4207 W. Franklin Avenue 90027
4207 W. Franklin Avenue 90027 Los Angeles
This Dingbat variant is a Hillbat (built on a steeply sloping site).
About Dingbats: The term Dingbat was coined by British architectural historian Reyner Banham in his 1971 book entitled: “Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies.” The Dingbats were a response to the need for denser housing in the urban environment, and in their simplest form, are a two or three story apartment building constructed in a rectangular prism volume, with a recessed ground floor to allow for tenant parking, and possibly with a cut-away balcony. The first Dingbat style apartments were constructed in Los Angeles in the mid- to late-1950s, and remained popular until the late 1960s to early 1970s. Among the most important character defining features of the Dingbats are the decorative light sconces, sculptural pieces, and fanciful signs mounted to the front facing stucco facades. These elements, typically a starburst or “Sputnik,” were used by graphical artists in the late 1950s, who commonly called such design elements “dingbats.” Another important character defining feature were the large, raised characters used for signage, prominent numerals for the street number, and bold letters, often cursive, used to portray the name of the building. The buildings’ names were often exotic, almost to imply that the tenant was pulling into a tropical paradise, or other safe haven, away from the hectic pace and responsibilities of urban life. The buildings had very little other ornament, although it was not uncommon for the designers to use some panels set in a geometric pattern. (Source: Los Angeles Department of City Planning, Los Feliz Historic Preservation Zone, October 5, 2004)
Type: Dingbat Sold
Year Built: 1964