Weston III, AIA
Eugene (“Gene”) Weston III was born in Hollywood, the son of a Los Angeles architect who had worked for Bertram Goodhue in 1923 and nephew to Joseph Weston also an architect. These two, in the mid 1930's, formed a company to design and manufacture factory-built (prefab) houses, way ahead of their time.
In the 1930's the family moved to La Canada, where Gene attended Pasadena schools.After the war Gene studied at the Art Center to become an industrial designer. While at Art Center, he met fellow student Wanda Debes who he later married.
Following graduation, Eugene worked for his father's architectural firm and later for Alvin Lustig, where he prepared residential working drawings for a building contractor client. Following his employment with Lustig, Gene worked alongside Douglas Byles for Whitney Smith of Smith & Williams Architects (ca. 1946-7). Gene & Doug left Smith & Williams at the same time and formed a partnership Byles & Weston, a design / build firm. Both became General Contractors, and built a number of houses for clients and some for speculation, in and around the Pasadena area. One home was for Bob Smith, Whitney Smith's brother, another was a spec house in Altadena (next door to Cal Straub's home whom Doug had studied under at USC) as well as several spec houses in La Crescenta. The latter were for a builder, who was Lustig's earlier client, for whom Gene had prepared drawings for his Lustig designed house, that was never built.
According to Eugene Weston III, “Bill Rudolph worked Doug and I for a relatively short period of time on some of our promo work. We added Bill's name even though he didn't actually participate.” Weston added, “Doug & I obtained General Contractors Licenses, to make it legal to design & build. A little later Doug got his Architectural License, (he had graduated from USC School of Architecture just before joining Smith & Williams).”
In La Canada Gene designed and built 3 different houses for his family and when he and Doug split up he continued the design/ build program for both clients and speculation, in that area.
Eugene Weston III designed a line of furniture prior to moving to San Diego. According to Eugene Weston III, "It was around 1950... I was partially inspired by Stan Hawk who had a barbecue designed by Whitney Smith. It was called the Hawk Brazier... I came up with a stacking stool about 10" high & 13" in diameter,on 3 legs. A triangle piece of canvas was the seat. The Hawks used these stools in some of their promotional brochures. Other pieces were also in the line. A company called Modern Color, bought the line from me, but it didn't go over too well. Most of these items were made by a metal worker in a one man shop in Pasadena, a few were made by Brown Jordan who had a small factory in Pasadena at that time."
In 1956 Gene & family moved to La Jolla, and proceeded to design / build, again for both clients and speculation. Later when the San Diego real estate market slowed down, he approached Fred Liebhardt for a job, having met Fred years earlier while visiting a friend at Taliesin West.
Over the years, the architecture firm changed its name several times. Between 1950-1960 the firm was solely owned and run by Frederick Liebhardt. Gene was hired in (1958) and a few years later they formed the partnership of Liebhardt & Weston (1960-1965), which later changed to Liebhardt Weston and Associates (1965-1967). In 1961 Gene obtained his Architectural License and Fred followed shortly thereafter.
Don Goldman, a noted designer in his own right, later became a partner in Liebhardt &,Weston and Goldman (1967-1976). When Goldman left the firm, the partnership changed back to Liebhardt Weston and Associates (1976-1990). Following Mr. Weston's retirement, Bob Botton joined Fred as partner in Liebhardt, Botton and Associates (1990-1991).
Between 1974-1984 a number of animal-oriented projects were designed by Animal People Environments, a joint venture of Liebhardt, Weston and Associates, Charles Faust, Dr. James Dolan and Barry Upson all of whom worked for the San Diego Zoo, Upson later went to work for Universal Studios which was LWA's opening to design a number of "sets" for the Universal tours in both L.A. and Florida.
During this same period LWA started an extensive program of remodeling and refurbishing the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club facilities as well as the co-owned Sea Lodge Hotel & Restaurant, also remodeling & additions. LWA provided architectural services and Wanda Weston handled the Interiors where required.After leaving LWA in 1990, Gene & Wanda moved to The Sea Ranch in northern California. Another house was built there and Gene became involved a long range planning committee for TSR Assoc. In 2000 he started the Archive Committee, collecting and organizing material on this internationally famous development. In 2003 he & Wanda moved to Santa Barbara
Great bio piece on Gene Weston can be found HERE.
Eugene Weston Project List
EW = Eugene Weston III
Weston, Eugene III Residence “StoneGlen #1” (EW)
La Canada, CA Steel House Project (Unbuilt) (EW)
Kenneth Way Spec House (BW) Pasadena, CA
Smith, Bob Residence (BW)
Victor Sease Spec Houses (BW)
Theater in the Round Project (Unbuilt) (EW)
Weston, Eugene Jr Residence (EW) Pasadena, CA
Weston, Eugene Residence #3 “StoneGlen #2” (EW) La Canada, CA
Ennis House (BW) Eagle Rock, CA
Roberts, John D. Residence (EW) Malibu, CA
Victor Sease Hillside Spec House (BW) Tujunga, CA
Bilderback Residence (EW) Eagle Rock, CA
Spec House 660 Westbridge
Graham Apartments Project (EW) Pasadena, CA
Roberts, Jack Residence (Addition) (EW) Malibu, CA
Armin Richter Spec Building (BW) La Jolla
Dean Marshall Interiors (Armin Richter Spec Bldg) (BW) La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla
Weston, Eugene III Residence (EW) Santa Inez / La Canada, CA
Soloman Residence (EW) Pacific Palasades / Santa Monica, CA
Weston Spec House #1 (EW)
Weston Spec House #2 (EW)
Palmer O. Rich Residence
Webb Residence (EW)
Leon Eliel Residence
Links to homeowners' sites:
Architectural Forum February 1951, Kenneth Way and Bob
Smith Residence (variant of Kenneth Way)