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Tasteful friends: Hollywood history - El Cabrillo Courtyard townhouse of 1928, 1 bedroom 1 bath, $900k

Townhouse condo in one of the best of the courtyard apartments in L.A. 940 sq. ft. These turn up with some regularity, and while this isn't the best of the 20 units, Im always drawn to these apartments as a lot of non-L.A. people tend to be.

Listing follows in separate post

[quote]El Cabrillo is a two-story, ten-unit Spanish-style courtyard condominium building located at the southeast corner of Franklin Avenue and Grace Avenue in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. The Spanish Colonial Revival style building was designed by architects Arthur and Nina Zwebell and built in 1928 by movie mogul Cecil B. DeMille. El Cabrillo is the only building designed by the Zwebells using brick, a superior construction material as compared to their other courtyard buildings constructed using stucco and wood. It became one of the most fashionable addresses in Hollywood in the late 1920s and 1930s and was more recently used as the home of the main character in the television series Chuck. It has been designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and listed in the National Register of Historic Places. [Wikipedia]

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by Anonymousreply 10307/03/2020


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by Anonymousreply 106/28/2020

Brick construction + earthquakes = disaster waiting to happen.

by Anonymousreply 206/28/2020

Didn't I live there?

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by Anonymousreply 306/28/2020

I’d kill for that place!

by Anonymousreply 406/28/2020

Charming features: fireplace, staircase tiling, bathroom cabinets. A shared courtyard does work for me, and it's bit small for the price.

by Anonymousreply 506/28/2020

I like it but that neighborhood is super congested and also is there parking for that unit available? If it’s street parking only that’s going to really suck. Not worth the money to me.

by Anonymousreply 606/28/2020

Love love love.

by Anonymousreply 706/28/2020

R6, yeah that would rule it for me also as much as I like it

by Anonymousreply 806/28/2020

Fantastic place. The courtyard is especially lovely.

by Anonymousreply 906/28/2020

From last year, here's another in the same building. I'm always impressed when there's this degree of variation in size and plan and detailing, each unit quite different but all harmonious.

Within the description is also a link to another listing at another Zweebel courtyard apartment, The Andalusia.

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by Anonymousreply 1006/28/2020

Bit of history..

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by Anonymousreply 1106/28/2020

For you girls that like reading about such things, there is a nice book on "courtyard" housing in Los Angeles.

Something to leaf though, or place on coffee table to impress your guests.....

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by Anonymousreply 1206/28/2020

R12: It's an odd book. There should probably be several books. 1.) A nice coffee table book on the architecture of courtyard housing in L.A. complete with many floor plans. 2.) A book on the role they have played in films and popular culture, possibly with a "star map" aspect incorporated to locate the better examples. 3.) A scholarly book on the history of the form in Southern California (maybe with some discussion of the related apartment building forms elsewhere) complete with many floor plans.

This book is not really any of those, rather a narrow slice of #3 mostly and an uneven sprinkling of #2, with some just okay and too small photos. I think it grew out a 1982 building typology study by the architect among the authors.

As a caution, it's small format, slim book and fairly pricey.

by Anonymousreply 1306/28/2020

R10 that one is a lot nicer and a much better deal.

What’s the ventilation like in these though? I’m kind of getting overheated just by looking at them.

by Anonymousreply 1406/28/2020

r14 I prefer the first one, the design, and the kitchen, that deep dark blue's such a good idea for cabinets, whoever decorated understood it - the windows are better placed too, the natural light and shade makes the place look like a perfect little getaway in the middle of LA

by Anonymousreply 1506/28/2020

"Building a house exclusively of bricks can be costly, but it's a sensible investment that pays off. Interior walls made of bricks help adjust the building's temperature, as they store heat and cool air. In winter, the walls offer warmth, while on a hot summer day they have a cooling effect."

by Anonymousreply 1606/28/2020

Same listing?

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by Anonymousreply 1706/29/2020

I can just imagine all the helicopter noise overhead every night in Hollywood. How pleasant that would be! Sure keep all the windows open! It’ll sound like a war zone.

by Anonymousreply 1806/29/2020

Don't know why but these El Cabrillo courtyard listings remind me of the office/apartment of Joe Mannix in "Mannix" television show.

by Anonymousreply 1906/29/2020

R17 that may be the prettiest one. But one bathroom (and not even a big one) is a deal breaker for me (and I assume many.

by Anonymousreply 2006/29/2020

[quote]But one bathroom (and not even a big one) is a deal breaker for me (and I assume many.

