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Hal B. Hayes House, Hollywood, CA Exterior 1953

Hal B. Hayes House, Hollywood, CA Exterior 1953

Though I’ve lately dedicated this site to cutaway drawings from the golden age of illustration art–1930s to 1960s–certain things come along that are so amazing that they trump my mission.  The Hal B. Hays residence in Hollywood, CA is one such thing.

I ran into the Hal B. Hayes residence, which Popular Mechanics described as a House For the Atomic Age.  Ever practical, the magazine notes how Mr. Hayes designed the house to withstand or flex against the stresses of an atomic bomb blast.  The outer walls are “fluted to resist shock waves” and the large front glass window, pictured above, will sweep away in the same blast.  There is an underground concrete-and-steel fallout shelter, as well as another room equipped with bottled oxygen.

Hal B Hayes House Hollywood CA 1953 Exterior Glass Wall

Hal B Hayes House Hollywood CA 1953 Exterior Glass Wall

But the house is also whimsical.  The magazine says that the car’s parking spot was cantilevered because “space is at a premium.”  Perhaps:  I don’t know the house’s location, but I assume it’s in the Hollywood Hills.  But I really think Hayes cantilevered the car for the drama of it.

This is drama, this is show and fun.  How else to account for things like the three-story tree growing in the house and passing through a skylight:

Hal B Hayes House Hollywood CA 1953 Tree Through Skylight

Hal B Hayes House Hollywood CA 1953 Tree Through Skylight

Or the underground sanctuary accessed by swimming underwater:

Hal B Hayes House Hollywood CA 1953 Underground Sanctuary and Pool

Hal B Hayes House Hollywood CA 1953 Underground Sanctuary and Pool

Who was Hayes?  In 1956, Zsa Zsa Gabor announced that she would marry Hal Hayes.

L.A. Curbed tells us that the house is located at 1235 Sierra Alta Way Los Angeles, CA 90069 but is so built over that it no longer resembles the original house.  It last sold on May 7, 2010 for $8.4 million.

We see from Google Maps that “the tree” mentioned above (or some kind of tree, anyway), is visible in this satellite shot:

1235 Sierra Alta Way West Hollywood CA Satellite View 2013

1235 Sierra Alta Way West Hollywood CA Satellite View 2013

Source:  Popular Mechanics August 1953

 

 

The occasion for this cutaway of the White House was its $5.4 million, 2 year-long renovation project under President Harry Truman.

By 1950, the White House was a wreck:  saggy floors, weakened beams, crumbling masonry.  The project gutted the entire inside of the house, replacing it with steel girders, but leaving the outside intact.

Click to Enlarge to 1300 x 748 px:

White House Cutaway Drawing 1950

White House Cutaway Drawing 1950

Source:  Popular Science September 1950

Quonset Hut / House Cutaway, 1946

Quonset Hut / House Cutaway, 1946

A gorgeous picture of a Quonset hut from 1946, touted by Popular Science as a possible “stop gap” to the immediate post World War II housing shortage.

I’ve called it a Quonset hut/house because it clearly does not resemble its earlier incarnation:  Army barracks.  In fact, the vets were said to be moving back to their old barracks “and loving it.”

Clusters of these 20 x 48 foot huts was sometimes called Homoja Villages, a compound name for Admirals Horne, Moreell, and Jacobs.

Admiral Ben Moreell (1892-1978) is known as the the Father of the Navy’s Seabees, and himself was known as “Master Bee.”

Quonset Hut Town

Quonset Hut Town

Source:  Popular Science March 1946

CutSolar Home Cutaway Drawing 1979

This is a circa 1979 cutaway drawing of a solar-heated home in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  That part of Massachusetts has a 6,000 degree heating season, yet owner John Moody was able to get by spending only $9.63 in the 1978 winter.

The whole winter.

The house does not have solar panels that generate electricity.  Rather, the house collects solar heat, redistributes it, and saves it.  The pile of rocks (lower center section of cutaway) is one way of absorbing and storing heat.

The house is located at 5 Fire Tower Road, Falmouth, MA 02540.  Ironically, when I look on Google Street View to see if the house is still around, Fire Tower Road is lined with electric company utility trucks.


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1956 Ranch House Cutaway

I love this kind of house cutaway.  Unlike one of our hotel cutaways that had the front end removed, this type of building cutaway has the roof popped off.  Almost as if a giant lifted it off and left everything else intact.

This great cutaway comes from the October 1956 Popular Mechanics–always an abundant source of cutaway drawings–and has plans, detailed interior views, and descriptions.  As they say:

Cutaway of completely furnished PM [Popular Mechanics] Big-Family House gives an over-all view of its livability.  The front part of the house–living room, family room and kitchen, and the parents’ bedroom with bath just across the hall–is “adult territory.”  The rear section with three bedrooms and bath opening on a playroom is the children’s section.  Folding walls of two of the bedrooms can be pushed back for more play and living space during the day.  The rear patio is accessible both from ktichen and playroom.