Jack Frith

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Jack Frith
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Jack Frith while serving in the Royal Navy, circa 1905
Born(1884-06-23)June 23, 1884
Settle, Yorkshire, England
DiedNovember 30, 1962(1962-11-30) (aged 78)
Los Angeles, California
NationalityBritish, American
Spouse(s)Florence Anne Jones
DesignTudor Revival

John Hardy Frith, colloquially known as Jack Frith, (June 23, 1884, in Settle, Yorkshire, England – November, 30, 1962, in Los Angeles, California, USA) was an architect, builder, and master craftsman specializing in Tudor Revival architecture, particularly smaller high end homes featuring high quality workmanship usually found in larger estates.[1] Active as a builder in Southern California during the 1920s through the 1950s, Frith designed and built several homes and performed construction and carpentry work for notable clients including Joe E. Brown, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Maureen O'Sullivan, and John Farrow (mother and father of Mia Farrow).[2][3]


Jack Frith was born in 1884, in Settle, Yorkshire, England. At the age of 15, he joined the British Royal Navy, serving for nine years. During that period, he was deployed to China, where he refined carpentry skills originally learned in England. In 1909, following the death of his father, Frith emigrated to the United States, arriving in Philadelphia on June 27, 1910, his mother joining him later that same year. Once established, Frith invited his fiancé, 25-year-old Florence “Floss” Anne Jones, to join him as well. They were married on December 23, 1911, the day Floss arrived. The family lived in several cities: Fort Wayne, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; and Midco, Missouri. During World War I, Frith joined the Royal Canadian Navy. Following his return, the family moved to San Bernardino, California, eventually choosing Tujunga, California, where Frith would build their family home and raise four children.[4] Frith became a United States citizen in 1925.

Once settled in Tujunga, Frith began building houses. In 1930, he designed and built his own 1,446 square foot family home at 7705 Beckett Street in Tujunga. In 1936[5], Frith designed and built the Sherman and Henrietta Ford House, now designated #143 on the Glendale Register of Historic Resources and Historic Districts.[6] Both homes feature Frith's Tudor design elements, particularly his attention to detail and craftsmanship usually reserved for larger estates. Frith continued building houses throughout the Tujunga and San Fernando areas in addition to running larger construction projects in Los Angeles, Alhambra, and San Diego. According to family lore, Frith also performed remodeling work and custom craftsmanship jobs in the homes of Hollywood stars such as Joe E. Brown, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart and Maureen O’Sullivan, building a chapel for the actress and a custom desk for her husband, director John Farrow, father of actress Mia Farrow. During this period, Frith served as commander of Glendale Post No. 4 of the Canadian Legion. He continued working well into the 1950s, even after his wife’s early death on November 24, 1945, at the age of 59. In January 1962, he was installed a second time as the commander of Glendale Post No. 4 of the Canadian Legion,[7] serving until his death after suffering heart attack at work in his shop. Frith died in Los Angeles on November, 30, 1962, at the age of 78, and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.


  1. Breeden, Marshall (1935-02-11). "A Door to Match". Los Angeles Times.
  2. "Another Woodlands House Listed on Glendale Register of Historic Resources" (PDF). No. Winter 2023. Verdugo Woodlands West Homeowner's Association. Verdugo Woodlands West Homeowner's Association. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  3. "Three Homes Added to Glendale Register" (PDF). Newsletter of the Glendale Historical Society. No. Spring 2023. Glendale Historical Society. Retrieved 19 August 2023.
  4. Breeden, Marshall (1935-02-11). "A Door to Match". Los Angeles Times.
  5. City of Glendale Department of Public Works (1936-08-01). Application for Building Permit. Glendale, California: City of Glendale. p. 8198.
  6. "Meeting of the Glendale City Council". City of Glendale Webpage. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
  7. "Jack Frith Will Head Legion Post". Glendale News-Press. January 1962.

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