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Crestwood Hills

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This Brentwood canyon community started with cooperative aspirations.  An original vision wherein residents would share a bus to work was never realized.  This was not the only glitch in the cooperative design.  Only 160 of the 500 homes in the original plan were built.  60 homes were destroyed by wildfire in 1991.  Several homes have been lost to alterations.

Personally, if I lived in an A. Quincy Jones house, I would want to make sure it stayed the way he intended. It turns out I’m not alone in my sentiment.  Residents banded together and got 17 of the 33 remaining homes to be designated as historic-cultural monuments. Even if you’re not into modern architecture, the views from Crestwood Hills is still worth the trip.

For more info on the Mutual Housing Association, check here: http://crestwoodla.com/

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Avenel Cooperative Housing Project

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Gregory Ain grew up on the Llano Del Rio, a socialist Utopian society in Antelope Valley.  The cooperative wasn’t successful because the rio wasn’t reliable, but it was successful in engraining the values of community living into the minds of its youth.

Ain is often considered a socialist architect.  Whether or not there is truth in the consideration, he did design this cooperative housing project in Silverlake to house four blacklisted families.  Additionally, he tried to place a communal kitchen in the development, but the Federal Housing Administration wagged its finger.

Historically, there’s so much more going on here than what meets the eye.  But, the reason this project is listed on the National Register of Historic Places is because of its effective use of space.  To the passerby, there are 10 identical living spaces, 2 identical hillside structures, and zero street signs indicating these buildings’ innovations.

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