Serving Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Holmby, Century City, Trousdale, Brentwood, Westwood

California Dreaming

Lotusland Photo ©RIOS
Virginia Robinson Gardens
Mark Rios, FAIA, FASLA
John Lambert Pearson, ASLA

Posted Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 7:37 pm

By Mark Rios and John Lambert Pearson

At RIOS we are inspired time and again by our location in California, a magnificent place where almost anything can grow. Early settlers recognized the potential of this fertile and untamed land and brought palms, along with all the fruits of southern Europe, including the olive, the pomegranate, the fig, the lemon, the orange, the apple, the pear, the peach, and above all else the wine grape. Once California became a state, adventurers, daredevils, and outlaws flocked to the west, drawn by its bountiful agriculture, the glamorous motion picture industry, and the allure of shimmering sandy beaches and palm oases. It became stylish for these California dreamers, many of whom were artists, actors, or writers, to book “Grand Tours” on steamers, traveling to Spain, Italy, and Persia, returning with visions of recreating their own Alhambra in Beverly Hills. Travelers would inundate architects and landscape designers with photos of memorable sites from their tours and request they combine these elements into an estate all their own, creating an eclectic style that was simultaneously Islamic, Italian, Spanish and ultimately Californian.

For full story see the print edition of The Beverly Hills Courier, or download the e-edition.

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