13921 Vanowen St., Van Nuys

These three little contiguous flats were built by W. P. Short in the fall of ’48. The house in back was constructed in 1954.

Nice birds of paradise, too

The continued abhorrence of anything lo-slung and lo-density requires these be replaced with, as you might imagine, vastly increased height and density, and because density proponents will tell you this is “green,” there’s also a massive reduction in green space.

3755 S. Canfield Ave., Palms

This two-story six-unit apartment building was designed by engineer J. Doherty in the spring of 1962, and will be gone soon, which is a shame, as there aren’t a whole lot left in area that reek so of 1962.

They’re building four stories but only adding two units? Must be some capacious apartments.

1844 N Alexandria Ave.

This handsome Los Feliz house was built in 1912.

She needs a little love, but don’t we all? Like my aunt Gladys, nothing a coat of paint can’t fix. Plus she hasn’t been stuccoed, the windows are original, and the porch hasn’t been enclosed. And dig those dramatic gables. Bonus factoid: First Lieutenant Dale C. Tipton, when released from a Nazi POW camp in June of ’45, well, this is the house he came home to.

Though she’s to be torn down for an apartment building, remarkably, the developers are not going TOC with a five-story, forty-some unit structure.

Hate to see her go.

The Blog is Changing a Bit

Not that I don’t love scribbling the overwrought vitriolic screed but the problem is those things take time. And the problem is, I’ve got this other architectural/ social history to write, and a publisher who’s after me to finish it, so it behooves me to spend my time making that deadline.

The content of this blog will therefore streamline some—as in, instead of the usual lengthy discourse, with its links and pretty pictures and meandering diatribes, I’ll post a building, its architect when I can, and what’s to become of it, short and sweet. I wanted to point this out so that you didn’t think I was just slacking off, or didn’t love you anymore.

The good/bad news, then, is I should be posting with greater regularity. Besides, you probably already know where I stand on the subjects of density and TOC and the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance (and I haven’t even talked about the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance).

And then when my book is finished we’ll be back to our usual rancorous broadsides against the moral lepers who would have Los Angeles become some super-regulated version of Kowloon City.

On Another Note

When the people of Budapest have a piece of Soviet-era architecture, like Kossuth Square 4-6 (Béla Pintér, 1972), which they deem…inappropriate, especially in a landscape as great as Kossuth Square, they remodel it, so it may reflect the regional consciousness.

Above, a grim reminder of the MSzMP; below, the remodel, based on 1928 architectural plans of Dezső Hültl

When the people of Los Angeles, when presented with something as simple and culture-defining as a green-and-black tiled 1931 bathroom, they too deem it inappropriate, and remodel it so it may reflect…what, exactly?

Leo DiCaprio’s bathroom—one of them, anyway—for the past twenty years, at 1675 Angelus Avenue
God bless flippers, saving us from Art Deco so we may shower in the ubiquitous hotel bathroom of Everytown, USA