Robert Franklin Gordon

Architect | 1924-1981

Robert Gordon served in the US Marine Corps (1943-46) and attended USC (1948-53) prior to working with his father architect Kenneth Arthur Gordon. While both architects names were on projects in the 50’s-60’s, it is likely that Robert served as the primary architect and the one “who introduced a modernism to their projects.” The firm had offices in both Altadena and Fallbrook.

Robert Gordon was born in Pasadena on August 27, 1924. After coursework at Pasadena City College (1939-41) Robert attended USC (1948-53) and served in the US Marine Corps as a Staff Sargeant (1943-46).

Prior to working with his father, Kenneth Gordon, Robert worked for William Woollett (in 1946 and again in 1952) as Chief Draftsman – a job title he would also hold in his father’s office between 1946-53. The father-son team established the office of Kenneth A. Gordon, AIA, Robert F. Gordon, Architects in 1955. The office built a number of banks and residences, as well as hospitals from their Altadena and Fallbrook offices – the latter with only a post box address (P.O. Box 131).

Both men were very involved in the Pasadena and Foothill AIA chapter, of which both were presidents of, Kenneth in 1963 and son Robert in 1970. Robert joined the Pasadena AIA Chapter in 1955. Robert’s son, Greg Gordon, offered, “My assumption that even though both of their names were on a project in the 50’s-60’s, Dad was the primary architect and the one who introduced a modernism to their projects.” Robert Gordon died in 1981.

Partial List of Projects

Altadena Community Hospital (1959)

Altadena Federal Savings & Loan Association Regional Office (1969)
Santa Ana

Altadena Federal Savings & Loan Association Regional Office (1960)

Barlow Respiratory Hospital
2000 Stadium Way, Los Angeles

Bonham House. Photograph by Julius Shulman. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

Bonham, Victor Residence (1960)
1033 Heather Drive, Vista
Built as "A Soaring Home on Hill in Vista" (San Diego & Point, April 1961) for local (Vista) builder Bonham, his wife and three children. Julius Shulman photographed the project on January 25 and 26, 1960. Pictured on p.280 of Modernism Rediscovered by Pierluigi Serraino & Julius Shulman. The address in 1960 was 1657 Bonnie Brae Place.

Boy Scouts of America San Gabriel Valley Headquarters Building (1956)
*Including Administration Offices and Auditorium

Camera Store (ca. 1961-62)
This project won an Award of Merit by the Pasadena Chapter AIA in 1962

Coberly, Mr. James Jr. Residence ('La Osita Adobe') (1967)
*In 1966, C. James Coberly Jr., (grandson of William D. Coberly, the original founder of La Osa Cattle Company) commissioned architects Kenneth and Robert Gordon to design the property for them. Today, the property is available for accommodations, events and photo shoots. Learn more HERE.

Component Houses (ca. 1960-62)
This project won an Award of Merit for Residential Design & Construction by House & Home (1960); a Special Award, AIA, Sunset West, Home Awards in 1961-62; as well as an Honorary Mention by AIA-Homes for Better Living National Awards in 1962

First Friends Church (1961)

Gordon, Robert Residence #1 (1951)
3819 Alzada Road, Altadena

Gordon, Robert Residence #2 (1956)
170 Coburn Avenue, Sierra Madre

Harrison, Mr. Leighton L. Pharmacy Building
Mission Road, Fallbrook

Kennedy, Mrs. and Mrs. Stanley Residence
Live Oak Canyon, Fallbrook

La Viña Hospital
3900 Lincoln, Altadena

La Vina Hospital Intensive Care Unit (1969)

Lerned, Dr. and Mrs. Morris Residence
Circle "R" Ranch, Escondido

Loma Vista Professional Building (Medical & Dental Suites) (1960)

P. & D. B. Millken Company (Photo Instruments of Precision Mfr.) (1961)

Private Residences
Four Adobe Residences in Pauma Valley Country Club

Republic Federal Savings
Locations Unknown

Spanjian, Mr. & Mrs. Richard Residence
2279 Midwick Drive, Altadena
*Photographs by Douglas Simmonds were extensively published.

Spanjian Sportswear Manufacturing Plant & Offices (1964)

Sprague House. Photograph by Julius Shulman. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

Sprague, Mr. and Mrs. Albert A. Residence (1958)
1969 Vista Grande Drive, Vista
*Julius Shulman photographed the project in 1960.

Supple, Dr. Pelletier Residence (ca. 1964-65)
*Published: in the L.A. Times Home Magazine on July 18, 1965

Thornburg, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Residence
Pauma Valley

University Club of Pasadena (1966)
175 N. Oakland Avenue, Pasadena

Wigand, Bill Residence (1955)
153 Jaxine Drive, Altadena

Wigand, Jim Residence (1953)
155 Jaxine Drive, Altadena