In the fall of 2000, I was quoted in the New York Times for saying "If Modernism were a missile. Pamorama City is the place where it crashed into the Earth". No stranger to pronouncements, allow me to make one more- Mar Vista is where Heaven meets Earth.
I'm referring specificially to the 1947 Gregory Ain "Modernique" tract in Mar Vista- a tiny enclave of fifty-two homes, each approximately 1,000 square feel and totally mid-century modern in design, with windows everywhere, open plan kitchens, and even folding walls to allow rooms to be redivided as a family's needs change.
Ain used this tract to express his vision of what a residential community should be like. The homes were rendered in carefully chosen palattes of color and even landscaped by noted landscape architect Garrett Eckbo, who chose melaleucas, magnolia, Chinese elms and ficus as his primary choices. Fruit trees of alternating variety were planted in each yard. The landscape gives the tract a unified character and ties each home to its neighbor. It creates the impression of living in a park.
And as my recent photos will testify, somehow this entire neighborhood has survived virtually untouched. Forty nine of the fifty two homes are still substantially preserved, along with much of the original landscaping. It's almost miraculous, how it feels strolling the intact streets past each little polished jewel box. A magical place not to be missed.
You may read more about the tract here
And about the Historic Preservation Overlay Zone protecting the homes here
But now it's time to let the neighborhood speak for itself.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's heaven on earth- the Moderniques of Mar Vista:
In the fall of 2000, I was quoted in the New York Times for saying "If Modernism were a missile. Pamorama City is the place where it crashed into the Earth".