Category: Architecture

5300 Village Green | The Village Green

village green baldwin hills

The Village Green
5112 – 5595 Village Green
Los Angeles CA 90016

The Village Green is a 629 condo post-war planned community in Baldwin Hills. Built in 1942, Village Green condos are affordable, the area is improving, and there is so much greenery and open space it feels like living at summer camp!

Village Green is famous for its urban planning. It is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark like the Statue of Liberty. Owners in Village Green are qualified for the Mills Act which provides substantial tax savings.

Village Green History

Architectural team: Reginal Johnson, Robert Alexander, Lewis Wilson, and Edwin Merrill, and landscape architect Fred Barlow Jr designed this community. They imagined it as a pedestrian-friendly suburban utopia. The original architects believed in this ideal community. They all lived in the community after it was built. Reginald Johnson stayed a little over two years, Fred Barlow Jr. Lived in the village until 1948, Robert Alexander until 1951, and Lewis Wilson and Edwin Merrill lived in the village until their deaths in 1957 and 1964.

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Village Green during Construction

New Village Apartments on the rise 1941

Look at how small those trees are!

The Village Green was originally an apartment complex called Baldwin Hills Village. Local hero E.G. “Lucky” Baldwin put up some of his ranch land for this $3,500,000 project to be built and lent it his name. The apartment community always had a waiting list.

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Baldwin Hills Village Flyer

On December 14th of 1963, tragedy struck the area, when the Baldwin Hills Dam broke resulting in a flood that destroyed 250 homes and killed five people.

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The Village Green was severely damaged. The Baldwin Hills Dam was closed after the disaster and never reopened.

 

Some years later after the village was cleaned up and rebuilt, the estate of Baldwin placed the Village for sale. In 1972, Terramics Corporation purchased the property and converted it to condominiums. They remodeled the units and renamed the community “The Village Green” as it is known by today. The condominium conversion happened in stages and it took 6 years to remodel and sell all of the condos, ending in 1978. The advertisements for the Development boasted that “our grass is greener” and that the Village green was a “Heckuva Buy”.

leave the city without leaving town

Advertisement for Village Green

Location

The Village Green is located in Baldwin Hills. Baldwin Hills is a very strategic and convenient commuter location. Just a block away from the 10 Freeway, and the new metro expo line- if you are traveling to work east towards downtown or west towards West Los Angeles and Santa Monica, you have a very quick commute. This is a great place to buy and build up equity if you can’t afford to live in those pricey areas right now. It’s about 15 minutes to LAX airport. If you want great dining, shopping, and entertainment- unfortunately, Baldwin Hills is somewhat lacking, however its nearby neighbors of Westchester (20 Mins), Culver City (5 mins), Downtown Los Angeles (30 mins), and West Hollywood (30 mins) and Miracle Mile (20 mins) offer plentiful choices.

The Crenshaw Mall is the major shopping area in Baldwin Hills at the moment. It is supposed to be redone over the next few years with a $500 Million dollar renovation, so I’m excited to see what happens with that area.

if you want mountainous hiking terrain and the best view of Downtown in the city, Kenneth Hahn Park and Baldwin Hills Stairs are just five minutes away.

Safety: Baldwin Hills is a transition neighborhood. Over the years it is much improved, however, there is crime in the area. Village Green does not have a 6-foot high perimeter wall surrounding it. People can freely move through the grounds. The HOA of Village Green is very proactive about crime, they write a monthly newsletter that they distribute to homeowners that talks about any incidents. Most of the incidents that occur are petty, like someone taking a bike, or making too much noise. All owners in Village Green look out for each other.

Real Estate

Record sale: $665,000 4/6/2016

Turnover: 4% about 25  condos a year or two a month

Appreciation: 5%

site plan

What stands out the most about the Village Green is its astounding 68 acres of land with half of that preserved as open space! You will not find any new developments in Los Angeles like this.

