Palm Trees, No Snow: LA’s Modernist Housing


With the blizzard now passed and the big dig to begin, I thought everyone could use some pictures from the land of palm trees and no snow: Los Angeles. During the holidays, I went to LA and explored the mid-century modern and modern homes throughout the city. From the ever-present modest dingbats to the stunning mid-century modern homes in exclusive Trousdale Estates, it is always fascinating to see the breadth of modern residential architecture in Southern California. The dingbat is one of the most common housing types in LA–two- to three-story boxy structures built over parking space. They typically have cool names, numbers and Googie adornments.


This dingbat in West Hollywood is a bit more staid than others.



Besides the raised dingbats, there are plenty of other modest mid-century apartment complexes.  Here is one of my favorites with the walls of glass surrounding the stairwell and the cool screen block on the right.

LA Apartment

This one on North Sweetzer in West Hollywood has an asymmetrical front gable that extends on the right side to cover the balcony.

North Sweetzer

Here’s a single-family Bauhaus-style home in West Hollywood.

Bauhaus-Style LA

Moving up into the hills above Hollywood, Trousdale Estates is the exclusive neighborhood in Beverly Hills packed with custom mid-century modern homes by ┬áleading mid-century architects, such as Wallace Neff, Paul R. Williams and A. Quincy Jones. Always a haven for the stars, today many of Hollywood’s elite live there and have done restorations or major modern renovations. A numbers of houses have also been lost.

Trousdale Estates

Trousdale Estateshouse

Trousdale Estates4

Here are some Venice Beach moderns–and palm trees–to end the trip. Hope this virtual tour helps you as we deal with all the snow. Stay warm and safe.

Venice Modern





Post Metadata

January 24th, 2016

Mid-Century Mike



1 to “Palm Trees, No Snow: LA’s Modernist Housing”

  1. Jim Cavender says:

    Before I go out to dig, Thanks Mike, nice photography, especially the last one looking up. Could be a book cover!
    Never knew the term “Dingbats”, LA’s equivalent to our brownstones/row homes I would say. Neat that they all have Googie personalities. Love 1441 as well, perfect specimum, but alas as great as 1553 is, someone went and installed the cheap Home Depot colonial row of lights that we all know should be simple white globes probably because they did know know better, too bad. An easy fix though. Thanks for the great pics!

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