Los Angeles home styles
A primer on distinctly L.A. designs
Midcentury modern architecture is frequently called the California Modern style. From the early 1930s to 1965, simple design and natural shapes characterized this architectural movement. Such architects as Henry P. Glass and Joseph Eichler perfected the style, emphasizing open floor plans and eliminating large support walls for glass walls or large windows. These elements help keep interior spaces exposed and bring the outdoors in.
With origins in Great Britain, Craftsman architecture first gained popularity in the U.S. in the late 19th century and early 20th century thanks to architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and the architectural firm of Greene & Greene. Hallmarks of the style include low-pitched roof lines, overhanging eaves, a front porch that is an extension of the main roof, hand-crafted stone and woodwork and built-in cabinetry. The style is epitomized by Pasadena's Gamble House, designed by Greene & Greene.
Although the original type of architecture dominated the Spanish colonies of North and South America, the Spanish Colonial Revival style originated in California and Florida as an expression of the regions' history and culture. It combined details from several eras of Spanish and Mexican architecture and peaked in popularity between 1915 and 1930. Made famous by George Washington Smith, architect of the Steedman House in Montecito, Calif., and Wallace Neff, the homes are typically characterized by stucco walls, arched doorways low-pitched clay tile roofs and decorative iron trim.