It's easy to pass time on sites like SothebysHomes.com and ChristiesRealEstate.com. I mainly peruse properties in Palm Springs and the Hollywood Hills, where you'll find a bevy of 1920's Spanish Colonial Revival estates with meticulous period-style details and finishes. Many are architecturally significant or are relevant to old-Hollywood history.
Yesterday, I stumbled on the Arzner-Morgan Residence, built in 1930 by legendary architect W.C. Tanner. Dorothy Arzner is attributed to being the only successful female director in Hollywood during its Golden Age. She was unequivocally gay, and resided in the above estate with her partner, modernist choreographer Marion Morgan, from 1930-1951.
Members of the Marion Morgan Dancers enlisted to promote the 1927 model Packard at left; Miss Arzner directs her star, Clara Bow, at right.
Dorothy’s films featured aggressive, free-spirited independent women, played by actresses like Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, and Katherine Hepburn. Arzner’s influence extended into fashion— she was typically clad in men’s ties and suit jackets paired with long skirts. Her female stars were outfitted in similar menswear off-screen, further perpetuating the trend (in particular, Katherine Hepburn).
If you want to experience life in the Arzner-Morgan residence, you’re in luck! The historical home is also available for lease— just remember to invite me to your house-warming party!
Photos: TheMorningNews.org; BFI.org