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HISTORY

Robert Finkelhor
Robert Finkelhor1899-1957
Although Finkelhor did not rise to the same level of fame as Williams, he was also involved in designing large residences and celebrity estates. Finkelhor was born in Jeanette, Pennsylvania in 1899, studying architecture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburg. 25 In addition to serving in both World Wars he was a member of the AIA from 1920 to 1923. Finkelhor spent the early portion of his career in Pittsburg and Washington, D. C. and designed Air Force offices in the Pentagon. He later moved to Los Angeles and began working as head of the architectural department for builder Paul C. Shitice in 1924. 26

Finkelhor designed homes in a variety of Period Revival styles, commonly incorporating motifs prominent in the design of Oakridge, including stone veneer walls, false half timbering, multiple gabled rooflines and wood shake roofs. His works include an estate on Mapleton Drive in Los Angeles for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) executive Hunt Stromberg, inspired by an English farmhouse (1932); home for Harpo Marx at 701 N. Canon Drive in Beverly Hills (1938, extant) and Cape Cod style residence in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles for MGM writer Irving Brecher (1941). Other homes designed as English country estates include the residence of motion picture executive Henry Ginsberg at 918 Whittier Drive in Beverly Hills, (extant) and the home of Bob Hope at 10346 Moorpark Street in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles (1939, extant). Following his death in 1957, friends and former clients established a full tuition scholarship for fifth year architecture students at USC.

25 “Obituary,” Los Angeles Times, 13 May, 1957,C7.
26 “Architect Appointed Head of Department,” Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 1924
 Photo of Robert Finkelhor, Lieutenant Colonel U. S. Air Force courtesy of Kotzin Family.

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