We Heart Garden Apartments!

As anyone who has lived in one will tell you, garden apartments are extraordinary places. They are designed around the needs of people and families, they offer a healthy quality of life for the average apartment dweller, and they prioritize nature and community.

Throughout Greater Los Angeles and the nation, garden apartments tell an important story about how housing and landscape site planning came together in the early twentieth century to create an entirely new and innovative approach to multi-family living.

Responding to overcrowded, unsanitary, and dilapidated housing conditions for the working poor in urban centers, proponents of the Garden City Movement imagined planned, self-contained communities on the edge of cities, with large greenbelts and in close proximity to industry to support employment for residents.

Says architectural historian Katie Horak,

"This 'expression of humanness' and the extraordinary care taken by their designers to create healthy, safe, and beautiful places to live still resonates, some seventy years later."

Sadly, one of the qualities that makes them so special – vast amounts of open space – also imperils them today. As the demands for higher density planning accelerate, garden apartment communities are increasingly at risk for demolition and redevelopment.

Wander through this microsite to learn more about garden apartments in Los Angeles, as well as the efforts of the Conservancy and others to save these historic built environments.