Westside Village Civic Assn., Inc.

Fritz B. Burns and the Development of Los Angeles

Local history of Westside Village

Local history buffs in Westside Village are in for a treat. A book has been written about Fritz Burns, the developer of Westside Village. Although the book is mainly about Burns, Westside Village figures prominently because it was his first major project and was the prototype for many other affordable housing developments in L.A.

Why do many blocks in WV have no curbs or sidewalks? In order to keep the price affordable for buyers in 1939 and 1940, Burns didn’t paint the houses or put in curbs and sidewalks. He left that up to the buyer. Another thing he did was to buy out a nursery so new homeowners could buy trees and shrubs at inexpensive prices--50 and 25 cents. I used to wonder why so many homes had the same plants in their landscaping--and that is why--a cheap and convenient source.

The information and detail in the book dovetails nicely with what community historian, Greg Fischer covered several years ago at our annual meeting. Utilizing new Federal legislation concerning real estate loans, Burns built affordable housing and made homeownership a reality for many who otherwise would not have had the financing..

The complete title is Fritz B. Burns and the Development of Los Angeles, published by The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University and the Historical Society of Southern California, 2001. It is written by James Thomas Keane, a Research Fellow for the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. He is a native of LA, graduated from LMU and lives in Playa Del Rey. I got my copy from Amazon for $25.00 and it is available in other bookstores.

The book would make a wonderful surprise gift for family or neighbors

Posted by gregors on 03/22/2002
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