In the early 20th century, Los Angeles bungalow courts became popularized. Bungalow courts are small, private homes that share communal outdoor space and amenities. It was an easy way to house multiple families all on one plot, removing the high cost apartment building concept, according to Curbed. This type of housing boomed for several reasons, but now, only 350 bungalow courts remain today, still loved for their sense of community. Are the cost-efficient, vintage bungalow courts ready for a comeback?
Hollywood producer and writer Alison Bennett was intent on starting over when she moved into a 1920s bungalow court in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake. At first, she was enamored with her floor-to-ceiling windows and clear view of the “Hollywood” sign, but she quickly learned that the true draw of the court was its residents.
“Most of the people living in the bungalow court were insanely good-looking couples in their late 20s,” Bennett recalls. Her tight-knit neighbors would hang out in the party-light-strung parking lot of the Spanish Revival–style court at all hours of the day and night. “It was like a sitcom … I was only a few years older than them, but I felt like the resident divorcée crone. It was like being stuck in Friends when you didn’t want to be in Friends. I loved every second of it. My girlfriends would come over and see all the hot people walking around and be like, ‘What is your life?’”