Meet noted architecture and design journalist, critic, and author Frances Anderton and hear about her new book, Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles.
Anderton reclaims and showcases the multiple-unit dwelling as a vital element in the city’s housing story. For more than a century, Los Angeles has been a laboratory for exceptional experiments in multifamily housing—from the bungalow court to courtyard apartments to lofts and co-living spaces with rooftop gardens—all centered on shared outdoor space that enhances the spirit of community. Starting with the bungalow courts and apartment-hotels of the 1910s, Anderton guides readers through the development of classic garden apartments to contemporary mid-rise “urban villages,” co-living, and the return of low-rise backyard complexes. She finds early gems by Arthur and Nina Zwebell, R.M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, John Lautner, Ralph Vaughn and many more. Along the way, Anderton—inspired by her own experiences living in a midcentury apartment complex designed by Frank Gehry—talks to people who live in multifamily buildings, and residents sharing stories with a twist on the L.A. dream home, a model for an American movement. As a city where more than sixty percent of residents rent, multifamily housing is essential, as part of our history and now, to ensure all are afforded a quality place to live.