Dingbats of Los Angeles


An often under-appreciated LA building type is the vernacular apartment building, sometimes referred to as a “dingbat” or stucco box. Functional and basic, these small-scale apartment complexes were enhanced with the full Hollywood treatment: evocative names suggesting fantasy lands like “Shangri-La” or Polynesian paradises like “Kona Pali,” lighted starburst decorations, and on-site gardens or swimming pools. Cars were kept conveniently off-street under the elevated living areas— a vernacular interpretation of Modernist principles developed by Le Corbusier in his 1928 Villa Savoye residence in France.

Dingbat Apartment Buildings

Examples at: