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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Elevado de Castillo, Design Vidal (remodel) 2007

The latest 'rescue and restore' project by the design team of Guy & Karen Vidal, the 'Elevado de Castillo' represents the team's 20th completed project in the Silver Lake/Echo Park communities. A severly neglected Spanish fourplex originally built in 1925, Karen fell in love with the architectural beauty of the octagonal turret, the tall ceilings and arched entryways, sparking her restoration-oriented imagination. The building was considered a 'tear-down' by everyone who was considering buying it, except the Vidals, who value preservation and restoration over the quick buck.

The restoration effort began in February 2006. Karen invited Mosaic Artist Patricia Callicott to collaborate on the project. Early in April, Patti set up shop inside the Elevado ruins and over the next 10 months created dozens of complex mosaics--- all handcut from thousands of pieces of tile, marble and limestone. Many of the intricate cuts were performed with a regular tile saw.

According to the Vidals, the blueprint for a 'Mediterranean Sanctuary' flew off the drafting table into a 'life of its own'; marble floors, custom colored concrete shower stalls, arched openings embedded with bricks, stained glass windows, metal tile and hand-crafted copper cabinet jewelry were the materials used in creating a hand-made house, rarely found in building projects today.

Custom ironwork was a large component of the project. Ironworks expert Jesus Herrera used steel treated with brown patina on kitchen counter details, closet handing bars, bathroom sink legs, window rails, light fixtures, ornate balconies and the majestic front gates. Scenic Artist Alexandra Wiesenfeld painted a fresco crown for the exterior working off a 40 foot scaffold.

The Castillo is currently (December 2012) listed for sale for $1,295,00 and described in the listing as " This Spanish style four-plex was completely renovated in 2007 by local design firm Design Vidal to a new Moroccan fantasy. The property is now fronted by hand-forged iron work, glowing mosaic fountains and a turret entrance topped with a mural of trumpeting elephants. It has been reconfigured to a three bedroom three bath home upstairs with two one bedroom 1 bath units below. Thousands of hand-cut Moroccan and Thai tiles, along with gemstones lovingly pieced together by local artist Patricia Callicott create mosaics in almost every room. Several items in the house are salvaged from local Silver Lake homes, with many light fixtures and other decorative pieces imported from the middle and Far East."

Elevado de Castillo is located at 1515 Elevado Street in Silver Lake.

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