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Old 05-10-2008, 03:07 PM
 
Location: SoCal
559 posts, read 1,160,685 times
Reputation: 613

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One of the things that I like about L.A. is that there is a large selection of housing styles in the county: bungalows, gobs of Spanish and Mediterranean, craftsman, Victorian, Tudor, mid-century modern, ranch. Yes, even dingbats, Tiki-styled apartments and McMansions and tons of others that I can't describe. The only types I don't recall seeing are brownstones and rowhouses.

Although there are clusters (e.g. bungalow row in Pasadena), these different styles can often be found next to each other, lending a very nice variety.

We have examples from some of the biggies: Lloyd Wright, Neutra, Schindler, Greene & Greene, Eames, Lautner.

I've had friends who have also commented on this variety but reading these forums, I see comments about L.A.'s boring and ugly architecture.

I'm a lifelong Angeleno who's hardly ever been out of the city so can someone comment on how L.A.'s residential architecture compares with those of other cities?

P.S. I'm not wondering about the L.A. skyline--although I like what is there, I know it's kinda wimpy.

P.P.S. Many of the various architectural styles were not beloved in their time but have come to be appreciated by at least a cult of aficionados. Will McMansions also come be regarded as one of the jewels in the L.A. residential setting?
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:36 PM
 
Location: CITY OF ANGELS AND CONSTANT DANGER
5,409 posts, read 11,550,785 times
Reputation: 2251
we ARE missing the brownstone look! at least ive never seen it, but thats because when lots were subdivided/bought from the original californios/ranchos (san antonio, dominguez, etc), they were big chunks of land meant to help sustain a family (agriculturally). most lots were big enough to acommodate a house and a perimeter yard. so with most lots starting at 5k sq ft and as big as 10k sq ft (with 8k being the most common i think) you had enough room to build a variety of houses.

its also matters when they were built. first the victorian style that is very rare now since most were razed or scatered. bungalows and craftsmen and "Kit" homes (sears was national, but Pacific ready cut sold a lot of LA homes.) were very popular during the teens and 20's and on. by the 30's and 40's people in LA really loved the spanish red tile motiff. then the ranches and tract homes came in the 50s. and after that well it was a free for all.

this info is based solely on my observations when lookin for a house. by the time i bought my house i didnt even have to look for what year the house was built.

another trait or characteristic i found is that homes closer to the city core/downtown were older. my house is from 1920. my neighbors as well. the house across the street is from the teens as are the smaller 2bd 1 ba. and the spanish stle homes on my block ARE from the 30's! the further you got out into former ranch lands the newer the houses were.

LA has a wide range of housing styles. most interesting to me is the glut of apartments in the flats of balwin hills! thats one thing that i havent really seen in places like frisco. MASSIVE APARTMENT BUILDINGS!!! the 60's and 70s really saw an increase in mega aparments.

up in the bay i have seen apts, but never as big as LA's. and the apts are usually in older 4 story buildings. typical dense housing. a long hall way with flats on both sides. IN LA, the style was more 2 story surrounding a quad or pool.

the houses in the city are the typical vitorian, painted ladies or with an in-law, similar to Bstones. OAK also has older homes, similar to SF's but in SF houses were built right next to each other. In OAK they had yards.

these are the observations i have seen.
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Old 05-10-2008, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,146 posts, read 38,131,625 times
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Chuckled about Neutra: I actually spent a couple of nights in one of his homes in Hillsborough, Ca. just S of San Francisco.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:15 AM
 
1,714 posts, read 5,545,507 times
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Just a few guesses:

Possibly the people who say that LA's architecture is boring and ugly, are looking for brownstones/Victorians.

Or possibly they are basing their remarks on a limited experience of the city's offerings. Such huge areas can be covered with houses of a single vintage, that a person having seen only one style may imagine that is the only look in all of LA.

I doubt that the McMansions will become architectural heirlooms. The construction standard is not equal to that of the past, and I have my doubts that these will stand the test of time.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:51 AM
 
373 posts, read 1,086,782 times
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Brownstones don't hold up well during earthquakes, so that may be one reason why there isn't an abundance of them. But there are a few in downtown and pasadena. I personally love the wide variety of architectural styles in LA. The one I love the most is the mid-century modern ranchers. The Southern California variety is just perfect in my eyes and looks better than the varieties found in Northern CA and elsewhere. I love the boxy wooden homes with the stone/brick plaster near the foundations and the lowly sloping roofs. I really love those roofs with rocks on them; it gives it a flintstone look.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,146 posts, read 38,131,625 times
Reputation: 3813
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzt83 View Post
Brownstones don't hold up well during earthquakes, so that may be one reason why there isn't an abundance of them. But there are a few in downtown and pasadena. I personally love the wide variety of architectural styles in LA. The one I love the most is the mid-century modern ranchers. The Southern California variety is just perfect in my eyes and looks better than the varieties found in Northern CA and elsewhere. I love the boxy wooden homes with the stone/brick plaster near the foundations and the lowly sloping roofs. I really love those roofs with rocks on them; it gives it a flintstone look.
We have a lot of what you described here in the Phx area as well

Modern Phoenix: The Neighborhood Network
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,146 posts, read 38,131,625 times
Reputation: 3813
Quote:
Originally Posted by timelesschild View Post
Just a few guesses:

Possibly the people who say that LA's architecture is boring and ugly, are looking for brownstones/Victorians.

Or possibly they are basing their remarks on a limited experience of the city's offerings. Such huge areas can be covered with houses of a single vintage, that a person having seen only one style may imagine that is the only look in all of LA.

I doubt that the McMansions will become architectural heirlooms. The construction standard is not equal to that of the past, and I have my doubts that these will stand the test of time.
I tend to agree about McMansions as well-------they are reminiscent of the large pre Depression/turn of the (19th-20th) century homes built in NYC, etc. that wound up being subdivided into tenement apartments once the original owners moved out.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,996 posts, read 37,291,507 times
Reputation: 9618
Quote:
Originally Posted by timelesschild View Post
Possibly the people who say that LA's architecture is boring and ugly, are looking for brownstones/Victorians.
I agree. I love the interesting Los Angeles architecture. Definetely some of the most interesting in the country.

But on these forums, I notice that many Americans who grew up in the many brownstone/victorian types of homes want that same style to be in Los Angeles.

Whenever I've been anywhere in the Southwest of the United States, or particularly the Los Angeles region, I am totally in love with the types of housing and architecture. Looks so much cooler and more interesting than the Midwest/South/Northeast.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:04 PM
 
Location: CITY OF ANGELS AND CONSTANT DANGER
5,409 posts, read 11,550,785 times
Reputation: 2251
ok so this past weekend i went to a hose party on Carroll street!!! Beautiful Victorian homes rivaling friscos!!! it was beautiful.

i had heard of this area for ever, but never had a chance to go until this party the other night!!! wow amazing historic homes. a must see for anyone interested in LA Arc.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:51 PM
 
Location: South Bay
7,141 posts, read 19,547,137 times
Reputation: 3402
Although much different than apartment buildings elsewhere in the country, I find the buildings on or around Fountain through Hollywood and West Hollywood to be remarkable. There's a little bit everything through that corridor, Spanish, French Normandy, and many others as well.
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