57.8 F
Los Angeles
Thursday, Feb 2, 2023

Design for Living Keeps Architect on a Roll

My life has a lot of ecstasy and anxiety. I am stimulated to the point where I don’t sleep very much.

I try to get six hours a night but it seems like I wake up most nights around 3 because something is on my mind. I keep a lighted pen and pad of paper next to my bed to make notes about the design of a project or something I need to remember to do.

On a normal day I’ll get out of bed at 7:30 a.m. and do a normal grooming routine. Twice a week I’ll get up an hour earlier to work out with my personal trainer.

But once that’s done, I like to make a banquet for breakfast. One day I’ll make beef bacon, two eggs (but only one yolk cause I’m afraid of the fat and cholesterol), and half of an English muffin. Another day I’ll have oatmeal or I’ll grab an egg-white omelet at Brentwood Country Club. I grind fresh beans for my decaf coffee because it tastes better and then I sit down with my significant other, Jeannine Sefton, and we catch up.

I am at my West L.A. office by about 9:30 a.m. in my new rolling penthouse, a black Bentley GT. What I do everyday really varies depending on my projects. I don’t really work linearly. I don’t go from point A to B to C. I might go from A to Z and then jump to M.

I check my voicemails first thing. I have to admit that I’m a dinosaur when it comes to technology so I have my administrative assistants check my e-mail. But I do have a new Sony laptop that they are teaching me to use.

My morning meetings are usually design-related. I’ll make a presentation to a client, deal with correspondence or even management issues. I like to walk around the design area of the office. I look at various colors schemes we’re doing for a project, maybe the shaping of a balcony or the layout of an apartment.

My afternoon schedule gets moving around 2 when I’ll usually guide a client through a meeting. Without sounding like an egomaniac, I know what I’m doing because I’ve been in the business for 40 some odd years. I’ll point out the potential of the site, what could be developed, the profitability and then the details like the best way to make parking work or the structural system we should go with. Then I might be required to sign checks because I sign the checks that are over a certain amount of money.

By later in the afternoon I usually talk with some of the managing principals at my other offices in Las Vegas, San Diego, Sacramento, Costa Mesa or Ontario. I’ll probably meet with the president of the company, Dan Meis, to see what’s going on with him. And then by about 5 o’clock I am dictating memos and letters of recommendation. If I’m lucky, I can get out of the office early to hit some balls at the range or even squeeze in a quick nine holes.

Normally I’ll leave the office at 6:30 p.m. and dine with a client or meet up with Jeannine. If we don’t bring something in, we’ll go out to one of our dinner spots. I’d say my favorite though has to be Le Petit Bistro for its pure comfort.

Herb Nadel

Chairman and Chief Executive

Nadel Architects Inc.

Local boy:

Born at Cedars of Lebanon hospital on Sept. 7, 1939 and grew up at 57th and Broadway in South Central


Recent honoree and fundraiser for the American

Cancer Society

Let’s do lunch:

Lemon Moon, Il Moro, L.A. Farm, Brentwood Country Club

Or dinner:

Le Petit Bistro, Spago, Mako, Citrine, The Little Door, Jar, Giorgio


Featured Articles


Related Articles