GRIFFITH PARK—An eco-friendly and nature-loving Los Angeles couple renovated their home to accommodate their lifestyle by adding an addition that would connect them with the outdoors.
In 1957, Gerry Hans and Mary Button—avid runners and hikers—purchased a modest ranch on a large hillside lot at the edge of Griffith Park. They have since spent their lives preserving the Park and its upwards of 4,000 acres.
In 2010, the couple helped found Friends of Griffith Park, a nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to preserving the park’s open landscapes.
“It’s a true urban wilderness,” Hans told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a miracle that there is such a vibrant ecological system in the middle of Los Angeles. We have deer and coyotes come through our yard all the time. I’ve even photographed bobcats underneath our carport.”
While the Oaks is beloved for being burrowed among a sea of oak trees, Hans and Button wanted to take it a step further by physically immersing themselves in the nature. They hired Los Angeles architect Wayne Schlock to design an addition that would subtly expand the floor plan, exposing them to Griffith Park and its wildlife.
The couple didn’t want a house that stood out from the street and due to budgeting issues, couldn’t remodel entirely. They hired Schlock to design a low-key addition that would sit quietly in the back.
Schlock enlarged the existing kitchen, added a home office to the second floor and a third-floor master suite—which is nestled among the Griffith Park trees and equipped with a floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that open up to an outdoor terrace. Schlock added approximately 1,200 square feet to the home, which cantilevers off the building and shades the outdoor breakfast area below.
The couple added elements that would further reflect their passion for the Park and sustainability; Hans’ photographs of Griffith Park line the wall and the millwork in the master bathroom was made from recycled black walnut from his childhood home in Illinois.
“Spending so much time in the park over three decades, I’ve realized what an amazing asset it is,” Hans told the LA Times. “Especially the wild nature of it. We really like being a part of nature.”
Canyon News reached out to Gerry Hans and Mary Button for comment but did not hear back before print.