Clash Over Garden City Apartments in Los Angeles

The Wyvernwood Garden Apartments, a large-scale low-rise development opened in 1939, are at the center of a preservation debate. Lauren Walser gives us the case for keeping them.

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January 3, 2016, 7:00 AM PST

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Los Angeles Apartments

Parker Knight / Flickr

Built according to Ebenezer Howard's Garden City model, the Wyvernwood development in East Los Angeles now houses a majority-Latino community. Lauren Walser writes, "Each of the 143 buildings is built around grassy garden areas, so that residents walk out their front door and into a park-like setting, rather than a busy street. The buildings, minimalist in design with low-pitched roofs, are positioned to let it plenty of sunlight and fresh air, while still giving each unit a sense of privacy."

"Since 2007, the residents of Wyvernwood have been fighting its demolition. The complex's owner, Miami-based Fifteen Group Land and Development LLC, has proposed to level Wyvernwood and replace it with a $2 billion development."

The article quotes Adrian Scott Fine, director of advocacy at the Los Angeles Conservancy. "'There's a housing crisis in Los Angeles, no question about that,' Fine says. 'And we need to address it. But we want to look for a win-win opportunity, where we can create some density without total destruction and loss. There's an opportunity for change, but how do you manage change in a way that doesn't call for a complete loss of community?'"

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