Park Moderne fountain.

More about William Lingenbrink in a future post.




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