‘Round Palms: I <3 Dingbats

Next up in my Tour d’Palms is Clarington Av, which runs from Venice to National two blocks west of Hughes Av. Clarington is a little more heavily traveled than many of the residential streets in Palms, I think because it distributes/collects a fair amount of neighborhood traffic, and connects Palms to downtown Culver City. Probably partly as a result, almost all of Clarington has been redeveloped to apartment buildings, though a few SFRs are still around. You might want to open up an aerial map in another window and follow along to get an appreciation for the variety of building size and type. Without further ado:

At Clarington and Venice, we have an absolutely classic LA scene. With Sony Pictures Entertainment in the background, we have a 1985 strip mall on the left offering a mini world tour (Miyako Sushi, Villa Tacos, Giovanni’s Trattoria, Mama’s Indian, Thai BBQ, a convenience store that is somehow related to Myanmar, plus a party store and a nail salon for good measure). On the right is a generic four-story office building, also dating to 1985. It’s been vacant for a while, but the “for lease” sign recently came down and they’ve started painting the exterior.

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On the opposite side of Venice is an upscale Thai restaurant and a Smart ‘n Final Extra.

North of that and across the street are two large apartment buildings (built 1982, left and 2006, right).

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Then, we have this long, skinny dingbat, built 1963.

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Across the street, there’s a 1964 dingbat that’s one of my personal favorites.

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I like it because it looks like a giant whale straining cars through its baleen.

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Just past that, there’s an old-school SFR from 1963 with an auxiliary apartment building attached at the back. When I moved to Palms, I looked at an apartment here. It was very affordable, and the building is managed by a nice family that lives in the SFR portion of the structure. Traditionally, this is how home ownership translated into wealth for low-income and mid-income families: the ability to rent out rooms or apartments. This is a much more logical and sustainable way to build wealth than depending on never-ending house price increases.

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North of that building, there’s a three-story apartment and two-story apartment, built 2008 and 1964.

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At the corner of Clarington and Regent, a two-story building and a five-story building, built 1958 and 2011.

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Between Regent and Tabor, you’re pretty much in dingbat heaven. From Venice to Regent, many of the buildings have larger footprints, but on this block, most of them are single lot dingbats. From left to right, built 1962, 1965, 1987, an original SFR from 1922 hiding in the trees, and 1974.

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This building, from 1988, has siding instead of stucco – a dead giveaway it’s a Century West property.

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Here’s that 1922 SFR, looking fine next the a two-story apartment from 1974.

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A typical single lot dingbat from 1963.

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This model comes in blue or yellow, built 1967.

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Another Century West property (1988) and a modern-style building (1990).

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From the pink stucco to the floating faux rock wall, nothing says 1972 like this dingbat at the corner of Clarington and Tabor. The designer of this thing should get a Pritzker just to teach architects a little humility 😉

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Direct to you from the City of Lights, 50 years ago.

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Between yet another Century West property (1988) and a 2002 double-lot apartment building, we find a couple of charming SFRs from 1917 and 1930.

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On the north side of Palms, there’s three buildings on the west side of Clarington, with considerable variability in size and age (from left to right, 1988, 1963, and 1946). (Note: the 1946 building was recently demolished to make way for an Expo Line traction power substation, I think.)

On the east, two buildings, from 2000 (left) and 1951 (right).

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So on the short block between Palms and Exposition, we have five different decades represented. Between Venice and Exposition, every decade for the last 100 years is present. The variety of building types, ages, and sizes provides a range of accommodations and creates neighborhood diversity. History hasn’t been disrespected; quite the opposite, history has been honored by allowing the city to continue to grow and create opportunity for more people.

If we want Los Angeles to keep growing, stay diverse, and get more affordable, we need to allow more streets like Clarington to grow organically in more neighborhoods in the city.

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7 thoughts on “‘Round Palms: I <3 Dingbats

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