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August 13, 2022

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A Design History of L.A.’s Dingbat Apartment Buildings | Bloomberg CityLab

1 min read

Faced with a housing shortage, Los Angeles once had a solution. Developers in the 1950s and ’60s tore down thousands of older buildings and filled in virtually every square foot with aggressively economical two- or three-story apartment complexes that became known as dingbats. The colorful carport-equipped apartment buildings offered affordable — and sometimes stylish — digs for generations of L.A. dreamers.

Special thanks to Thurman Grant and Joshua Stein, editors of the book, “Dingbats 2.0: The Iconic Los Angeles Apartment as Projection of a Metropolis,” for their invaluable assistance.

To understand a city, start with the foundation. Floor plans from homes around the world explain how the way we live has shaped the design of urban neighborhoods — and vice versa. This video is part of a special series that explores iconic residential architecture in cities around the world. Read more and sign up to get the next story in this series sent to your inbox:
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