There are three large grassy open areas called “Greens” that run through the center of the property. The Main Green is the largest and in the center. The East Green and the West Green are on either side of the main green.

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These outdoor spaces are put to good use, hosting events such as weddings, movies, and concerts, or outdoor activities like walking, and playing sports.

The thinking of the original architects was to make the community pedestrian friendly. There are no through streets that require intersections or crosswalks in the Village Green where pedestrians and cars mix. The roads are pushed to the outside around the perimeter. Many residents take a walk around the property every day, a full loop is about 3 miles.

Village Green is an urban forest. Its grounds are home to about 1,600 trees of all different varieties. Some of the trees I recognize are Sycamore, Olive Trees, Camphor, Box Elders, Cedar, Pines, Ash, Chinese Elm, Magnolia, Carrotwood, Eucalyptus, Oak Trees. There are hundreds of different species.

There are 10 different Floorplans in the Village Green. They are mixed between Single Level and Townhouse. Floor plan options offer 1, 2, and 3 Bedroom layouts, although the 3 bedrooms are quite rare.

Condo Mix:

1 BR (342 condos)
1,000 sqft – 750 sqft
$400,000

2 BR  (245 condos)
1,200  sqft – 1,000 sqft
$450,000 -$500,000

3 BR (42 condos)
1,600 sqft
$600,000- $650,000

Features: Kitchens were originally designed with Formica counter-tops, but many owners have upgraded them over the years. Condos have Gas, so you have gas water heater and gas stove. Kitchens are compact, usually in a galley configuration and have a window. Original floors were Parquet wood floors that many condos still have. Most of the condos have wood burning fireplaces. One of my favorite features is the huge outdoor patios many condos have. Great space for entertaining and enjoying the great outdoors.  The walls are lathe and plaster. The whole complex has a vintage mid-century mod vibe. Since there is so much space between buildings, these condos get really good natural light.

Village Green Parking & Laundry

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Each Court has a Laundry Room. There are two washers and 2 dryers in each laundry room. The laundry room machines have recently been upgraded to accept credit cards. Owners are allowed to install Laundry in their condos with HOA permission. Residents can sign up for a time slot for exclusive access to laundry facilities, one hour per week between 8am-2pm. After 2 pm is open to all.

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For Parking, each condo gets one assigned garage space. This space is only allowed for parking and NOT Storage. The HOA does an inspection each year of the garages to make sure every owner is in compliance. Additional Parking is available in parking spaces around the property.

Home Owners Association

The HOA in Village green is very active. There are several committees that owners can volunteer to part of and they write a monthly newsletter.

HOA Website:
http://www.villagegreenla.net/

HOA dues Monthly Cost? 1 BRS $400/mo. 2 Brs $450/mo.

HOA dues cover? water, trash, maintenance of landscaping and building insurance, reserves

Owner Pays? Electricity, Gas, Condo Insurance, Internet, Cable

any special assessments? No

Pet Policy? There use to be no pets in the past, so there are still some residents who don’t like them, however now Village Green is very pet tolerant. One pet is allowed under 30lbs.

Rental Policy? Rentals are allowed, so these condos make good investments. Lease terms must be a minimum of one (1) year. No Short-term rentals

EQ Insurance? No

Building Reserves?

Special move in instructions?

Can you have BBQ on the balcony? Yes

Transfer fee?

Management company

Ms. Sherri Giles, Operations Manager
Village Green Owners’ Association
5300 Village Green
Los Angeles, CA 90016

(323) 294-5212

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm.
Walk-in hours: 8am – 11am; 3pm-5pm.

If you have any more questions regarding the Village Green of if you would like to see the property please call me at (310) 388-7332 or click the button below to get started.

 

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1033 Carol Dr | Carolwood Condominiums

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Carolwood Condominiums
1033 Carol Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90069

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1033 Carol Dr. is a 36 unit low-rise midcentury architectural condominium complex in West Hollywood, built in 1975. The building is very well cared for and looks like its new! The HOA does a very good job maintaining the property.

