Enlisting architects Harold Bissner and Harold Zook, theyâ€™ve come up with a 700sf one-room house with a magnificently modern wall of glass (please note how unobtrusively it fits into the landscape):
Their one room is all-purpose, with closets that open to reveal built in linen and dish storage, card table, bar, coat closet and radio-phonograph. The Harolds included built in bookshelves and desk. The bedroom areaâ€”couches of grey upholstery with Mexican cow pony pillowsâ€”can be partitioned off with an accordion wall. The whitewashed fireplace in the wall of rough-sawed redwood stakes is a nice touch.
Oh, hell. Since Iâ€™ve brought up the housing shortage, I might as well touch on one of LAâ€™s juicier housing stories: in the late 40s the City Housing Authority, its coffers full of federal lucre, pulls an eminent domain on the people of Chavez Ravine. Out come the bulldozers, which level the barrio community. Donâ€™t worry, says the Authority, weâ€™re building you a 3,300 unit high-rise housing project, and youâ€™ll all get first pick of the brand new units! (And itâ€™s designed by Richard-Freakinâ€™-Neutra no less!)
But uh-oh, here comes the Committee Against Socialist Housing. And here comes HUAC hot on their heels. In 1953 new mayor Poulson kills the whole deal, including the residentâ€™s Right of Return. â€˜Round about that time Oâ€™Malley couldnâ€™t connive an Ebbets Field replacement out of the borough of Brooklyn, so he went fishing in LA, and found a sweetheart deal if ever there was one. You know the rest. Go Dodger Blue.
Not that I donâ€™t love Captain Emil Praegerâ€™s parkâ€”the early 60s stadium is replete with atom-age flourishesâ€”but I hope no-one goes there without recalling this image:
Sheriffâ€™s deputies forcibly evicting Aurora â€œTheyâ€™ll Have to Carry Meâ€ Vargas from the Arechiga home; bulldozers razed the structure moments later.