Not a problem for me. I can understand a preference to have more than one bathroom (even in a one-bedroom apartment), but a deal breaker?

I'm sold on the architecture of a place, but to many people the bathrooms are the drivers of the deal. Maybe because I don't have a constant parade of guests and tradesmen through my house, I'm always struck by people who have a fit at the prospect of someone else using a toilet, or horror of horrors, having to walk through a bedroom to do so. I have to have a good house, the bathrooms are way down on the list as long as they are adequate or adaptable.

New houses are grim in design but have they must have ample and well appointed bathrooms. Bathrooms and display kitchens are the priorities, architecture is lost a Lowe's warehouse of amorphous spaces that serve mostly as circulation space to a series of vignettes of kitchen and bathroom products of the current trend.

by Anonymousreply 2106/29/2020

Amazingly unit in R17 just sold at end of March 2020, right during the pandemic.

Checked original listing and yes, there is only one bathroom. Thought there might be a powder room/half bath somewhere, but alas no.

Imagine having guests over and if they must use restroom must trek upstairs (and through master bedroom?) to get there.

Know one bathroom is common with many older European or UK homes, but find it dreadful. Don't want people wandering about "upstairs" which is supposed to be private family space.

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by Anonymousreply 2206/29/2020

Beautiful, all of them. Who needs parking when there's Uber?

by Anonymousreply 2306/29/2020

The 2-story listing at OP does have one-car garage parking.

The Andalusia seems to have a lot of original garages.

by Anonymousreply 2406/29/2020

I'm in love. Buy me. Love, love, love. Must have.

by Anonymousreply 2506/29/2020

This particular area is a nightmare to drive through during rush hour, and depending on what street, there’s only one way in and one way out.

The Hollywood Bowl is behind these apartments, so during the summer, you’re better off walking out of there to get your Uber, because you’re just fucked. Or better yet, book the season and go to the Bowl as much as possible and enjoy the neighborhood.

Another thing: I lived in one of these apartments in a different area, closer to Paramount. Same set up, courtyard, ceilings, fireplace, etc. Old , 1920s Hollywood at its finest. When we moved in, we had no idea that you could hear every other tenant’s conversations, 24/7. Let me be clear: you could hear people sneezing. My ex could not deal, and almost broke the lease ASAP. We ended up sub-leasing it, and promptly moved.

Gorgeous places, but sound barriers are nonexistent.

by Anonymousreply 2606/29/2020

R18. - you are about 1-2 decades off. My dad lives not too far from this place. In the 90's and early aughts, yes, there were a lot of helicopters at night. Since the extreme drop in crime over the past 2 decades, that has ended.

by Anonymousreply 2706/29/2020

Brick buildings in LA. No. This one was built before the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, too, which kicked off the LA move to have reinforced buildings that had some measure of protection.

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by Anonymousreply 2806/29/2020

Wow, that's surprising R26; I would think the brickwork/solid architecture would provide sound proofing, particularly compared to modern day/flimsy construction

by Anonymousreply 2906/29/2020

Ten units share that tiny courtyard?


by Anonymousreply 3006/29/2020

My dream. Absolutely love it.

by Anonymousreply 3106/29/2020

Only $900k? What a deal!

by Anonymousreply 3206/29/2020

What are the HOA fees

by Anonymousreply 3306/29/2020

Courtyards attract methy straight couples.

by Anonymousreply 3406/29/2020

I hate courtyard apartments, and where's the pool?

by Anonymousreply 3506/29/2020

R33: Maintenance/HOA fees are $441/month according to the listing details here. Seems cheap to me.

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by Anonymousreply 3606/29/2020

Well, R28, it survived the Sylmar and Northridge earthquakes and is still standing. It has to have been retrofitted.