The building is quiet and sophisticated and appeals to owners who want elegance and luxury, and are seeking the right balance of privacy and community.  Many of the condos have had $100,000’s in remodels invested in them by their owners. There are a few rentals but most of the condos are used as residences and not rented. Condos in Carolwood rent between $5,000/mo. and $7,000/mo. As is typical of West Hollywood, there aren’t many if any kids. Most of the residents are singles and couples who are very affluent, and could afford more but choose to live modestly, or own Carolwood as a second home or vacation home.

Upscale residents enjoy an abundance of open space, in a warm natural setting, with architecture that “shelters without enclosing and defines without limiting” – Ron Goldman.

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The Architect behind Carolwood’s design is local California Architect Ron Goldman.

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Ron Goldman is perhaps best known for his humane ethos and award winning contemporary beach homes in Malibu where he has resided for the past 30 years. Ron has also been an outspoken activist in the communities of Malibu and Santa Monica against large scale developments.

LOCATION

Located in a quiet pocket of West Hollywood in-between Beverly Hills Flats and of Norma Triangle, the Carolwood neighborhood feels more like Beverly Hills than West Hollywood to me. 5 Minutes to West Hollywood Santa Monica Blvd and 10 Minutes to Rodeo Drive. You’ll probably be making a trip to your favorite art gallery after closing on a Carolwood Condo, because they have a lot of wall space perfect for displaying art and decorating with mid century furniture.

Owners can walk to social club Soho House, Japanese restaurant ROKU, and celebrity hotspot BOA steakhouse.

Architecture

Carolwood gets its name because it has a lot of wood siding. The trademark of Carolwood developer Murray Weber is wood and brick exteriors. He believed that using a natural finish enhanced enjoyment and increased property value.

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LA Times May 21, 1978

A tremendous amount of open space was set aside in Carolwood. Most developers nowadays would try to cram double or triple the number of condos on the same size lot. Carolwood has almost an acre of land. This didn’t happen because Ron Goldman is a big proponent of incorporating open space into his designs.

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As a result, you find open air hallways, a park-like outdoor courtyard, and plenty of elbow room between your nearest neighbor.

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Goldman admits freely his love of skylights and windows. Condos have floor to ceiling mid century windows that get plenty of natural light. Living Rooms have Gas Fireplaces.

Real Estate

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Carolwood Site Plan

Carolwood condos range in price from $800,000 to $1,200,000. They are all 2 Bedrooms with square footage ranging from 1,400 sqft to 2,000 sqft so they are quite large. Floorplans are all two bedroom and primarily Townhouses with one flight of stairs. There complex has a mix of (28) Townhouse Floorplans and (8) Single Level floorplans. The eight single floorplans are Condos Numbered: #301, #303, #304, #306, #401, #402, #403, #404. Everything else is a townhouse.

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Every condo has a patio or balcony for some private outdoor space. Some of the balconies have views.

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Bedrooms have good dimensions and are not right next to each other so there is privacy between them. Many owners utilize one of their bedrooms as a home office.

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Kitchens are Galley style. Kitchens aren’t very big, but fine for up to two cooks.  There is an informal Dining room off the kitchen that comfortably seats 6.

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Masterbathroom Size

 

Each floorplan has a Powder Bathroom, a full hallway Bathroom and Masterbathroom attached to Masterbedroom. Masterbathrooms have separate tub and shower and double vanity.

Amenities

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– Pool + Spa. 8 Foot Deep end. 

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-Gym

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Parking & Laundry

 Two Side by side deeded parking spaces for each unit in the subterranean parking garage. Guest Parking?

Laundry is inside. Stacked Washer Dryer in the kitchen. Some owners have moved the laundry into a hallway closet and turn the laundry area in the kitchen into a pantry.  

Home Owners Association

Download: Carolwood CCRs

Home Owners Dues: $850/mo. – $1,000/mo.

HOA dues cover? EQ Insurance, Water, Trash, Common Area Maintenance, Building Insurance, Reserves.

