The Times architecture critic Chritopher Hawthorne takes us on a nostalgic and long history of the garden/bungalow apartment and their place in SoCal history. We learn that they owe a lot to the traditions of Spain and were popular after World War I. But times change, and the lovely little apartment communities of the middle class were replaced with tract homes out in the far reaching suburbs of the sprawling LA we know today. New Urbanists, longing to rekindle the community-vibe that is now long gone, are attempting to revive the style slowly.
The Pasadena firm Moule & Polyzoides, for example, has been working hard to bring back the courtyard apartment as a viable architectural type, and has produced impeccably designed examples in West Hollywood, where the 7 Fountains building opened in 2002, and in South Pasadena, where a new bungalow court project by the firm has just opened. One reason they may come back strong is that the demand for new court apartments are commanding an arm and a leg in rent. Where there's money to be made, developers are sure to follow.
· Courts with a new spark [LA Times]