AKA: Owlwood Estate, Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, CA; Curtis, Tony, House, Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Designers: Farquhar, Robert D., Architect (firm); Robert David Farquhar (architect)

Dates: constructed 1936-1937

total floor area: 12,600 sq. ft.

141 South Carolwood Drive
Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, CA 90077

Building History

This four-acre Holmby Hills estate was first assembled in 1932 for Charles H. Quinn (1876-1975) and his wife Florence Martha Letts Quinn (1868-1944), who was previously married to Arthur Letts (1862-1923), the owner of the Bullock's Department Store in Los Angeles, CA. The lot's eastern side opened onto the Los Angeles Country Club, and its nothern perimeter was Sunset Boulevard. It was purchased from the Janss Development Company, the firm active in creating Holmby Hills and neighborhing Westwood.

This location suited Florence Quinn who wanted to live nearby to her three daughters. The website The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills.com noted: "For Florence Martha Letts Quinn, the location, in addition to backing up to the Los Angeles Country Club, had three very personal reasons in its favor: Her three children, who lived nearby. Daughter Gladys and her husband, Edwin Janss, owned the adjacent estate on Sunset Boulevard. Son Arthur Jr. lived on nearby Charing Cross Road..., within sight of her home across the golf course. Her other daughter, Edna Letts McNaghten, and her husband, Malcolm, were completing their South Mapleton Drive estate ... a few properties south of Arthur Jr.’s home. Mother could literally keep an eye on her three grown children, and she could visit her grandchildren at any time." (See The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills.com, "Sunset Boulevard - Charles & Florence Quinn Estate," accessed 04/01/2024.)

The architect Robert D. Farquhar (1872-1967) received a very large budget (particularly at the nadir of the Depression) of $150,000, which he spent on obtaining the city's best craftsmen and costly materials for the interior and exterior. Construction began soon after a Los Angeles building permit was issued on 11/13/1932. Farquhar did not turn out the volume of designs produced by other high-society architects in Los Angeles, but he had an exclusive client list for whom he built high-quality and stylistically-restrained residences or other commissions.

Building Notes

Drawings for the Charles Quinn House are contained in the Robert D. Farquhar Architectural Drawings, 1920-1940 Papers, Collection #1579, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Library, Department of Special Collections.

PCAD id: 13991