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John Corneby Austin

John Corneby Austin, Architect [1870-1963]

John C. Austin [†] was one of the most distinguished architects in Los Angeles during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His works include many notable landmarks including Griffith Park Observatory, Shrine Auditorium (with A.M. Edelman and G. Albert Landsbergh), Los Angeles City Hall (with Parkinson & Parkinson and A.C. Martin), and Union Station (also with Parkinson & Parkinson and A.C. Martin). Austin was both English born and professionally trained. After apprenticing in the office of William S. Barwick, he left England for Philadelphia where he joined the office of Benjamin Linfoot. After a brief return to England, Austin returned to the United States, settling first in San Francisco, where he worked for the firm of Mooser and Devlin before settling permanently in Los Angeles in 1894. Austin is known to have worked briefly for the firm of Morgan and Walls before opening his own office. He worked alone and in partnership with Chauncey F. Skilling (1896-1902), W.C. Pennell (1910-12), Frederick M. Ashley (1912-37), and after the Second World War, with Robert Field and Charles Fry. Between 1895 and 1903, Austin designed several houses in the West Adams area, mainly in the Shingle Style. The house at 1194 W. 27th Street (North University Park Historic District) is an early example of his residential work.

† Teresa Grimes and Jim Childs, ADHOC, North University Park Historic District, Los Angeles, CA, nomination document, 2003, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.