Mid-century California modernism has come to capture the attention of design lovers worldwide, and much of it has been published and showcased over the past decade. A new book comes to investigate one famed development, the Trousdale Estates, known as the most ambitious project that still summarizes the Los Angeles’s residential architecture vocabulary of the mid-century decades. ‘Trousdale Estates: Midcentury to Modern in Beverly Hills,’ by Steven M. Price comes to uncover this amazing project that included homes designed by some of California’s best talents. From Wallace Neff, Paul Williams, Cliff May, and Lloyd Wright, to Harold Levitt, A. Quincy Jones, and Edward Fickett, all had taken part in this glamorous development. It all began at the height of the construction boom, when in 1954 visionary developer Paul Whitney Trousdale sought to build a glamour modernist neighborhood on a lot of a former ranch, which he had acquired. According to the master plan, overseen by Allen Siple, all houses had to be no higher than one story and no less than 3,000 sf, at a tiem when the national average was 1,250 sf, making them luxurious in mid-century standard. . The lots were purchased by such celebrities as Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, Dean Martin, Michael Caine, Ray Charles, Warren Beatty, and Frank Sinatra who hired the best architects to realize some of the most spectacular mid-century homes. Price tells the story of its rise, its fall, when mid-century modernism began to fall out of favor in the 1980s, and its rediscovery, becoming among the most stylish and sought-after homes in the 21st century.
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