Owner Pays? Electricity, Gas, Internet, Cable, and Condo Insurance

Special Assessments? Yes, each unit was assessed $76,000 in 2018 to pay for new pool and outdoor area, replacing planters, and general maintenance.

Pet Policy? 2 Pets, 75 lbs max. 

Rental Policy? Must own 6 months before leasing. Leases must be one year minimum in length, max number of leases in the building 40% of total condos.

Building Reserves?

Management company? 

Coro Community Management & Consulting
http://www.coro4myhoa.com/
818 436-0774

Earthquake Insurance? YES

 

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Bungalow

Buster Keaton’s classic “One Week” from 1920 depicts his comic attempt to assemble a mail order bungalow.

Bungalow

Deciphering what Bungalow means can be very confusing. That’s because the term Bungalow doesn’t relate to any specific architectural style – bungalows were designed in all kinds of different architectural styles- basically whatever sold well and was popular during the early 20th Century (1910’s to 1930’s).

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Examples of Different Bungalow Styles Left to Right (Dutch Colonial, Tudor, Craftsman, Craftsman, Spanish, Victorian)

The most popular bungalow styles were: Cottage, Cape Cod, Spanish, Colonial, Dutch Colonial (with its gambrel roof), and Tudor. There were exotic styles too like Spanish Mission Style, Japanesque, Foursquare, and Swiss Chalet, but they were less popular. Sears & Roebeck had over 500 different designs to choose from. The top selling designs were frequently copy catted between competitors so it can be difficult sometimes to pin point the exact model and manufacturer of the most popular bungalow designs.

Bungalows are not distinguished by their architectural style, but instead by how they were built. Bungalows came in pre-cut kits that were easy to assemble and could be purchased from mail order catalogs. Bungalows were the first mass produced housing.

 

Sears Roebuck Catalogs

Picture of Sears & Roebuck Catalogs from Oklahoma Houses by Mail

 

 

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Sears & Roebuck Ad- showing bungalow precut kits with numbered Pieces that were easy to assemble

Bungalows were modest in size, typically 5 to 8 rooms, with 2 to 4 bedrooms, and one to two bathrooms (Image living with *gasp* only one bathroom now!).They range in square feet from 800 sqft -1,500 sqft. A house kit could be purchased for $1,000 -$4,000, when the price of a model T was about $400, and the average worker wage was $1,000 per year. These home were really affordable! The tiny garages of the bungalows barely fit a modern size sedan and would never fit a SUV.

 

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There is a model T parked in the driveway of this Cottage Bungalow illustration

 

Home owners could save the construction cost of $1,000 to $2,000 if they decided to built the house themselves, which many owners chose to do.

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Typical bungalow 5 room floor-plan

California has a lot of bungalows because the 20’s and 30’s were boom years in this states’ history. Spanish and Craftsman bungalows were the most popular styles in California.

Historic Background

The 1900’s saw big improvements to the quality of life for the average American. This was the conception of the “American dream”: to own your own home. At the turn of the century electricity was supplanting oil lamps and candles for light and power, and it was a real luxury to have indoor plumbing. Many houses had a tub in the bathroom, but if you needed to use the toilet you still had to go to the outhouse. There was a new middle class rising, getting married and starting families. They could afford to pay for a modestly priced home and build it themselves provided with a plan and materials. Bungalows became the “it” craze.

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Sears & Reobuck’s precut home factory

Companies rushed to meet the demand for new housing by building large home building factories and selling precut and designed homes. In an old Sears Roebuck advertisement they ‘claimed’ all you need to build their house is a wrench, hammer, and screwdriver… In the bungalows heyday it is estimated that more than half million were built.

