Up in the Valley there’s an indication as to how we used to live. Low slung structures, lots of open space. Cool shade from the towering trees. This is, of course, a rare, precious, disappearing commodity.
In the autumn of 1939 a fellow named P. N. Morgan designed and built a twelve-room, four family residential structure just off Lankershim in North Hollywood, at 10912 Blix. Then, a chap named W. Charles Swett saw what Morgan did, and liked it so much that in the spring of 1940 he pulled permits to put up one very much like it on the adjoining property at 10916, hiring engineer/architect Edward Rudolph to design another one-story, twelve-room four-unit.
Look how nicely the two work together. See how they form a sort of allée, passing through a planted boscage.
Needless to say, 19012 was marketed as a development opportunity:
And the lot, being 57×170, is going to lose any vestige of open space to absorb a five-story, eighteen-unit structure:
Here’s an overhead—that tree canopy is about as dense a green spot as you’ll ever find that close to Lankershim.
And yet… The footprint of the four-unit structure now is 41×80. Were Boyajian & Co. to build on that same footprint, with three stories of four units and two stores of three, up five stories, well, there’s your eighteen units, with trees left intact, and—
Oh wait nevermind, I just found the rendering for the thing. I was right, it eats up every inch:
Over in Mid-City, on Wilshire Boulevard near the corner of Lucas Street, there’s an unassuming Late Moderne commercial structure. It was built in the fall of 1951, of precast concrete construction, designed by the architectural firm of McClellan, MacDonald & Markwith, its principal designer being Jack H. MacDonald. Construction was by Buttress & McClellan.
Here’s something else I find pretty amusing. See 1138’s neighbor, the goofy-looking putty-colored 1980s thing? That structure, 1140/50 Wilshire was, in fact, built in 1904. It had a stucco job in 1984: