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Paul Laszlo: a flair for Hollywood

November 20, 2003

Part of the great wave of European designers and architects to immigrate to Los Angeles during the 1930s, Paul Laszlo (1900-1993) is lesser-known than many of his contemporaries.

His career, which lasted here from the late '30s to the '70s, is more an example of how Los Angeles influenced him, and less one of modernism's triumph over the traditional.

Laszlo built many houses in Southern California, and while he began in the tradition of the time -- with a focus on affordable materials and indoor-outdoor ease -- he became known, as his career progressed, for an increasingly lavish style preferred by Beverly Hills society, not architectural purists.

Primarily a designer, Laszlo oversaw every detail of the homes he created: from blueprints to furniture designs, window treatments and accessories. His ultra-private, usually one-story homes are concealed from the street, but inside, view-facing walls are open, often to lush garden settings.

During his career, Laszlo had a Rodeo Drive shop that showcased his textiles, furniture and lamps; produced pieces for Herman Miller; and decorated Howard Hughes' Las Vegas casinos and showrooms.

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