Bull Dog House on West Lake

Plans are underway to demolish an existing structure on West Lake Street and build a replica of the Bull Dog Café on the site. A Los Angeles architect has been given the assignment of recreating the original as a weekend home for a financier from New York City.

“Everything will be a little larger in scale than the original, so it’s going to be a very liveable space. The master bedroom will be in the dog’s head, with a nice view of the lake from the dog’s eyes. And instead of window shades, the eyes will actually open and close. This house is going to be fun.”

Why the Bull Dog Café?

“My client saw The Rocketeer movie when he was a kid, and dreamed of living in the café, from there he discovered the Dave Stevens comics the movie was based on, and then he learned the café actually existed, here in L.A. It was built in 1928, stucco on a wire-mesh frame; it was torn down some time in the Sixties, but there are pictures.”

When asked about the plans, a Village official, who would only speak off the record, said:

“The residents of West Lake made it very clear, some years ago, that they did not want to be in the Historic District. And there’s nothing we can do to stop a demolition: If you own it, you can tear it down. So as long as the new structure stays within a footprint – and it’s a relatively small house – there’s not much to say.”

Was the Village anticipating legal challenges?

“Maybe. But he’ll placate the neighbors, or overwhelm them with counsel. Plus, he paid a million over-market for the property, and everyone thinks they could be next for a windfall, so they don’t want to complain and ruin their own shot at it.”

I can’t wait to see this.

Bull Dog in Movie

The Bull Dog Café in The Rocketeer, 1991

Bull Dog

Bull Dog Café in Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer, 1985


Original Bull Dog Café, circa 1928

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Posted on my Skaneateles blog, April 1, 2016


One comment

  1. Get this Georgetown fan out of your village! On the other hand, a dachshund-shaped house would fit right in. Modeled after the “shotgun” houses of New Orleans, it would be long and thin, all on one level and therefore perfect for an ADA-compliant lifestyle preferred by Skaneateles’s aging population. The only potential drawbacks: The dachshund house would be stubborn (front door whiny and hard to open) and might need constant feeding (costly upkeep).

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