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Tuesday, January 11, 2011



At the onset of the “Roaring Twenties”, an Austrian immigrant by the name of Fred R. Cyriasks commissioned the architect Charles Grolle to built a 10 room “mansion” on the border of Toluca Lake and North Hollywood.  The house was simply spectacular.
The Cyriacks House, once at 10841 Whipple Street near Lankershim Boulevard, was considered during its day, one of the most beautiful homes in Los Angeles. With Tiffany glass appointments throughout, the dwelling featured European style stained glass windows, a lave stone fireplace imported from Italy and an impressive spiral staircase rising from a 30 X 18 polished room living room.
Newspaper clipping - 1971 - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley (click on image to enlarge) - note storks on the roof.
Eventually the Cyriasks House was sold to Lt. Col. Paul Bell and his wife Ann, who lived in the Valley until Paul died suddenly in 1958. Ann continued in the “grand old place” until her children left home. She had the structure stripped of its architectural treasures and sold Cyriasks House to a developer, who had the building demolished for an apartment complex.  Today no trace of the once impressive gate house, the bar-b-que house in the rear garden or the handsome wrought iron railings remain.
 Members of The Museum Community are encouraged to be on the lookout for photographs and artifacts from historic Cyriaks House.  We can’t restore the old mansion’s beauty but we can tell its story.

Note: As a result of this blog posting, The Museum received information from a branch of the Cyriaks family. It's really interesting!!!


California Girl said...

That is a nice find. One of the things I longed for, growing up in SFV, was a sense of continuity and the past.

Downtown San Diego was much better about preserving its old buildings and, to its benefit, was able to turn a once fairly derelict downtown into a tremendous tourist attraction and visitor site. Much of the charm emanates from the preservation.

Los Angeles has been very guilty of tearing down the old to make way for the new. Such a waste.

Ben Ciriacks said... and are the two pages where everything we know about Hollywood Fred Cyriacks is located.

We knew nothing of this first of two mansions until this page was created last January. We know of and thought the second mansion at 4301 ~ 4323 Lankershim Blvd. was "the 1919 built" mansion of Fred - that's what some of the locals had thought back in the 1970s, too. It was torn down in 1980 to make way for the tire shop and large apartment complex behind it. We have no pictures of it - would have had we known it was the 2nd mansion back while it was still around when we visited it back in the 1970s. See the web site for the latest we have on all this - have been working for a month just on it.

Ben Ciriacks, genealogist, webmaster, family historian

Ben Ciriacks said...

Just updated the Hollywood Fred page and figured this might be of interest to anyone wondering about the transition from Spanish to American governance in California (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorodo and Texas, too) back in the old days. The area where Lankershim & Cahuenga intersect is one of the most historic places in the southwestern USA.

1847 Lieutenant Colonel John Charles Frémont/Fremont signs the Treaty of Cahuenga and General
Andrés/Andres Pico hands California to the Americans near Lankershim & Cahuenga. (source)
[ Page 131 of the 2007 published (Penguin Books Ltd) Michael S. Malone, "Bill & Dave - How Hewlett
and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company", book has: "By the 1950s, ... Norm Neely at his sales
office in ...North Hollywood, located on the site of the treaty signing that ended the Mexican War in
California--the Campo de Cahuenga--featured ..." ]

California Girl said...
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R K said...

I recently had my home in the Hollywoodland tract researched and we found that it was designed by Charles Grolle. So there is at least ONE example left of his work in architecture here in Los Angeles! I would love to find some beam under the house with his name inscribed on it too!

R K said...
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R K said...
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Brad Bell said...

I lived in this house for 17 years.

Brad Bell said...

I can tell you a lot about this home and the mansion next door.

Brad Bell said...

I would prefer to be reached at

Eric Weyenberg said...

Richard Bogy might be a good source for stuff, he is a fifth generation Toluca Lake resident, you can find him at his office in TL, Bogy Insurance.