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Some Traction / Gregory Ain – Mar Vista Tract Homes

Gregory Ain joined the Eames Office in 1942 after having been on his own completing architectural and design projects.  His role at the office put him in the middle of developing some of the most important furniture designs of our time – especially the molded plywood goods. Charles Eames and Gregory shared a common and intellectual view that design was a problem-solving task. Ain obtained the title of Chief Engineer during a three-year period, working along with Eames to problem solve the mass production of molded ply goods. These goods included the DCW, LCW, LCM, and DCM chairs.

His departure after this time allowed him to return to his architectural practice. 

After developing a few other small Modernist single and tract projects entering into the late 1940’s, his project called Mar Vista Housing became his largest and most regarded. The project was for a builder named B.M. Edelman, who happened to own a 60-acre tract. The original plan called for 102 homes. The goal of Ain was to create a planned housing community with a high level of differentiation. Architectural shifting and landscape design helped achieve this. These houses were built to accommodate families post the war, while keeping in mind the overall costs. The Mar Vista Houses went on sale for $11,000 in 1948, at just over 1,000 Square feet. The project did not reach the planned number of 102 homes, but did make it to 52.

Today the tract has reached Historic Preservation protection and renewed interest due the overall rising levels of Modernism in recent years.


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