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Wyvernwood Garden Apartments

Los Angeles, CA

Located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, the residential community was constructed in 1939 and was the first large-scale garden apartment complex in the city. The more than seventy-acre development has 1102 units in 143 buildings and is made up of over 75 percent shared open space and recreational facilities. The community was modeled on the garden suburbs made popular on the East Coast by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright. Partially financed by the Federal Housing Administration, the complex was designed to provide housing for a mix of middle and low income working families.

The architects for the project were David J. Witmer and Loyall F. Watson, with landscape architect Hammond Sadler collaborating on the site plan and responsible for the landscape design. In his plans, Sadler employed the garden suburb design principles of the time, centered on self-contained communities with large common open spaces, but Modernist in its innovative site plan and focus on function. The grounds were richly planted with over 600,000 trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, with generous expanses of lawn, parkland and playgrounds connected by pathways. With the visual and spatial qualities of the design still intact today, Wyvernwood is listed in the California Register of Historic Resources.
 

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