Robert Byrd designed and built most of his homes in Southern California. There were Byrd homes built in other states, like Oregon, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Some of the homes are still there.
Gary Byrd built homes similar to his father,
but on a much grander scale. Gary studied architecture at USC. He left the program early to work full-time for his father. He was often hired to remodel his father's homes.
Father and son worked together as a team
for over twenty years. They also designed and built furniture as a side business. Many Byrd homes still have some of the original Byrd furniture, like a dining room table and chairs.
ALAN HESS, American architect, author, lecturer
Byrd Homes are archetypes of California living. While many people are familiar with the name and distinctive style of Robert Byrd (1904-1978), not much is known about his life, or the fact that his son, Gary, also designed and built homes. These homes have been news and noteworthy since the early 1940s, when a high-profile home purchased by French actress, Michéle Morgan, was attributed to Robert Byrd and featured in several celebrity and architectural magazines. Numerous celebrities have lived in a Byrd Home over the years, including award-winning actor/director Ron Howard; actress/ singer, Lizabeth Scott; and award-winning special make-up effects artist, Stan Winston. Audie Murphy, Daryl Dragon (The Captain & Tennille), Robert Taylor and Kelly Osbourne have also been mentioned in the mix.
Although Robert Byrd had a long and distinguished career as an architect of quality homes in Southern California, he was not a licensed architect (AIA). As a building designer, he built homes from the 1920s through the 1970s, while his son, Gary, built homes from the 1960s to the early 2000s. They worked together as a team for over twenty years. Many elements of a Byrd Home, such as exposed wood beams, turned posts, rock and flagstone finishes, and whimsical brickwork are familiar to those in Hollywood, Pacific Palisades and Beverly Hills. Byrd homes were built in the California Ranch style of architecture and featured natural materials that lent the homes a comfortable, symbiotic and timeless ambience. Other distinctive characteristics include round chimneys, curved walkways, indoor/outdoor grills, Dutch doors, custom woodwork, and stained-glass windows. Robert Byrd also designed and built furniture. Many of these custom pieces can still be found in his homes, like a dining room table and chairs, or a coffee table or bookcase.
Byrd built most of his homes in Southern California. However, there are examples of Byrd homes built in several other states, including Alabama, Nevada, Oregon, Louisiana, Kansas and Oklahoma.
A Byrd home evokes a feeling of comfort and warmth, of family, and of a long life well-lived. A Byrd home is a distinctive combination of timeliness and timelessness. When you enter a Byrd home, it always says “Welcome.” That is the enduring legacy of Robert and Gary Byrd.
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The Robert Byrd designed, Marquis Restaurant, is seen in this video (25 sec. in).
The hallmarks of the Byrd Homes—exposed wood beams, turned posts, rocks, flagstone, and whimsical brickwork—featured natural materials that lent homes a comfortable, timeless ambience.