Avenel Cooperative Housing Project built either for cartoonists or communists

Avenel Cooperative Housing, 1947, by Gregory Ain

Why can’t cooperative housing look like this more often? The Avenel Cooperative Housing Project in LA’s Silver Lake neighbourhood, supposedly built either for “a bunch of communists” or for a “group of motion picture cartoonists and their families” (click above for informative Wikipedia article) was affordable when it was built in 1947 and of course is now ridiculously expensive. It was designed by architect Gregory Ain for a group of ten families who each contributed $11,000. Ain built ten three-bedroom units of 960 sq ft (89 sq m), each positioned along a common path. They were meant to be a model for low-cost housing, but these particular units have proven so well-designed and constructed that they’re now too prized to be affordable. Someone needs to copy these, both for their looks and for the fact that though a relatively small square footage for a family, they’re so well-laid out that they apparently feel spacious. See comments here for a possible explanation why. As a plan for affordable urban living these days, it’s unlikely that a single storey would now be considered an efficient use of an expensive urban lot. Or would it? Photos from LA Curbed. See also the LA Times and here.

Avenel Cooperative Housing, 1947, by Gregory Ain

Avenel Cooperative Housing, 1947, by Gregory Ain

Avenel Cooperative Housing, 1947, by Gregory Ain

Avenel Cooperative Housing, 1947, by Gregory Ain

Avenel Cooperative Housing, 1947, by Gregory Ain

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2 Responses to “Avenel Cooperative Housing Project built either for cartoonists or communists”

  1. Nicholas Thompson Says:

    I say combine this single-storey genius with the City’s laneway housing initiative (http://www.vancouver-ecodensity.ca/content.php?id=47) and you’ve got something worth thinking about! Granted, your curtain wall would face an alley, but still. With the right configurations you could still get ample light throughout the day. (p.s. it was I who said hello yesterday. Hi!)

  2. LB Says:

    Nicholas, looks as if my response to this never got published! Sorry! Just noticed that now when I looked at this post again! Thanks for this…

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