Best Architectural Variety of 1920s and 1930s Apartment Buildings (2011)

Oxford, Serrano and Hobart East of Western Avenue

To see a stunning array of buildings that shows how L.A. really knew how to do period-revival style and art deco apartments back in the day, stroll Oxford, Serrano and Hobart east of Western Avenue between Eighth and San Marino streets. While the area isn't pristine, thanks to teardowns and some unfortunate in-fill development, this section of the Pellissier Square tract retains enough integrity and style to offer an elegant glimpse into Los Angeles of the 1920s and '30s. Buildings such as the Mediterranean revival–style Sir Francis Drake, the art deco Ashby Apartments and French chateau revival St. Germaine reflect a young city's desire for legitimacy. An aggressive pitch began in 1926, when the remaining Pellissier Square parcels came up for sale, with the goal of "setting a new standard in apartment community development," according to the Los Angeles Times. It worked. Sadly, architectural gems such as the Uptown Fox Theatre on Western near Olympic are long-gone, but thankfully the beloved landmark Wiltern (formerly the Pellissier Building) still stands.

—Jessica Ritz