Lost L.A.: A bird lover's perch in Bel-Air
Gene Stratton-Porter's house in Bel-Air certainly was imposing enough, but in his latest Lost L.A. column, Sam Watters focuses on the garden instead. It was bird habitat and Stratton-Porter's nature sanctuary, a personal preserve in a place where tidy lawns and clipped hedges reign today. Writes Watters:
At the turn of the century women, keepers of home and church, organized to save America the Beautiful from extinction. They founded garden clubs and preservation societies, pushed town councils to restore city parks and lobbied congressmen to save coastal redwoods. For visibility, they exploited the era’s new media by bringing photographs of local garden successes to print.
Stratton-Porter's story takes an ironic twist just weeks before the house is completed in 1924. Read the rest of Watters' tale: Lost L.A.: A nature sanctuary amid the mansions of Bel-Air
Photo: Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens