Craig Ellwood, “the Gary Grant of architecture”, was one of the most visible faces of California mid-century modernism. He was known as much for his exquisitely designed, minimalist structures as he was for his exuberant lifestyle. Born Jon Burke in Texas, he formed a business called Craig Ellwood (partially named after a local liquor store). Jon later would legally change his name to Craig Ellwood. Craig was never a licensed architect, but a creative with a vision for 1950’s and 1960’s Southern California design. Craig Ellwood was a man who was determined to fashion himself a designer without any significant formal education or training. John Entenza, publisher of the influential design magazine Arts and Architecture, enlisted Craig to design hree houses for his famous Case Study program. 

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Crestwood Hills Richard Neutra Mid Century Modern home, The Sale Residence – 1960, is sited in the “utopian” enclave of expressive architecture known as, Crestwood Hills. Architects, Neutra, A. Quincy Jones, Whitney R. Smith and Craig Ellwood all contributed work to this cooperative development which brought about “good design and economical construction to moderate-income housing…” With interest in the project coming from musicians, artists and faculty members at UCLA, the growing group incorporated as the Mutual Housing Association in 1946.