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Good View Hunting
Peek inside the West Hollywood home of Peter Vitale
The city vista is what photographer Peter Vitale coveted most in Hayworth Tower, a 1931 art deco gem that he found while looking at hundreds of rentals in Los Angeles. He snagged the amazing lookout when the Hayworth’s top floor became available nearly two years ago and he was first to claim it. With the help of L.A. interior designer Tom Boland, Vitale mixed classical, baroque, and modern items that he’d amassed—some carefully collected, others pure impulse buys—to blend with the deco moldings and other period touches. Who says a must-have response to an antique carving or a museum-quality lamp—the one that put a huge dent in your credit card—won’t pay off over a lifetime?
Some of the exterior ornamentation at Hayworth Tower
Vitale shares the living room with Norfolk terriers Claiborne and Clara. He discovered the 18th-century carved-stone urn seven years ago at a Santa Fe estate sale.
The 19th-century terra-cotta reproduction of the head of a Greco-Roman goddess caught Vitale’s eye 25 years ago in an antiques shop. Today it imbues his study with a classical gravitas. Later the photographer saw the original, rendered in marble, in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.
Santa & Cole’s contemporary “Suma” desk lamp in brushed nickel, the most recent addition, echoes the modernist lines of the Cassina cab chairs (foreground), which are based on a 1977 Mario Bellini design in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vitale acquired his in 1997.
Vitale was in Puebla, Mexico, when he glimpsed a worker carrying a 19th-century portrait of Napoleon down the street. He followed the pair to a warehouse, where he purchased the painting for just under $1,000. It now hangs in an 18th-century frame with a late-19th-century cornice in the apartment entryway.