Photo by Maggie Shannon
A butterfly invasion. Nostalgic photos of 1970s Los Angeles. An experimental housing community. A new law to help renters. And more.
This year, we chronicled the restoration of the iconic Brady Bunch house, waxed nostalgic, showed you the best of Los Angeles real estate, explained a game-changing law designed to help renters, and continued to chronicle the drama of a half-built mansion in the hills. Here, nine of our most-read stories of 2019, along with a short list of my favorites stories of the year.
In the spring, millions of butterflies fluttered around Los Angeles, feasting on plants that proliferated in the wake of an exceptionally wet winter. Swarms of painted ladies were spotted all across Southern California, from the Walk of the Fame, to the hills of Griffith Park, to South Bay beaches.
On January 1, the state will begin to regulate how much Californians’ rent can increase every year, limiting it to 5 percent, plus the local rate of inflation. The rules, however, will vary for cities that already have rent control laws—and that makes things pretty complicated. We broke down the rules.
A crew of HGTV stars spent eight months renovating a pink ranch house in Studio City that appeared in almost every single episode of the Brady Bunch. Of course, HGTV turned the renovation into a TV show all of its own. Curbed LA contributor Chris Eggertsen tuned in to recap the the first episode.
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been described as the director’s love letter to late ‘60s Los Angeles. Here, a map of some of the film’s major locations, which include swinging nightspots, drive-in theaters, hillside getaways and secluded movie ranches.
Set to start running in 2023, the automated shuttle system will connect to a future light rail station along the under-construction Crenshaw/LAX Line, finally creating a rail connection to the world’s fourth-busiest airport.
Both a National Historic Landmark and a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, the sprawling Village Green complex is an affordable “garden city” in the heart of Los Angeles.
Under the name “The Family Acid,” one family has photographed and compiled thousands of images of Los Angeles from the 1960s through the 1990s. As contributor Marissa Clifford writes, they immortalize ephemeral moments in an ever-evolving city.
In September, fashion designer Betsey Johnson put her first Los Angeles home on the market: a pink trailer in Malibu’s funky Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom trailer was an extension of her fashion style: colorful, girly, eclectic, and a little bit punk.
A civil lawsuit brought new information to light about the mansion that Mohamed Hadid has partially built into a Bel Air hillside. In records made public in June, a contractor raised concerns about friendships Hadid—who is the father of models Gigi and Bella Hadid—forged with city inspectors.
A Hancock Park couple sold their Tudor-style home to a buyer who they believed would cherish it for a long time. But almost as soon as escrow closed, the new owners tore it down. The story struck a chord with neighbors, who tried to save the home, and with readers—it was one of the most commented stories of the year.
Once you know what they’re called, you’ll start noticing them all over Los Angeles. Here’s a guide to get you acquainted with one of the grooviest features of midcentury modern architecture.
In 2018, according to city estimates, walking, biking, and transit only made up 14 percent of trips in Los Angeles. The city won’t survive if it keeps putting cars first. By 2035, Alissa Walker writes that LA needs a network of safe, shaded, well-lit right-of-ways connecting people, parks, and transit throughout the city. She calls it “a freeway system for people on foot.”
Brentwood’s Crestwood Hills is an “architecturally controlled community” on the scenic ridges above Kenter Canyon. In the 1940s, its founders set out to build a sustainable modern community with shared principles and amenities at a reasonable price. Today, the neighborhood is a jewel box of single-family homes designed by midcentury masters. One of those homes, by the way, burned to the studs during the Getty Fire.
In this moving, eloquent first-person essay, photographer Janna Ireland writes about Paul R. Williams, the first black member of the American Institute of Architects and one of the most important figures in Los Angeles architectural history. Here’s an excerpt: “Williams taught himself a brilliant trick; he learned how to draw upside down as well as he could right side up. A skittish prospective client could be drawn in by the magic of watching the home of their dreams appear on the table in front of them without the impropriety of sitting next to the architect.”