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.