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American ArcadiaCalifornia and the Classical Tradition$
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Peter J. Holliday

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256517

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190256517.001.0001

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A “Villa in a Garden” for the Masses

A “Villa in a Garden” for the Masses

(p.259) 9 A “Villa in a Garden” for the Masses
American Arcadia

Peter J. Hollida

Oxford University Press

After the war, more ordinary working people could afford monthly mortgage payments than ever before, reviving the vision of an arcadian existence on the West Coast. Although postwar developers favored Modern designs for their vast housing tracts, a few (Joseph Eichler) incorporated features adapted from ancient dwellings. It was not just their design but also the way Southern Californians sought to live their lives in their houses that looked back to ancient precedents. In a few exceptional cases (Trousdale Estates and Mount Olympus), developers applied classicizing features to their houses in an attempt to conjure associations of stability and permanence, and perhaps even the pretensions of upper-class prestige for their subdivisions. A new wave of immigrants deployed a classical vocabulary to express their identities in so-called Persian Palaces, which have prompted unintended negative reactions.

Keywords:   Joseph Eichler, Modernism, Mount Olympus, Persian Palace, Trousdale Estates

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