Tom had a roof built on the ground so that Sonita could walk over the roof. I remember my Dad saying that Sonita checked the roof with her leading foot to make sure the roof would hold her weight.
Tom Lyster on the right with Gang Nail Truss. This is the company that invented the Gang Nail plate that gets pressed into the lumber at the connection of the adjoining wood members.
Trussco was the company that Tom was working for when Sonita did her walk of fame !
When my Dad moved our family to Laguna Beach and bought a lot in a gully with a water course running through it, he told Lamont Langworthy he could design the house however he wanted as long as he used roof trusses. Lamont and my Dad came up with the attic truss for the top floor and master bedroom area.
This is our family house being built on Diamond Street in Laguna Beach in 1964
This photo is of Lamont and our family at the Diamond Street House was taken by Julius Shulman.
You can see the simplicity of the construction. 4 X 4 posts at 4 foot on center for the wall framing, 4 X 4 top plate, and the trusses sitting on top of the walls. All of the framing was exposed and as a kid I was always trying to find where they hid the nails that held the house together.
Here you can see my Mom, Jackie, up in the attic truss, in another photo by Julius Shulman.
Once our house was complete I was looking out the window to the gully below and I saw a man put a for sale sign in the ground for the lot below ours. I alerted my Dad and he ran down to meet him. I watched them talk for a bit and then the sign was removed from the ground. My Dad had asked him if he could build a house on the lot and pay him when he sold the house. He agreed. This leads to the Bridge House and the Bridge Truss.
The second man on the Bridge Truss is Lamont and the third man is my Dad, Tom.
Here they are setting the second truss. The stream runs right under the house.
This is another great photo by Julius Shulman of the completed Bridge House.
Here is my Dad, Tom Lyster, featured in an article about the Bridge House in 2009.
The Bridge House paved the way for the Concept House. This was a prefabricated house that Lamont and my Dad came up with. This is the first one going in at the bottom of Park Avenue in Laguna Beach. My Dad built this one on speculation just like he had the Bridge House. It was completed in 1968.
I remember getting out of Junior High School to come down and help direct traffic on this day. Little did I know at the time that seven years later I would be working for the man on the left holding the rope. His name is Bob Rider and he is one of the best people I have known. Lamont and my Dad surrounded themselves with great people.
These are photos from the Concept Environment brochures.
This Bridge Truss allows the structure to cantilever a third of the length of the structure. A carport was built out of concrete block for two cars and then two 12 X 60 foot units were set on top.
Los Angeles Times Home Magazine in 1970.
There were 100 of these units built and placed throughout California.
Tom and Lamont wanted to bring the Concept House into a Cal Expo Show with this helicopter but it was booked at the time.
Because the units could cantilever a third of their length, you could stack them up, and so they did. This one was placed on a steep lot above Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach for Fred Lang. Fred wanted an office space for his Landscape Architecture business. Some of my friends worked for Fred and said it was a great place to work.
I have been building all kinds of compex structures on tough buiding sites in Laguna beach and this is right up there for a dramatic build !
Advertisement for The California Redwood Association. Lamont used redwood plywood on most of his houses in addition to milled cedar and redwood. It was a great material that is no longer manufactured.
A recent house that Lamont designed in Laguna Beach with my wife Marci and me. We sold it as a spec house the same way my Dad used to do.
Here is the Dynamic Duo after all these years.
I got to hear Lamont tell my Dad, " Tom, We did some cool shit."