How’d That German-Owned House Get Up on An L.A. Hill?

The Villa Aurora’s Long Journey from Newspaper Demonstration to Intellectual Haven of Pacific Palisades

In 1927, the Los Angeles Times, in cooperation with the investors Arthur A. Weber and George Ley, built a “demonstration home” in Pacific Palisades. The project was supposed to attract wealthy buyers to settle in a part of Los Angeles that had dirt roads and was remote from schools, markets, and medical care. The progress of the new house was reported in the Times on a weekly basis.

Today, that home, called the Villa Aurora, has become a haven for intellectual life, but the journey was a difficult one, producing a …

A Piece of Home in a Lost Mural

Last summer I went on a bit of fact-finding mission to little National City, just across the municipal border from San Diego’s south side. Every summer and school break when …