James Dolena (1888-1978) was a Russian-born American architect. He designed many houses in Los Angeles, California.
James Dolena was born in Russia on May 17, 1888. He emigrated to the United States in 1905. He was trained as an architect and a painter.
Dolena first moved to Los Angeles to install a mural with Hubert Valentine Fanshaw, and spent the rest of his career there.
In 1926, Dolena designed the private residence of silent actor Hobart Bosworth, a 3.2-acre mansion located at 809 North Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills, California. The interiors were designed by William Haines and the landscape by Benjamin Martin Purdy. In 1933, it was purchased by William Powell and Carole Lombard, and the following year, Dolena redesigned it. In 1969, it became the home of producer Albert R. Broccoli. Since 2005, it has been owned by interior designer Kelly Wearstler.
In 1931, Dolena designed the Garden Apartment and Retail Shop, an apartment house in Westwood, Los Angeles. The following year, in 1932, he designed the private residence of film director Richard Wallace in Bel Air, Los Angeles. Later in 1932, he designed the private residence of actress Constance Bennett in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles. In 1936, he designed the home of Ingle Barr, a renowned book collector, in Beverly Hills, California. From 1934 to 1937, he designed the Farmers Market in the Fairfax District, Los Angeles.
From 1937 to 1939, Dolena designed Casa Encantada located at 10644 Bellagio Road in Bel Air, Los Angeles for Hilda Boldt Weber, heiress to the Charles Boldt Glass Co.. The interiors and furniture were designed by T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings. It spans 8.4 acres (3.4 ha) and has sixty-four rooms. In 1950, hotelier Conrad Hilton purchased it for $225,000. He sold it to David H. Murdock for $12.4 million in 1979. Gary Winnick purchased it for $94 million in 2000.
From 1937 to 1940, Dolena designed the Boddy House for Manchester Boddy on the grounds of Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, California. In 1939, he designed the private residence of George Cukor. William Haines was the interior designer. The same year, he designed the house of Col. David L. Reeves in Santa Barbara, California. In 1940, he designed the B.T. Gate House in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
Dolena lived in Brentwood, Los Angeles, in a house he designed in 1935.
Dolena died on June 12, 1978 in Los Angeles County, California.