I was recently invited to attend several events at the Getty House. For those in LA who may not be aware, the Getty House is the official residence of the mayor of Los Angeles. It’s located in Windsor Square, an historic district bordering the east side of Hancock Park district dating back to 1911. The district was later expanded to be between Beverly and Wilshire Boulevards and Arden Boulevard to Van Ness Avenue.
The home was designed and built in 1921 in the Tudor Revival style and was named for George Getty II, the son of J. Paul Getty the oil tycoon. The Getty Oil Company purchased the house in 1959 and years later in November 1975 offered the property to the City of Los Angeles. The original backyard gardens designed by A.E. Hanson have been restored and the rear yard is spacious and well suited for large gatherings.
Mayor Tom Bradley, who was first elected mayor in 1973 and served as mayor for 20 years, was the first to move into the house at the beginning of his second term in 1977 and he resided there until leaving office in 1993. After Mayor Bradley’s departure, the two subsequent mayors, Richard Riordan and James Hahn preferred to not live at the Getty House. It was not until several months into his first term as Mayor that Antonio Villaraigosa decided to move into the home in September 2005.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has decided to live in the house as well and, after making some improvements to the upstairs living quarters, he and his family have moved in. The house has been purposed by the Mayor to be more than just his official residence. The Mayor and First Lady Amy Wakeland, have opened the house to “community members, innovators, activists, business leaders and elected officials from across the region and around the world.”
One of the events I recently attended was focused on the Mayor’s program to eliminate veteran homelessness in Los Angeles, a topic I plan to write about in a subsequent blog post. Some upcoming events that the Getty House Foundation is working on include a Halloween event for special needs kids from all parts of the city, a veterans luncheon in November and Senior Ball for seniors living in homes during the holiday season.