And does it have a private patio space in the back? It looks like it.

by Anonymousreply 3706/29/2020

I prefer the first one. Kitchen and bathroom feel more of the time. Great cozy vibe. As long as it was quiet I could live the rest of my days there quite happily.

by Anonymousreply 3806/29/2020

It's concrete block construction and looks like plaster walls. Should be quiet enough. Love the walled back garden in OP's post. I would live there in a heartbeat.

by Anonymousreply 3906/29/2020

I would not want to share a courtyard with others. I value privacy.

by Anonymousreply 4006/29/2020

The courtyard is how you become acquainted with your neighbors in passing.

by Anonymousreply 4106/29/2020

R40: For me it's more akin to sharing a lobby -- and, of course some people bristle at that idea. It's a public space that provides outdoor access to the 10 units, a landscaped garden that separates you from your neighbors and provides a beautiful landscape that you share with them.

Many of the units have small private terraces. It's a pleasant space, but it wasn't planned as a space where all the residents converged all at once. There are places you could sit but it's not filled with obvious seating, nor spaces to entertain, etc. It's more a contemplative, visual space, not a recreation area.

Some people hate anyone else living near them. A 1928 courtyard apartment complex big on details and economical with space is probably not a good choice for them.

by Anonymousreply 4206/29/2020

For a time I lived in a more contemporary version in another city. It consisted of a raised inner courtyard surrounded by townhouses, with an apartment block style parking garage underneath. The backsides of the townhouses, that faced the opposite way from the courtyard side, had walk-out basements.

by Anonymousreply 4306/29/2020

Was your courtyard noisy?

by Anonymousreply 4406/29/2020

You bitches are all just hacienda Melrose Place fantasies and praying to run into Kimberly

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by Anonymousreply 4506/29/2020

Courtyard types of housing have been around in various forms for centuries. Other variations are found all over Europe in palaces, hôtel particulier, etc...

In days prior to modern electrical lighting and HVAC systems these interior open spaces served a valuable purpose. Allowing light and air into center of buildings which made for a world of difference. It isn't surprising California got their own "courtyard" type townhouses or apartments when you consider the climate for much of that state.

Not unlike South America, Mexico or Spain you wanted something that made warm weather living livable in days before air conditioning or even electric fans. IIRC California's warm areas don't have summers like say NYC where it gets hot and humid for days on end. It is cool in morning, heat builds during day, then things cool down again overnight. With a courtyard you can take advantage of cross ventilation to cool things down...

Didn't see any air conditioners in pictures of El Cabrillo, nor mention of central, so maybe the place doesn't need it?

by Anonymousreply 4606/29/2020

The listing mentions central a/c R46.

by Anonymousreply 4706/29/2020



by Anonymousreply 4806/29/2020


Property falls under CA's "Mills Act" scheme which provides economic incentives to those owing historical properties.

In this case building likely has a break on property taxes which is reflected in monthly maintenance fees.

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by Anonymousreply 4906/29/2020

R46: Central a/c and heat.

Climate can be made to work to advantage to a point, but modern heating and air conditioning are important ways to maintain comfort at the extremes of temperature and weather.

In southern Spain traditional houses not only incorporate patios (courtyards) but the windows get smaller as the houses rise vertically one story to another (the lower floors shaded by other neighboring houses but the top floors more exposed.) Grand houses and palaces often have parallel worlds: a set of summer rooms on the cool ground floor and a set of winter rooms in the dryer, warmer upper floor, the winter dining room directly above the summer dining room, the winter bedrooms after the summer bedrooms, the winter reception rooms above the summer reception rooms... But modern HVAC changes everything.

by Anonymousreply 5006/29/2020


Agreed, but no one was implying that mod cons aren't vastly better, but inhabitants of these buildings had to deal with things as they were during their lifetimes.

El Cabrillo was built when electricity was around so people could at least have fans. Don't think AC was around until 1930's, but would have to check.

by Anonymousreply 5106/29/2020

CastleGreen in Pasadena goes for half that.

by Anonymousreply 5206/29/2020

Is there a NO KIDS policy? I could just see children riding around on a Big Wheel in the courtyard.

by Anonymousreply 5306/29/2020

I really love the black vintage kitchens.

by Anonymousreply 5406/29/2020

R53 "no kids" policies are illegal unless the place is designated as a 55+ or senior housing.

Who ever is complaining about the price has no clue how expensive LA is.

