A brief history of Choate Associates founded by Peter Choate...
Upon graduating from Stanford University in 1961, Peter Choate returned to Los Angeles to work alongside his father, Chris Choate, in his architectural practice. Chris designed many residences for notable Hollywood stars, including Clark Gable and Patti Page, and was partnered with Cliff May on the design of many large Southern California residential developments in the early post war years. He was also a tenured professor at UCLA in the Arts and Architecture Department as well as a set designer for MGM Studios.
After a few years, Chris urged Peter to branch out and apprentice full time for another Los Angeles architect, Ted Grenzbach. Grenzbach also designed custom homes for notable celebrities including Rock Hudson and Dinah Shore. Peter soon found himself working eight hours for Ted and moonlighting eight hours more on his side projects and at the age of 30 decided to leave Grenzbach and form Choate Associates. His father returned to help him establish his firm and his client list quickly grew.
Peter designed homes for many people, including Mel Brooks, Ann Bancroft, Carrol O’Conner, Lee Grant, Herbert Ross, Ursula Andress, Ryan O’Neil, Linda Ronstadt, Alan Pakula, and Sharon Stone. He also designed some small resorts in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, as well as Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While he designed in all vernaculars, Peter preferred open plans with plastered walls, stone fireplaces, tiled roofs and rough hewn beams. Spatial proportions were his forte.
One of Peter’s partners, Doug Lindfors, joined Choate Associates in 1990 after recently graduating from high school. Doug was interested in pursuing architecture in college and decided to apprentice with Peter while pursuing his degree at Woodbury University. His other partner, Courtenay Choate Moritz, is Peter’s daughter. She first studied landscape architecture as a way to stay out of the family business, but soon found herself gravitating back towards architecture. After studying architecture at UCLA, Courtenay joined her father’s practice full time.
Peter has now retired and Courtenay and Doug have carried on the tradition of designing unique, custom homes and gardens throughout California. They have had the pleasure of counting among their clients the grandchildren of Chris’ former clients as well as the children of Peter’s.