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Lomita

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Harbor Hills Housing Project, 26607 Western Avenue, Lomita, Los Angeles County, CA



B&W Photos

HB180292

HB180293

HB180294

HB180295

HB180296

HB180297

HB180298

HB180299

HB180300

HB180301

HB180302

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Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title
Harbor Hills Housing Project, 26607 Western Avenue, Lomita, Los Angeles County, CA

Location
26607 Western Avenue, Lomita, CA

Find maps of Lomita, CA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS CA-2695
Significance: The Harbor Hill Housing Project is significant as an important representative example of the role the federal and local government played in providing low income rental housing during the Great Depression. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was created by the National Housing Act of 1934 to encourage the revitalization of a national housing industry battered by the effects of the Depression. Harbor Hills is also significant for its architectural design and planning. The Chief Architect for the project was Reginald D. Johnson, with assistance provided by AC Zimmerman, Eugene Weston, Jr., Lewis E. Wilson and Donald B. Parkinson. The landscape plan was designed by Katherine Bashford and Fred Barlow, with Clarence Steiin credited as a consulting architect. Johnson is widely noted as one of Southern California's premier designers in the period revival styles of the 1920s, and also frequently cited in connection with his partnership with Gordon Kaufmann and Roland Coate. He later established a reputation as an innovator in modern site planning, both for his collaboration in this project and the Baldwin Hills Village project (1940). The Baldwin Hills project is listed on the NRHP. According to Alson Clark, in his essay "Reginald D. Johnson: Regionalism and Recognition," "...his most significant government housing, of which he was chief architect (with the offices of A.C. Zimmerman, Eugene Weston, Jr., Lewis E. Wilson, and Donald B. Parkinson collaborating) was the three-hundred unit Harbor Hills project at San Pedro, completed in 1941. Johnson even managed to get Katherine Bashford, with whom he had worked on many mansions, such as the Bauer House in Pasadena, appointed landscape architect at Harbor Hills. California Arts and Architecture called the project 'one of the most attractive in the country.' " (Newland, 1992:25) Donald Parkinson is also notable as a principal in the important regional architectural firm of Parkinson and Parkinson, founded by his father, John L. Parkinson. Clarence Stein's involvement with this project is particularly notable. Stein figures as one of the nation's most influential city planners during this era. Along with Henry Wright, Stein pioneered the "superblock" concept of development, which broke from the earlier model of urban development by segregating automobile and residential traffic and orienting residential units onto common landscaped areas. Most frequently cited as path-breaking efforts in this regard are Stein and Wright's plans for Sunnyside on Long Island, and Radburn, New Jersey. Stein's superblock concepts can be seen as much in evidence at the Harbor Hills development, though it is difficult at this time to accurately assign the site planning credit entirely to either Stein, Johnson, or any of the other collaborating architects.

Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
View from Western Avenue looking northwest down curbside walkway. Building 15 in left foreground. Illustration of asymmetrical layout and forty-five degree angle of buildings to public street
Entryway view of interior pedestrian circulation and green space, with Building 7 on right foreground and Building 8 in left foreground. View facing southwest
Detail of curved interior sidewalk and open space with Building 6 in background. View facing southwest
Detail of multipaned steel casement windows at second floor level, also illustrating overhanging eave treatment. Building 4, facing northwest
Detail of adjacent buildings illustrating spatial relationships and window placement Buildings 16 and 17 facing south
Detail illustrating multipaned steel casement windows breaking building corner. Building 27, facing northwest
Window type: paired 3x2 multipaned steel window flanked by 1x3 multipaned steel casements, breaking building corner. Broad overhanging eave also illustrated. Second story detail. Building 13, facing east
Window type: paired 2x4 multipaned steel windows flanked by 1x4 multipaned steel casements, breaking building corner. Raised panel door front entry also illustrated. Ground floor detail Building 19, facing north
Window type: 2x3 fixed multipaned steel window flanked by 1x3 multipaned steel casements. Concrete sill and spandrel also illustrated. Building 43, facing east
Window type: 4x4 multipaned steel window flanked by 1x4 multipaned steel, casements. Concrete stoop, entry overhang and pipe rail detail also illustrated. Building 36, facing northwest
Window types: (from left to right) Pair of 2x2 multipaned steel casements; triplet of 1x4 multipaned steel casements (center panel fixed); 1x3 multipaned steel casements. Building 20, facing southwest
Internal pedestrian circulation and common open space, also illustrating mature landscape features. Building 35 at left foreground. Facing east
Walkway and stairs. Building 26 at upper left. Facing southwest
One of six dead-end "motor courts." Building 16 in the right mid ground. Facing west
Brick incinerator structure located adjacent to "motor courts." This example is located between Buildings 26 and 27. Facing northeast


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