Everybody’s got one. That house in your neighborhood that makes you stop in your tracks. You find yourself walking by it more and more—maybe even rerouting your walk just so you can slowly, casually, nonchalantly stroll by it. Eventually it piques your interest so much you find yourself thinking about it when you’re at home. You might Google the address to find some information about the architect. You might stalk it on Craigslist. You may even try to find out who owns it. For me, that house (or houses) was the Bubeshko Apartments, located on a street here in Silver Lake where I ride my bike or walk several times a week. And a few months ago, I got to experience the greatest perk of my job as a design writer: I got to go inside my dream house.
I had always been fascinated with the story of the apartments: they were designed by great midcentury architect Rudolph Schindler for a family in the 1930s, so they could rent out the remaining units and have financial security. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I knew the identities of the family who currently resided within those walls. And as I discovered as I spent the day with filmmaker Joe DeMarie and his wife Madeleine Brand (who you may know from the public radio show that bears her name), they bought and lovingly restored the property for the very same reasons: to give their children a great place to grow up, and also ensure their future.
But it’s what happened between those two families, in a story that spans over 60 years, that’s absolutely amazing. Head over to Dwell to read my story “Self Preservation.” And thanks to Joe and Madeleine for their passion and dedication to keeping this little corner of Silver Lake history alive.
Top photo by Jessica Haye and Clark Hsiao