The largest companies to sell homes by catalog were:

Sears Roebuck, Chicago Illinois
Aladdin Homes, Bay city Michigan
Montgomery Wards, Chicago Illinois
Sterling Homes, Bay City Michigan
Pacific Ready Cut Homes, Chicago Illinois
Wardway Homes, Chicago Illinois
Ready Built Houses Co. Portland Oragan
Gordon Van-Tine, Davenport Iowa
Harris Homes, Chicago Illinois
Home Builders Catalog – Publication

Sears “the world’s greatest store”, was the largest seller of catalog homes. It is estimated that they sold 100,000 homes during the time they were operating between 1915 and 1940. The Great Depression in the 1930’s and the invention of the FHA in 1934 crippled the mail order housing industry. A large portion of mail order housing company profits were made on the loans they underwrote for their houses. When the FHA was created, it offered loans at substantially lower interest rates then the loans homeowners had with the mail order catalog companies. Not surprisingly, most home owners refinanced, and the catalog companies lost their most profitable and important source of income. Couple that with huge unemployment and precipitous drop in home sales during the great depression, and the stage was set for mail order companies folded.

What is a Bungalow?

Efficient,  Thrifty,  Humble

DESIGN FEATURES

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partial wall in a bungalow between living room and dinning room

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Open Living Room and Dining Rooms. This was a big step towards modern open floorplans. The bungalow floorplans opened up the wall between the living room and dining room to save space and make both rooms feel bigger. The areas were commonly separated by a Partial wall . Kitchens were still closed, that didn’t change to 1950s.

Gable Roof1 –Gable roofs. Flat roofs were hardly ever used. The big Gable roofs, provided a huge attic space which could be used as space for an addition later. the gable roofs usually had  overhanging eves.  The Gable could be positioned front or sideways for very different architectural look.

 

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Wood Burning Fireplaces w/ decorative tile mantel (sometimes chimneys were made with clinker bricks or the mantel with local batchelder tile)

dormer types

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Different Dormer Styles on Bungalows

Dormers. The gabled roofs were often enhanced with decorative or functional dormers. If bedrooms were located on a second floor the dormers would give the bedroom a window for light and ventilation as well as increase the ceiling height. Dutch Colonials almost always have dormers.

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-Breakfast nooks. Informal dining, this space doubles a play area.

-oak wood floors, all wood flooring originally stained dark

-Lath plaster walls

-First houses with electricity

-Raised foundation

-inviting entrances

– low bedroom to bath ratio 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 – no en-suit bathroom, hallway bathroom that everyone shares

-Small bedrooms and small closets, people used amours, the closet was a relatively new idea. Bedroom dimensions were 12 x 12 to 15 x15. The closets are extremely small by today’s standards, and certainly no walk-ins. I joke with clients sometimes that people who lived in the turn of the century must have only had 1 or two outfits and probably had to get them washed constantly.

-Lots of built ins, book cases and shelving – linen closets, china cabinets in living rooms, book cases.

– Floor-plans have direct entry into living room, instead of vestibule or foyer. Less formal entry than in the past.

 

Bungalows Today:

The style preferences of America changed in the 1940’s with the introduction of the ranch house, and continued to evolve from the influence of mid century and modern architecture. Popular taste moved away from bungalows for many years. But bungalows are coming back. There is a group of vintage home buyers in Los Angeles buying and restoring these old bungalows. Vintage buyers love them for their intimacy, cheerfulness, and comfy-ness.

Not everybody feels the same way. There is a growing trend in Los Angeles right now to tear down these classic bungalows because the land value is so high and bungalows are underbuilt for the lot. Well-to-do home buyers want 4,000 sqft “Sugar Cube” modern homes. In recent years, HPOZ have been created in several historically significant neighborhoods in Los Angeles to protect these homes from demolition.

