Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

LAistory: Sowden House

Sowden-jaws.jpg
LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

Ken Kesey told us that “Some things are true, even if they never really happen.” What if a woman was never killed in a house that looks like it might gobble you up if you’re not careful? What if that crime felt true? Then where are you? Well, the answer is, of course, Los Angeles.

The Sowden House was built in 1926, for artist and photographer, John Sowden. He wanted a startling space with a large central courtyard where he could stage plays and parties for Hollywood’s elite. He hired his friend, Lloyd Wright (son of Frank Lloyd Wright) to design it. Lloyd worked as construction manager (and occasional designer) for his father’s three Los Angeles projects. Like those homes, Lloyd used textile block construction. He arranged these blocks into crests, transforming the house into a Mayan Temple. Its jagged peaks lead to its nickname, the Jaws House (as it looks like the gaping maw of a great white shark.)