El Cabrillo

One of six remaining Spanish revival courtyard buildings designed in the 1920’s by Arthur and Nina Zwebell, ‘El Cabrillo’ has undergone a meticulous restoration and was converted into ten condominium units. ‘El Cabrillo’ was the Zwebell’s first project outside of the West Hollywood area.

The building is steeped in Hollywood history one of the Talmadge sisters lived there; Hollywood lore connects the name of Cecil B. DeMille’s daughter with this building; and, at least one of Rudolph Valentino’s films is alleged to have used ‘El Cabrillo’ as a stage set. The architecture is rustic, and scaled and detailed like an old mission compound. The exterior walls are constructed from non-standard size concrete block, which mimic adobe construction. Low archways are cut into the block to frame the entrance patios, stairwells, and side courtyards. These elements are accentuated with the decorative central fountain and surrounding architectural balconies, turret, and chimneys. This rich architectural exterior encloses a multitude of different interior spaces and volumes.

A mix of one, two and three bedroom units are laid out as flats and townhouses which incorporate 2-story living spaces, mezzanines and graceful staircases. Private porches, patios, balconies and other outdoor environments extend the interior spaces to the outdoors and capitalize on views of the city and the central courtyard. All interiors are playfully and eclectically illuminated with a variety of lunette, baroque and other window openings. Also included are original mission tiles, authentic ironwork & fixtures, exposed timber ceilings, and large wood-burning fireplaces. While honoring and restoring the past, the restoration provides numerous modern conveniences. The interior updates include central air, fully appointed and updated kitchens and baths, in-unit washer/dryers, and home security systems. El Cabrillo is on the National Register of Historic Places. Being sensitive to its place in Los Angeles history, Xorin Balbes acted as a successful steward of this important piece of architecture. ‘El Cabrillo’ continues its history as an urban palace offering a distinctly California lifestyle for 2007.