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William A. Peschelt Collection
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The collection documents the landscape work of landscape designer William A. Peschelt during the early part of the 20th century, with a focus on his work for Arthur Letts’ Holmby Park residence in Los Angeles, California.
Background
William Peschelt was born in Berlin, Germany in 1853, and came to Los Angeles in 1880 at the beginning of the population boom. Not much is known about the early part of his career, but in the first decade of the century he went into private business with Adolph Scheffler as a nurseryman and landscape designer. By 1905, Peschelt had likely gained a reputation as a landscape designer and ornamental horticulturalist because in the same year he was hired to work on possibly the largest and most elaborate residential garden in the city of Los Angeles. In 1904, English born Arthur Letts (1862-1923), founder of the Broadway Department Store, purchased 60 acres in the Los Feliz area, built his residence Holmby House, and began transforming the landscape. His collection of trees, plants, shrubs, and succulents was unrivaled, and his formal garden with deodor-lined roads, fountains, statuary, terraces, and sweeping lawns made it one of the most beautiful in Los Angeles. In addition to the Letts estate, Peschelt created a residential garden plan for Isaac Millbank of Santa Monica, and an elaborate cemetery plan for Inglewood Park Cemetery.
Extent
1 flat folder
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or reproduce in any format must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Rare Books.
Availability
Collection is open to qualified researchers. For more information, please contact echase@huntington.org.