Westlake, Daly City, California
The Westlake District of Daly City, California, is one of the first post-World War II suburbs in the United States. Located just south of San Francisco, Westlake has frequently been compared to Levittown, New York, the first major large-scale postwar middle-class housing development in the U.S.
Developed by Henry Doelger, Westlake is notable for its monostylistic architecture, created by a core team of designers to encompass nearly every building in the development. For this reason, Westlake has become an icon for architectural blandness, exemplified by its endless rows of boxy houses, which were the inspiration for Malvina Reynolds’ folk song "Little Boxes," an anti-conformity anthem in the 1960s.
Despite its detractors, Westlake has enjoyed considerable publicity over the course of its 60-year history. In the 1950s, the neighborhood’s architecturally innovative schools began appearing in national magazines such as Life, Architectural Forum, and Fortune. In the 1970s, one national magazine named Westlake one of the ten best suburbs in America. In 2003, the New York Times ran an article about Henry Doelger and his impact on history, citing Westlake as one of his most iconic neighborhoods.
- Brown, Patricia Leigh (January 29, 2003). "Praising San Francisco's Champion of Conformity", The New York Times
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- Official Daly City History Website
- Chandler, Samuel C. (1973). Gateway to the Peninsula, Official History of Daly City, CA., Daly City. OCLC 799903.
- Keil, Rob (2006). Little Boxes: The Architecture of a Classic Midcentury Suburb, Advection Media. ISBN 0-9779236-4-9.
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