Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dingbats! Dingbats! Dingbats!

If you've lived in in Los Angeles, you've seen dingbats.  They're those boxy apartments that sprang up the 1950s and 1960s.   You know the ones:  Stucco blocks held up on poles (or walls) so you can park under them.   Some are plain, but many are adorned with garish details- glittery tile, funky sconces, and often a name splashed across the front.
These names always suggested something far different than "Standard Issue Boxy Dwelling:"
The Capri!
The Monte Carlo!
Camelot!
Kona Kai!
The Argyle!
The Stardust!

Some great (and ugly, and so-tacky-they're-wonderful) examples can be seen here, here and here.
And to think when  I was a kid I thought all apartments looked like this. 

6 comments:

stray said...

Cute drawing! I had never heard of these before; I guess we don't have them here. This one on link you posted is awesome:
http://begalke.com/tagged/dingbat/171/dingbat-apartment-building

Linda said...

Needless to say, I love these! (except for the beige ones).

p.s. to Stray: but you practically LIVED in a dingbat in Knoxville (one without the stilts).

me again said...

p.s. to Namo: love the deck as teeth in your drawing.

Namowal said...

Thanks stray.
Until recently I thought every city had these things. I drive by them every day.

Linda,
I agree the beige ones are pretty lackluster. I say break out the tiles, paint and kitsch!

I actually used a lot of geometry to shape and place his features (including his teeth). I'm afraid I lost some of the subtleties when I loosened him up into a cartoon pose- but at least he's lively.

p.s. He might appear in a new flash cartoon I'm working on.

Pile Girl said...

I don't think I've ever seen these either. Were they designed for flood plains?

Namowal said...

Pile Girl,
I think they were designed like that so there'd be plenty of parking spaces (first floor). It makes them vulnerable to quake damage, however.