Bungalow Neighborhoods in LA:

-Atwater Village
-Jefferson Park (really bad shape! HPOZ)
-Carthay Circle (HPOZ)
Melrose Hill  (HPOZ)
-Greenacre neighborhood,  West Hollywood
Miracle mile ( Olympic and w 8th street, la brae and Fairfax)
-Windsor Hills
Brookside    
Miracle Mile North (HPOZ)
Spaulding Square (HPOZ)
-Studio Village, Culver City
-Adams Hills, Glendale
-Westwood, South of Santa Monica & North of Pico

 

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Gregory Ain Mar Vista Tract

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gregory ain modernique homes

Post War Modern Tract Houses

The Gregory Ain Mar Vista Tract is a group of 52 homes that was built in 1948 by famous modern architect Gregory Ain and landscape architect Garrett Eckbo. This project is probably his most well known. What make Ain’s tract home different from other tract homes being developed at the time was that his were modern. During the 1950s, there was a huge building boom and several hundred tract homes were being built in Los Angeles each week. The tract homes were predominantly ranch styles houses like the tract houses built in nearby Mar Vista neighborhoods of McLaughlin and Westdale.

Location

Gregory ain los angeles modern

Gregory Ain’s Modern homes  are located in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles and can be found on the SE intersection of Palms Blvd and Beethoven St. The homes run along Meier, Moore, and Beethoven streets, between Palms Boulevard and Marco Place.

Gregory Ain’s ‘Social’ Architecture

Gregory Ain was raised by Socialist parents. Their philosophy influenced him deeply. Ain believed that he could solve many of the world’s problems by developing low cost cooperative housing. Unfortunately, his ideals didn’t match up with the American consumer or economics, and his projects had to be sold to individual owners when marketing them as cooperatives failed to produce buyers.

For an architect as talented as Ain, he could have had a very lucrative career designing large commercial buildings or expensive custom homes for wealthy clients, but he dedicated his life to his beliefs and building affordable housing for the working class. In an ironic twist, nowadays the working class can no longer afford Ain’s homes!

Harmonious Design with a Park-Like Setting

Ain succeeded in creating a family-friendly neighborhood. With the Large front yard setback there was plenty of room for children to run around and play, the streets had limited traffic (except Beethoven!) and were excellent for kids to play on the street. Although the developers did not provide parks, the idea was for front lawns to remain unbroken by fences to provide a park-like atmosphere.

Mar Vista Tract Ain front yard

The efficient layout of the homes allowed a family of three or four to function comfortably in a relatively small space (1,050-1,400 sqft).

The streetscape was designed by Eckbo and plays a large role in the overall feeling of the community. Ain and Eckbo wanted there to be a cohesive feeling to the neighborhood, but not have every home be identical. Eckbo accomplished this by planting different types of trees on each of the streets that gave each street its own streetscape. One interesting fact: there are no street lights!

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Trees: Ficus on Beethoven

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Trees: Melaleuca (Native to Australia) along Moor

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Trees: and Magnolia Trees on Meier.

The Melaleuca trees on Moor are my favorite. Ain and Eckbo planned to have no separation or fences between the lots of each house and create ‘communal backyards’. This idea didn’t catch on with the new owners who valued privacy in their backyards. They quickly put up fences after they bought (some even complained about the extra expense to put up the fences which they felt should have been included in the original design)

Gregory Ain Tract kitchen

One thing I love about these houses is the location of the kitchen- it is right in front of the houses just off the front door. This allows Mom or dad to keep an eye on the kids when they are playing out front inside from a big window over the kitchen sink. The Houses that are Rotated perpendicular do not have this set up, but conversely they have much better curb appeal.

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Common of the mid century modern design elements, these houses have horizontal lines from flat roofs, and floor to ceiling glass that lets in the maximium amount of light. The Kitchen, Dinning Room, and Living Room were all open to each other.

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One solution Ain thought up was flexibility for a 3rd bedroom or den but using a folding wall panel that could easily be opened or closed depending on the owners needs.

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To keep things different Ain altered the facades of the tract homes by changing the garage placement or rotating some of the houses perpendicular to the street. He also used different paint colors.