R52 A 1200 ft 1 bed 1 bath recently sold for $750,000 at Castle Green. Of course Pasadena is cheaper than the heart of LA, for the most part. And Castle Green is NOT a courtyard apartment building.

by Anonymousreply 5506/29/2020

Courtyards are basically a variation on Mediterranean styles and 1st cousins to the kind of garden apartments that went up during the 20s in Chicago---almost anyone who's lived within a couple miles of the Lake outside of downtown has lived in one of these.

by Anonymousreply 5606/29/2020

No, r44, but our court didn't have many kids. And there were rules against "upsetting the peace and tranquility of the reflecting pool and enchanted garden" (I paraphrase). There were a few nerdy adult children who used the pool for model boat races but it wasn't tolerated for long. Other than that, residents might take stroll to look at the landscaping or sit at one of the benches to read.

But a nearby court, identical except for faux period style and quality of the garden, was a different story. Much of it was covered in ugly interlocking pavers so it became a place for small kids to ride trikes and scooters. They tried large goldfish in their pool but they attracted cats and raccoons.

by Anonymousreply 5706/29/2020

It's a beautiful building.

I'm always surprised that so much of LA is so ugly when the parts that are not tend to be absolutely gorgeous. But then I'm a sucker for Craftsman, Mission Revival and early through Mid-Century Modernism.

by Anonymousreply 5806/29/2020

What's an example of ugly Los Angeles?

by Anonymousreply 5906/29/2020

I lived in a very similar building in another city, built the year after this one. You could indeed hear everything in the adjacent apts, and courtyard. Our gate didn't lock, and I daily, had multiple people taking selfies on my front steps. HATED IT.

by Anonymousreply 6006/29/2020

I absolutely love it.

by Anonymousreply 6106/29/2020

R59. I think a lot of the commercial cores of the satellite neighborhoods are bland, unimaginative and repetitive; Century City is an aesthetic thud; a lot of the stuff from the '70s and '80s hasn't held up very well; the newer work, like architecture the world over, tends towards bright colors to cover up cheapness of construction; and some of the star projects such as the Broad Museum are major disappointments. Then you have the simple problem of above-head wires and other such distractions; the ubiquitous billboards and freeways; and the fact that grinding poverty has rendered neighborhoods that should be idylls into dusty no-mans-lands.

When LA gets it right, including the super-campy stuff from the '20s through the '60s, it really nails it. The Mediterranean Revival has still never really gotten a serious appraisal as the start of a global movement.

by Anonymousreply 6206/29/2020

[quote] A 1200 ft 1 bed 1 bath

The rooms must be HUGE. I have a 3BR/2.5BA townhouse, and it's only 1375 sq. ft.

by Anonymousreply 6306/29/2020

R59: Most of it. The ugly stucco covered GI BIll houses that fill the SF Valley and the San Gabriel. The endless strip malls. The even uglier Inland Empire. The endless brown of everything. And LA in the winter---the dreariness, the film noir lighting, the realization that this is a dull brown place where the green could disappear with a good drought. That's how LA is ugly. It lacks the lush native greenery of points North or much of the Eats. It lacks the real architectural character of any number of places. It's lucky that places like Atlanta, Houston & Dallas are easily more tacky.

by Anonymousreply 6406/29/2020

But these "Hollywood Gothic" Spanish style apartments are unique to LA

I lived in a very similar apartment in this building. "Furnished" is Hollywood Gothic stuff. The lore was passed down on which Hollywood royalty had fucked on the bed.

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by Anonymousreply 6506/29/2020


Courtyard living is also how your neighbors become acquainted with all your business.

If they aren't out in the courtyard, they're peeping out of the windows behind curtains.

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by Anonymousreply 6606/29/2020

There are quite a few courtyard buildings in Manhattan where I live. Some are quite grand - a couple on Park Avenue, but I knew a woman in the East Village who lived in one, and there are others in my UES neighborhood. For some reason it really appeals to me. Not that my doorman high-rise is such a hardship, but I love the courtyard concept. I guess passing through a little tunnel to get there would be sketchy in a dangerous neighborhood.

by Anonymousreply 6706/29/2020

CastleGreen isn't a courtyard residence, but it is a similar experience. I'd take El Cabrillo if only because it's location is preferable to Pasadena.

by Anonymousreply 6806/29/2020

Not sure what the exact difference is, but buildings like Astor Court and other NYC buildings built around a center courtyard aren't considered "courtyard" apartments same as El Cabrillo and others of that ilk.

