by Todd Gannon
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2024
Cloth: 978-1-60606-926-4 | eISBN: 978-1-60606-927-1
Library of Congress Classification NA737.I786G36 2025

This book examines the life and legacy of Franklin D. Israel, an influential member of the Los Angeles school of architects.

Acclaimed Los Angeles architect Franklin D. Israel (1945–1996) created innovative residential projects and office interiors that made him one of the most talked-about designers of his generation. In this vivid account, architectural historian Todd Gannon draws on archival resources, analyses of Israel’s buildings, and recent interviews with the architect’s colleagues, clients, and contemporaries, including Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, and Robert A. M. Stern. Gannon traces Israel’s development from his early years and career on the East Coast to his formative world travels and residence at the American Academy in Rome. The author guides readers through the Los Angeles architectural context, Israel’s influential teaching at UCLA, his dalliance with Hollywood, and the personal motivations behind his architecture and design work—all aspects of an influential career that was cut short by his death from AIDS-related complications at the age of fifty.

Franklin D. Israel is a compelling work of architectural history and biography, chronicling one gay man’s engagement with the largely heteronormative world of American architectural culture. It explores the achievement of this central figure in the still largely unstudied history of late twentieth-century avant-garde Los Angeles architecture.