The LA Conservancy held a “We Heart Garden Apartments!” tour on November 1. According to the Conservancy, LA has the second largest collection of historic Garden Apartments in the nation.
Prior to departing for the three Garden Apartment destinations that were a part of the tour, the Conservancy team played “Villages in the City,” a new short film from Form Follows Function, showing just what makes garden apartments so special.
Even thought Park La Brea wasn’t a part of that November 1 tour, “Villages in the City” includes shots of Park La Brea. And much of what is discussed in the film applies to Park La Brea’s Garden Apartments – the best example of Garden Apartment architecture in our part of town.
‘Villages in the City’ by Forum Follows Function
Park La Brea Apartment Fast Facts (via Wikipedia)
- 31 2-story Garden Apartment buildings
- With the 18 13-story towers, Park La Brea is the largest housing development in the US, west of the Mississippi.
- 4,255 units on 160 acres of land
- The street layout was created in a masonic pattern as a reference to the masonic heritage of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which built the complex toward the end of World War II and immediately thereafter. After a period of decline in the 1970s and 1980s, the complex was refurbished in the early 1990s.
- Metropolitan Life Insurance also constructed a sister complex, Parkmerced in San Francisco, which features a similar street layout as Park La Brea. At the same time, they built Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan, Parkchester in The Bronx, and Parkfairfax in Alexandria, Virginia just outside Washington, DC.
- The Park La Brea townhouses were designed by Leonard Schultz & Son (New York) with associate architect Earl T. Heitschmidt in 1941. The style of the architecture has been described as Modern Colonial. The Park La Brea Towers were designed by Leonard Schultz Asscociates with consulting architects Stanton + Kaufmann in 1948. Inspired by the innovative housing of Le Corbusier in Paris, this architectural team set out to create innovative multifamily housing. Their plans included square-block sized formations of town houses surrounding shared common green space. The combined shared lawn spaces creates both a large courtyard and tree-dappled open space.
- The Landmark Towers, in a revolutionary “X” structure with a unique placement, became icons of the Los Angeles skyline. The ingeniously designed plan ensured that every unit would enjoy expansive views.
LA Conservancy Website – Garden Apartments
LA Conservancy Website – Park La Brea