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by Anonymousreply 6906/29/2020

Then you have the Belnord just down Broadway at 86th.

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by Anonymousreply 7006/29/2020

More on Belnord

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by Anonymousreply 7106/29/2020

Still further south on Broadway at 79th you have the Apthorp.

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by Anonymousreply 7206/29/2020

With the expected commission on a $900K apt, would it have killed the realtor to fluff rhe bed pillows and straighten the wet bath towel on the rod before taking the pics. Distracting.

by Anonymousreply 7306/29/2020

Yes, Manhattan and other parts of NYC are full of these sort of court yard buildings, and they weren't always for rich as many tenements were built on same designs.

Developers stopped building them for many reasons. One was thanks to changes in NYC's zoning and multiple dwellings law. The other is today those courtyards would be seen as empty wasted space. Thanks to modern HVAC and lighting the need for interior courts faded, so instead we got and continue to get high rise towers.

by Anonymousreply 7406/29/2020

For those interested a decent catalog of both lost and still around Manhattan buildings with courtyards can be found on Daytonian in Manhattan blog.

by Anonymousreply 7506/29/2020

You couldn't legally BUILD an all-brick building in Southern California nowadays. You'd have to build it using reinforced concrete, then adhere veneer bricks to the outside (and inside, if that was your intent. It's not even good enough to just embed vertical and horizontal rebar in the concrete... you need diagonal tendons to combat shear and torsion as well.

by Anonymousreply 7606/29/2020


by Anonymousreply 7706/29/2020

The LA bungalow court is a similarly charming setup.

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by Anonymousreply 7806/29/2020

I'd love it. That one-bedroom looks grand.

by Anonymousreply 7906/29/2020

Craftsman bungalow compound

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by Anonymousreply 8006/29/2020

[quote]The lore was passed down on which Hollywood royalty had fucked on the bed.

I'm sure they made up "Helen Lawson Fucked Here" plaques by the gross.

by Anonymousreply 8106/29/2020

Some of those at r78 remind of the ones in Mulholland Dr.

by Anonymousreply 8206/29/2020

The last photo at r78's link is St Andrews Bungalow Court in Hollywood. So gorgeous.

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by Anonymousreply 8306/29/2020

I see the toilet paper, but where is the toilet in OP’s link

by Anonymousreply 8406/29/2020

[quote]Courtyards are basically a variation on Mediterranean styles and 1st cousins to the kind of garden apartments that went up during the 20s in Chicago---almost anyone who's lived within a couple miles of the Lake outside of downtown has lived in one of these.

The 1920s was a peak period of interest in Spain by American architects. There's a large bibliography of architectural monographs published on Spanish architectural history during this period, wealthy architects often regarded a tour of Spain often as the highlight of a larger learning trip through Europe. Of course this was a peak period of growth and prosperity in California and in Southern California the search for particular forms and styles that suited the climate and history of the place often looked to Spain.

These Southern California courtyard apartments and Spanish Revival architecture looked especially to southern Spain, to Andalusia. The traditional model of a house built around a courtyard ("patio andaluz") or series of courtyards is found there. The example below is in Cordoba is from the Palacio de la Viana, from the XV Century, and has 12 patios, each different in size and decoration and character and sometimes use. Models for these houses date back to the X Century Spain under Muslim rule and in turn back another thousand years to classical Roman Empire peristyle house—a single or series of connected rectangles, the sides formed by ranges enclosed space one room deep and fronting internally to a patio (courtyard.) These casas andaluz turned their backs to the street and the outside world, and aside from a promising gate or door, and a few hints of decoration were externally plain and internally focused. The courtyards provided oases of calm and and cool greenery with fountains and provided a degree of separation and privacy for large numbers of family members, sometimes multiple branches of a family living under one set of roofs; one family group could come through the same outside door, share the same patio, but live in their own sets of rooms in one part of the house.

I think it's a brilliant model and, in the right climate, an optimal way for multiple tenants/owners to share a common space that's lush and filled with plants and fountains as an external lobby space (not a playground for kids or a space for barbecues or splashing in the pool that isn't there.) Inward facing but with privacy (from the intensive landscaping and architectural features) and without a forced jollity of swinging singles resort or cruise ship. If I lived in L.A., these Spanish courtyard apartments would be my ideal housing.

