From the late 1920s to 1970s, while young American architects were blazing trails in the new Modernist movements, zealously promoting themselves and their emerging philosophies, Gerard Colcord quietly produced hundreds of high quality homes, mostly in posh Westside neighborhoods, adhering to traditional themes. He attracted a conservative audience, and had close relationships with each of his clients, producing only six homes per year. While his contemporaries were mostly critical of architects who held tight to what they considered derivative styles, he embraced these styles and offered some of their best interpretations.
Gerard Colcord was born in 1900, married 3 times, but never had children. He studied at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in France. His work shows the influence of his European training and aesthetic. The styles he most often applied to his designs, from cozy homes to grand estates, included Tudor, Country French, Hollywood Regency, Spanish Hacienda, Monterey Colonial, and his most popular the “Country Colonial.” Typical details of a Gerard Colcord home are exposed wood beams, meticulously applied plaster walls, all done by hand, warm wood paneling, peg and groove floors, walk-in fireplaces and rough hewn beam hearths (which were actually cement).
His following earned him the title of “Hollywood’s Society Architect,” but in his work, there is none of the ostentatious sizzle and glamour that the title suggests. More appropriate descriptors would include tasteful, graceful, serene, intimate, warm, and familial. Recently there is a growing appreciation of his homes, being sought after by those who look for the highest degree of quality and enduring design.