The Garden City Company of California was an organization of members "who are actively engaged in practicing some of the larger aims of the Association; namely the designing and building of beautiful homes and gardens, the consistent architectural development of real estate subdivisions, and the layout out of such subdivisions and town sites."
In the first several decades of the 20th century, Southern California offered real estate developers a golden opportunity to embrace the "City Beautiful" movement and make a killingl. Architects and builders capitalized not only on the great social and cultural awareness promoted by their professional peers, but in the daily and monthly publications consumed by the general public. California had a cachet all its own as the movie industry captured the attention of Americans from coast to coast. And it was perfect for year around garden living.
The founding member, Francis Pierpont Davis, was an architect and 1932 Gold Medal Olympian in sailing. His father was a Baltimore architect, so Davis and his brother Walter followed in the family business.
Davis was well-connected through his marriage and education. He moved to California in 1907 and with his brother established the firm of Davis and Davis. They did residential architecture in addition to apartment buildings and other larger buildings including schools and churches in the Greater Los Angeles area.
One, the La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes, was designed by Davis and Davis in conjunction with the Olmsteads, who executed the landscape architecture.
The original book is relatively small, so we've scanned our images at higher resolution to make it easier to see the detail of the design and plan. We've also copied the text describing our featured plans verbatim, but have placed the text at the bottom of the page to make viewing the illustrations easier.
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