a boy and his dog
assemblage and photography by Curren Ivor – with encouragement from Nona
The Manhattan Project came to fruition, the war ended; George W Downs with wife Beatrice, made their home in Altadena on Rubio Canyon Drive in a lovely David A. Ogilvie-designed Spanish Colonial Revival home, perched on the edge of the Arroyo Seco.
Uncle George’s pine-paneled den smelled exotically (to my young nose) of pipe smoke, leather and cognac when I visited as a child with my mother and father:
Theresa Catherine Cresto Downs and Lemuel Joseph Downs – George’s younger brother,
and my grandmother… George’s and Lemuel’s mother, Lena Miller Downs,
George taking photos with his latest equipment, developing them in his darkroom – the door visible at bottom right
Aunt Bea’s art studio overlooking the arroyo fascinated me, but was off-limits…
Even the house has a Caltech connection…acquired by George and Beatrice in 1949, the property was later sold to a Caltech professor of physics, and then to a member of the aeronautics faculty at Caltech – in 2000 his wife was kind enough to allow us inside and on the grounds to take photos, reminisce, gather a stray brick from the yard, an empty glass bottle from the darkroom…
Sharing history and stories about the house, she mentioned that Rosalyn Tureck had once played there……………………..