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by Anonymousreply 8506/30/2020

For those who find themselves in Spain and want to take a tour....

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by Anonymousreply 8606/30/2020

Now this is a courtyard building!

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by Anonymousreply 8706/30/2020

Floor plans for you girls that like that sort of thing.

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by Anonymousreply 8806/30/2020

This is the main facade of the Palacio de Viana, the other street elevations are much plainer, with relatively minimal fenestration and no decorative stonework. These houses give clues (certainly in a grand entrance like this) because mostly they turn inward and hide their charms for the interior and patios.

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by Anonymousreply 8906/30/2020

I dreamed of living alone in a courtyard townhouse, sans children and husband.

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by Anonymousreply 9006/30/2020

Regents Gate, East Melbourne, Australia

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by Anonymousreply 9106/30/2020

Regents Gate

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by Anonymousreply 9206/30/2020

Some steps down the ladder from the grander "patio andaluz" houses are the "patios de vecinos" which were inhabited by multiple families in series of rooms arranged around a courtyard on two or three levels, connected by galleries at the upper levels and usually just one room deep. The patios contained shared water sources, toilets, and the ground floor rooms sometimes included things like a bakery, a chapel, etc. It's a tighter, less lush and luxurious version, and shorter on physical distance and privacy.

Here's one from the XVI Century, originally owned by a noble family but not as a palace but as a living space for their workers. This one is older still in origin, from the time of Arab rule, but was substantially reworked again in the 18th Century. Quite a few of these working class versions of patio houses survive, modernized, obviously, with the ranges of individual rooms formed into apartments and with bathrooms and kitchens added -- bringing once communal spaces into individual units. This one is rental housing mostly for students and tourists.

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by Anonymousreply 9306/30/2020

There is a developer in West Hollywood that is buying and razing all the charming Craftsmen and Mission style homes and building soulless 2 story modern homes or multi condos. They'll purchase homes not even on the market. It's taking all the charm out of the neighborhood. Within 2 blocks, they bought 15 properties, and has had construction going on for at least 6 years.

by Anonymousreply 9406/30/2020

They couldn't have cleaned the bathroom and replaced the burned out bulb?

It looks....musty.

by Anonymousreply 9506/30/2020


Didn't even notice put link in wrong place. Sorry!

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by Anonymousreply 9606/30/2020

If some of you girls can peel your eyes away from main action you'd notice Kristen Bjorn porn features locations in courtyard properties.

These likely are private homes (South America? Spain? Southern Europe?), but if one is going to do porn out doors nothing better than a closed properties like a courtyard type building.

Some other stuff coming out of Brazil also is shot in what appears to be courtyard type private homes. Again the appeal is obvious; you can film outdoors in lush gardens, yards with tons of lawns, trees, a pool, etc... but thanks to those high walls no one can see from outside.

by Anonymousreply 9706/30/2020

I'm late to the thread, but I do love this place so much. That said it is a lot for what you don't get, and I'm used to the insanity of California prices. I'd like to see it without the staging.

Not having a powder room on the first floor is a complete dealbreaker for me. I fucking hate stairs, because I'm old, but those are quite beautiful and seem at least somewhat "doable". I see those evil fucking "floating stairs" have been making a comeback and they terrify me.

I know, who cares.

by Anonymousreply 9807/03/2020

Part of problem with these courtyard townhouse developments is often thanks to modern zoning there is quite a bit of unused air rights. A complex for a group of basically single family two or three story houses is all very well. But when a developer could build a six to eight story apartment building on same land, well you can see where that would lead.

by Anonymousreply 9907/03/2020


by Anonymousreply 10007/03/2020

R10, this is a much nicer apartment than the one OP showed. Like the larger rooms, larger private courtyard area and upgraded amenities like kitchen cupboards and shower.

by Anonymousreply 10107/03/2020

R91, a nice enough building, but nothing to do with the courtyard style.

by Anonymousreply 10207/03/2020

The stairway begs for a Laverne&Shirley dance number. I’d need Bottega Veneta sandals for that cool slap sound they make.

by Anonymousreply 10307/03/2020
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