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About Village Green
LA Magazine Article, January 2003
The Lebrun Mural in the Clubhouse
Baldwin Hills Village: Spotlight on the Garden (link to CLF Web site)
Homeward found: ten great neighborhoods—Los Angeles
Source: Los Angeles Magazine—January 2003
IT MAY BE APOCRYPHAL, BUT LONGTIME VILLAGE GREEN RESIDENT David Mellin likes to tell the tale about a neighbor, a bank vice president who once gazed west from his office on the 52nd floor of a downtown skyscraper. "In the midst of the smog," says Mellin, a development planner, "he saw one clear block." It was Village Green, a 68-acre "urban forest" at the foot of Baldwin Hills, its 1,800 trees bravely filtering out the carbon dioxide. The anecdote is true to the utopian vision that spawned Village Green in the late '30s and early '40s—a vision that won this development of 629 one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums the distinction of National Historic Landmark in 2001. The Green embraces the automobile while shutting it out. The garages all tie on the periphery of the vast stretch of land that runs along Rodeo Road roughly between La Cienega and La Brea. The town houses and attached bungalows are inspired as much by the International Style as by prewar American suburbia.
ASKING PRICE: Hard to believe, but a 745-square-foot, one-bedroom bungalow with a brick fireplace and a sprawling outdoor patio was recently selling for $160,000. A three-bedroom, 1,583-square-foot condo sells for around $375,000. Plan on an average monthly co-op fee of $250 to cover upkeep of the impeccable grounds. WHO LIVES THERE: The Green was an adults-only community until a lawsuit opened it up 20 years ago. Now middle-class white and African American families and hipsters have joined the retirees. KIND OF RECALLS: Cape Cod as imagined by Le Corbusier. SCHOOLS: Baldwin Hills Elementary School, Audubon Charter and Magnet School, Dorsey High School. AMENITIES: Without a doubt the most expansive picnicking grounds of any condo development in Los Angeles. A forest of junipers, sweet gums, and redwoods, a pitch-and-putt green for golfers, weekend yoga classes, and a 24-hour security force. TRADITIONS: Halloween treats at the modernist Club House, Easter egg hunts, and biannual plein air concerts that have featured jazz greats Bobby Rodriguez and Buddy Collette. GREEN BELT: The Green itself is a national landmark, but it's also close to the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. GET ORGANIZED: The Village Green Owners' Association manages residents' safety, hires tree surgeons, and is overseeing the restoration of a WPA-style mural in the Club House (with support from the Getty Foundation). PLUS: Few condo owners can expect carloads of architecture students and aspiring city planners showing up to study what makes their living environment such a classic. MINUS: Although the elementary school performed well last year on standardized tests, Dorsey is among the lowest-rated schools in L.A.—E.L.