Harold W. Levitt Archive:
Harold Levitt is perhaps best remembered for the homes he designed for Hollywood’s elite, including Walter Mirish, Steven Spielberg, and Lew Wasserman. Mr. Levitt started his practice in the early 1950’s after working for the famous residential designers Roland Coate and Burton Schutt. Mr. Levitt’s work reflects the best modern design philosophies of mid-century Los Angeles. The intermixing and re-interpenetration of the indoors and outdoors was used extensively in his projects. Large glass surfaces, interior courtyards, and surprising entry sequences exist throughout his residential work and blur the boundary between the interior and exterior. In many of the homes, Mr. Levitt designed a solid large-scale door that appears from the street as the entrance to the home, but the door will lead instead to a protected courtyard. Mr. Levitt’s natural graciousness combined with his artistic vision made the ideal combination for a residential designer, and over his half-century career Mr. Levitt built long lasting relationships with many of his clients. Mr. Levitt also designed many notable commercial projects such as the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas and the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences Building in Los Angeles. Harold Levitt was born in San Francisco on July 26, 1921. He earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts at Stanford University and an architecture degree at University of Southern California. He retired from his own practice and moved to Reno, Nevada at age 79, and died from natural causes two years later.