One day while walking home from Cafe 50’s in Venice, I stumbled upon what appeared to be an abandoned housing complex. It’s huge—several city blocks and in pretty prime real estate territory. What was it? Military barracks? A massive fallout shelter? Maybe an asylum for the insane?

    Hundreds of midcentury apartments just a mile from the ocean and not a soul to be seen—it does seem a little crazy, but this complex, which is called Lincoln Place, was never an asylum. It opened in 1951 as affordable housing for World War II veterans, and some of the Greatest Generation were still living there when a developer took over in 2003 and began demolishing buildings and staging mass evictions to make way for faux-Italian condos. Last year a compromise was struck among tenants, the city, the L.A. Conservancy, and the developer, calling for the preservation of much of the historically designated site, the return of some of the evictees, and construction of new units in areas where residents used to hang their laundry.

    Photograph courtesy