Commercial Failure

The subdivision was marketed as “Modernique” Homes. Sales started slowly, and sold out after one year. Originally the developers had planned on two phases that would contain 100 houses on 60 acres, however only the first phase of 52 homes was realized. Even with Ain’s best effort to keep costs down, these houses were more expensive than comparable size tract homes in the area. The original selling prices for a Mar Vista Modernique home was $12,000

Real Estate

Believe it or not, yes you can own a piece of history! Most owners who buy a Gregory Ain Mar Vista track stay there for a quite a long time. It is not uncommon for owners to stay 30 years plus. The average turnover ratio is very low at 2.5% a year. About 1 house sells a year on average.

The homes are modest 3 bedrooms. The average size is 1,400 sqft. Originally built as 1 story houses, the HPOZ prevents second stories from being added. Average lot size is 7,000 sqft. Historically these homes have appreciated at a rate of 6.5% which is higher than the average for other homes in the neighborhood.  Homes in good condition are selling for $1.2M.

Homes on Beethoven will be less than Moor or Meier because Beethoven is a busy street and the other side of the street is a separate subdivision so these homes don’t get the full effect of the neighborhood feeling Ain created.

Today

The Neighborhood is in excellent shape. It is really fun to give it a drive through. Gregory Ain Mar Vista Tract Became an hpoz in 2003 which was quite an accomplishment considering it was just barely over 50 years old then which is usually the minimum amount of time required to be considered for being historic. The HPOZ restricts building second stories, tearing down a home, or installing front yard fences. Mar Vista Ains houses that have already had additions are grandfathered in. Basically, the HPOZ protects the front façades (anything that is visible from the street). One perk of being located in an HPOZ is contributing structures are eligible for the Mills Act, a state program that provides tax break for owners of historic property in order to allow them to preserve it.

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858 Doheny

Lloyd Wright Studio

Lloyd Wright Studio
858 N Doheny
Los Angeles CA 90069

858 Doheny was built in 1927 by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son Lloyd Wright (who is often confused with his father) as his studio and office. Much like Rudolph Schindler home/studio built on Kings drive five years earlier, Lloyd Wright would live and work in this home until his passing in the 1978.

Located at the corner of Doheny Drive and Vista Grande St in the Norma Triangle neighborhood of West Hollywood- the home is on a compact 3,611 square foot corner lot. The Home is two stories with 2 Bedrooms and 2 Baths measuring 2,413 square feet.

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The home is built with “Joshua Tree” motif textile blocks, that Lloyd Wright use frequently in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Upstairs is the living space and Lloyd Wright’s architecture office was downstairs.

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Lloyd Wright began his architectural career as a landscape architect and his love for greenery and plants is reflected in his studio. He has creeping Ivy that has grown to cover much of the exterior.

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The upstairs residence has a large living room with fireplace, angled glass and a large master bedroom. The downstairs studio has an open work space with exposed concrete flooring that connects to a rock outdoor patio.

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In 1990 Eric Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s grandson) restored the house. The building is on the national register of historic places and has a conservation easement over its exterior.

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Schindler House

Schindler House los angeles

A design ahead of its time.

West Hollywood 1924 Schindler House

The Schindler House, also known as the Kings Road House or Schindler Chase house, is located at 835 N Kings Road in West Hollywood. It was built by famous modern architect Rudolf Schindler in 1922 for his primary residence.

Schindler house was one of the first modern houses ever built. Schindler was a free thinker and a radical. Many people during his time didn’t understand his designs- they didn’t resemble anything that had been built previously. For this house, Schindler pioneered a new kind of structural engineering technique known as tilt-up construction. 

835 N Kings Road West Hollywood

Unlike other homes of the era that were mainly period revival styles with heavy ornamentation, the floor plan of Schindler house was completely open, reversing the Victorian aesthetic to have a house divided into many small rooms, each with a very specific purpose.

835 N Kings Road Kitchen

In Schindler’s House, it was basically a duplex with a common kitchen designed to be a communal premise. The rooms had no purpose- they were just open space. The floor-plan had no, dining room, living room, or bedrooms. Where did people sleep you ask? Residents slept outside in the open air on the roof in “sleeping baskets”.

