Saturday, March 28, 2009

Arts & Architecture Ad for Park Planned Homes

gregory ain - altadena - park planned homes - original arts and architecture advertisement, circa 1947

Above is the original quarter page ad that ran in the June and July 1947 issues of John Entenza's Arts & Architecture magazine. The listing ran just as the houses were being completed on Highview.

The ad reads:
Highview avenue below Foothill boulevard in Altadena foothills. Twenty minutes by auto from downtown Los Angeles, 30 minutes from Hollywood.

Wood frame, plaster and wood finish; concrete slab covered by asphalt tile throughout house. Three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, dining area, L-shaped living room 24 feet long, 16 and 20 feet wide. Two enclosed outdoor living areas with privacy from street and neighbors.

Forced air heating, cooling and filtering system. Clerestory windows through most of house. Indirect lighting. Clear glass wall in every room looks out onto enclosed yard. Aluminum foil insulation
and reflecting roof. Landscaping complete.

$18,000. Call builder, Bob Kahan, SYcamore 4-2852 or SYcamore 4-4656.
Although Gregory Ain was a frequent contributor to Entenza's magazine, even serving on the editorial advisory board for many years during the 40s and 50s, he famously was never a part of the Case Study House program. There have been no definitive answers as to why Ain did not contribute, though many have speculated that his interest in solving housing problems for entire communities was at odds with the singular nature of the CSH program.

Even though a number of his single family homes still remain intact throughout southern California, it's a testament to Ain's vision that all of his community developments that were actually constructed are still standing. The four unit Dunsmuir Flats from 1937, the Avenal Cooperative Housing Project from 1947, and Modernique Homes (aka Mar Vista Tract) from 1948, are all regarded as seminal steps forward in Ain's oeuvre. Park Planned Homes is unfortunately the least known of the large-scale projects, although this has been changing in recent years with recent scholarly works on Ain showcasing the post-war development and home buyers taking care to keep the street preserved.

In the coming weeks, we hope to provide more details on many of the home features listed in the above advertisment, as well as additional vintage photos, drawings and spotlights on present-day restoration efforts.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gregory Ain's Park Planned Homes

This site is dedicated to the history of the development of Gregory Ain's 1946 "Park Planned Homes" housing development in Altadena, California. Over time we hope to include more vintage images, as well as a contemporary view on this still vibrant and unique neighborhood.

Please enjoy.

For this first post, we'll kick it off with five vintage images showing the concept and creation of the tract.

gregory ain - altadena - park planned homes - street plan abstraction

Ain's street plan for 28 homes, each a mirror of the other.

gregory ain - altadena - park planned homes - color sketch, street view

Ain's color sketch renderings of the street facade.

gregory ain - altadena - park planned homes - interior cross section

Ain's cross section rendering of the family room and kitchen areas. Note slight-pitch roof with channel in the middle that opens the home up to clerestory windows on both sides.

gregory ain - altadena - park planned homes - framing plan for three adjacent houses

Three houses seen in progression from right to left: wood framing, site and floor plan, completed solid roof plane.

gregory ain - altadena - park planned homes - scale model home

Ain's scale model of the three bedroom, two bath home.