Posts tagged Gregory Ain
Gregory Ain studied architecture at the University of Southern California during the years 1927-28. While the fashion of architectural training of the day was for the ‘beaux arts’, the movement towards modernism was beginning to make its impact at all levels of life, including architecture. These revolutions in our understanding of any human endeavor often have their beginnings on the campuses of the world’s universities. As a youth, Gregory Ain was acquainted with Rudolf Schindler’s Kings Road house, and this ‘new style’ of architecture definitely had an impact upon him.After graduation, Gregory Ain went to work in the office of Richard Neutra in Silver Lake, already established as one of the ‘young lions’ of the emerging modernist movement. Early in his career, Gregory Ain developed an interest In group housing for low and middle income families. In 1937, he began the development of Dunsmuir Flats, which became his signature work, and which through the photography of the great Julius Shulman, established his reputation.
In 1940 Ain received a Guggenheim Fellowship for the development of low-cost housing. One of the most successful schemes was the Avenal Housing Project in Silver Lake, twenty attractive hillside units with private patios and living rooms with views, built for the members of a musician’s union whos members worked in the film industry.
Tierman House, located at 2323 Micheltorena Street in the Moreno Highlands was designated in 1974 by the City of Los Angeles as a Historic Cultural Monument (No. 124) and noted for its ‘architectural simplicity and elegance achieved through relationship between building and site.’
Other Gregory Ain homes in Silver Lake are Daniels House, 1856 Micheltorena Street and Orans House, 2404 Micheltorena Street. There is also an office building located at 2311 Hyperion Avenue in Silver Lake which was once the office of Gregory Ain and James Garrott, one of the few African-American architects in practice at the time.
Built on a steep hillside in Silver Lake’s architecturally-significant Silver Ridge Avenue, the multilevel Sharlin House represents a significant departure from the architect’s typical single story home. Projecting trellises, shown here, contribute handsomely to the building’s overall design.Gregory Ain designed the house for the Sharlin family. Rose Scharlin was the moving force behind the very first cooperative nursery school in the City of Los Angeles c.1939, and the model upon which local schools patterned themselves. Beginning as the Echo Park Cooperative Nursery School, using the facilities of the Echo Park Playground, a number of its members decided to start a similar school for the Silver Lake area and broke away from the original group, taking with them as the new school�s director Mrs. Rose Scharlin in 1946. The new school began as the Lakeview Cooperative Nursery School at the present school site, which was then an abandoned tennis court. Rose Scharlin fostered the concept of parents and children growing and learning together within the group. When Rose Scharlin died in 1948, the name of the school was changed in her memory. In 1955 it merged with the old Echo Park School to become one again.Located at 2363 Silver Ridge Avenue in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The architect, who passed away in 2002 aged 94, was friends with other non-conformists of the period, including architectural photographer Julius Schulman, landscape designer Garrett Eckbo, and fellow ‘radical’ architect Gregory Ain. He was a card-carrying Communist whose political activism made him a target of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Shulman photographed the Jenkyns House for his friend, but never allowed them to be published, citing privacy issues. The house is located at 1973 Redesdale Avenue.
The Becker House is located at 1828 San Jacinto Street in the Moreno Highlands neighborhood of Silver Laek.
Becker House, Gregory Ain, Architect 1938-40; Barry Milofsky, M2A Architects, Restoration 2003-07
In the 1940’s Gregory Ain designed several attached and detached housing projects that were notable for their site planning and innovation. These began with the Dunsmuir Flats in 1937, after which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1940. Other projects were planned, but few were built due to the aversion by financial institutions to provide funding. The Avenal Housing Project was one of his great successes. Built for a musician’s union to provide housing for its members, the condominiums provide remarkable separation and privacy employing such devices as sliding partition walls. Several of the ten units have undergone extensive restoration. Architect Gordon Olschlager received a Merit Award for his work on one of the units in 2005, adding storage and additional elements. The units are approximately 1100 square feet with private patios and entrances. The complex was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in February 2005.
The Avenal Cooperative Housing Project is located at 2839-2949 Avenal Avenue in Silver Lake.
Gregory Ain and James “Jimmy” Garrott designed this mid-century modernist building for their offices in 1950. Garrott was one of the few African-American architects of the time. The office is now occupied by Unruh Boyer, an Architecture, Interior Design and Planning firm, Antony Unruh and Trish Boyer, Principals.
The Ain & Garrott Architectural Office is located at 2311 Hyperion Avenue.