Schindler had a fixation on space. To him, the shape of the space within the house was what made it alive- and his definition of good architecture was not what the house looked like but how it was to live in.

Tilt-Up Construction 1922 Image courtesy of MAK Center

The building department refused to issue him a building permit for the house at first because the design was so foreign to them. They later relented, but only granted a temporary permit that could be revoked at any time. Pictured above is the tilt up method of homebuilding. Precast concrete slabs are being hoisted into place with pullies. This method is still used today albeit with much more advanced cranes. The house was completed a year later. Schindler borrowed a large sum of money from his family to build the house, which was done on a tight budget. The investment would pay off because the recognition created from the house in a small influential circle led to more commissions.

Kings Road House Rudolph schindler

What makes the Schindler house unique was the revolutionary design elements of the house that were a foreshadowing of what was to come in the Post World War II boom and beyond when the modern aesthetic really took root. The Schindler house is a very early example of an open floor plan, seamless indoor-outdoor transitions perfect for the Mediterranean Southern California Climate that was accomplished by using sliding panels, and the clean horizontal lines of the buildings elevations (Schindler perhaps assimilated the last on the list from Frank Lloyd Wright who he had worked with prior to building Schindler House).

Inspiration comes from Yosemite

Panorama Trail

The inspiration for the King’s Road House supposedly came from a family camping trip Rudolf and his wife took to Yosemite shortly after completing the Hollyhock House. During their camping trip, Rudolph enjoyed the community living aspect he experienced at the campsites.

When he returned to Los Angeles, he designed the Kings Road House for himself and his wife and their friends Clyde and Marian DaCamara Chace. Clyde Chace served as builder for the 2,500-square foot house.

Roughing it!

Schindler house is designed as live-work space for two couples with a shared kitchen and an apartment for guests.

835 N Kings Rd Sleeping Basket

Sleeping Basket on Roof

Living in the Schindler house was like camping. Sleeping baskets on the roof allowed residents to sleep in the open air. They were made with an overhanging canvas tarp and a flat sheet of wood.

Kings Road House fireplace

 

Even though 1920’s had mechanized heating, Schindler opted to heat the house with wood burning fireplaces only. Some of the rooms in Schindler house were too far away from the fireplace and would be cold at night.

The ceilings are very low, probably only about 7.5-8 feet.

835 Kings Rd Bathroom

Materials used for the house are natural- concrete, redwood, and glass. The building has an economical concrete slab foundation.

Lifelong Home

Rudolph Schindler at Schindler House

Schindler lived and worked in the house for the rest of career, which was about 30 years until his death in 1953.

In the 1920s and 1930s the house was a hotbed for radical social gatherings. Creative thinkers from all walks of life visited and cavorted here. Richard Neutra, Edward Weston, John Cage, Dancer John Bovingdon, poet Sadakichi Hartmann, and Galka Scheyer were among the many notable people to pass through. Later, Schindler’s wife Pauline organized many political events at the house.
With their two very strong personalities, Pauling and Rudolph were just waiting for an explosive collide. In 1927 they separated. Rudolph remained at the house while Pauline traveled from place to place for the next decade. At the end of the 1930s she returned, and moved back into the Schindler House. The two never remarried but continued living together until Schindler’s death. The houses design as a duplex was to prove ideal. Pauline lived in the Chace wing while Rudolph stayed on the other side of the house.

The City Moves in

Kings Road modern house bamboo

West Hollywood has developed all around the Schindler House. Mid Rise apartment and condo buildings loom over the house now. There is a thick hedge of bamboo that obscures the house from the street. You may have driven by the Schindler House and not realized it!

Shindler Chace house museum west hollywood

Today, Schindler House is a museum and protected by being on the US National Register of Historic Places.

The Austria’s Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) runs tours Wednesday through Sunday, 11am to 6pm. The tours help maintain the building. There are occasionally special events and exhibits as well.

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