Monday, November 03, 2014

Historic Garden Apartments Tour

Lincoln Place Garden Apartments, Venice, CA

After the rains of Friday night and early Saturday morning, the skies were blue and all was well for our L.A. Conservancy  "We Heart Garden Apartments" tour.  We met at the Wilshire Ebell Theater for the opening session and lecture.  There was a short film called "Villages in a City: Garden Apartments of Los Angeles" giving us the history of these developments.  There were talks about preservation efforts, tips on that day's tour and a slideshow of significant architectural details.  Read more about the development of Garden Apartments in Los Angeles here.
Wilshire Ebell Theater

There were over 40 garden apartment complexes built in the Los Angeles area, beginning in the late 1930s through the mid-1950s.  We had lots of land in which to grow in Los Angeles.  We needed multi-family housing, especially after World War II.  From the L.A. Conservancy brochure, here are the common characteristics that distinguish garden apartments from other types of multi-family housing:  Site are developed as a super-block, which is much larger than a city block; cars and pedestrians are separated, with roads and garages often at the periphery; buildings generally don't exceed two stories and the number of units per acre is low; building types have a standardized vernacular modern design; site planning emphasizes open space and park-like landscaping.
New Recreation Center and New Apartment Block at Lincoln Place

I was only able to visit two of the three garden complexes on the tour Saturday, Lincoln Place in Venice and The Village Green in Baldwin Hills.  Larry continued to Chase Knolls in Sherman Oaks.
Lincoln Place (1951) had seven of its buildings demolished in 200l, in hopes of re-developing this site as condominiums.  A ruckus ensued, historic preservation was on the mind of the residents, the L.A. Conservancy and neighborhood groups.  After 10 years of litigation, this site was listed on the California Register of Historical Resources and restoration began.  The developers built new apartments in the space where those seven buildings were torn down to complement the existing buildings.  This is a rental development, teaming with professionals and young people.  There is Wi-Fi everywhere on the grounds.
Photographer, Larry Underhill and LAC Dir. of Communications, Cindy Olnick

The NEW buildings at Lincoln Place

An ORIGINAL apartment block at Lincoln Place

The existing apartments have been remodeled and updated.  A pool and recreation center was added.  It's really a lovely development, complete with palm trees and ocean breezes.
Pool and rec center, Lincoln Place

The old clotheslines are still there, Lincoln Place

Updated Model Apartment, Lincoln Place

After a quick lunch we hopped on the freeway and headed toward the base of Baldwin Hills.  We have several friends who live at the Village Green (1941), so we've been there often.  I really LOVE this development.  All of the landscaping is large and lush.  
The Village Green, Baldwin Hills

The fully grown trees provide lots of shade.  The scale of the devlopment in relation to the green spaces is restful and perfect.  I could live here.  We were directed to tour the landscaping and a few of the units. 
The Village Green, Baldwin Hills

Dining Room of a Townhouse, Village Green, Baldwin Hills

Ellen with Steven Keylon, resident and former board director, Village Green

Judy, LAC Docent, interior  restored town home, Village Green

Restored town home, Village Green

This is a condominium site with units for sale!  A few of my friends own two or more units; live in one and rent out the others.  Smart!  It was a great tour that opened my eyes to the community of garden apartment living in the middle of our crowded city.

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At 6:08 PM PST, Blogger Leah said...

We have very similar posts, mine goes live tomorrow. I can see why you love The Village Green so much, my only problem is I am really enjoying all of the space I have inside my home as well as outside.

At 12:23 PM PST, Blogger Dorothy Darker said...

Great post, Ellen, as always. So sorry we missed your visit - I was out of town. Wish you DID live here! BTW, this is from Amy Dawes - I think it will post as Dorothy Darker - a fun Google name on my account.

At 12:27 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

THanks for the comment, "Dorothy!" You're very lucky to be living in such a lush and beautiful place!

At 7:26 AM PST, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for taking us on a garden tour, Ellen! I really enjoyed seeing the development in those blocks. The pristine and neat look of those gardens create a good impression for the whole neighborhood. To think that they are located in the middle of the busy city. That’s so amazing!

Gwendolyn Reyes @ Tapestry Landscape


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