In 1946 four men pooled their resources and formed the Cooperative Housing Group, with the intention of building four homes around a shared pool and playground. The idea mushroomed and soon there were 500 members, each paying a $25 membership fee and making quarterly deposits of $500 in order to form a cooperative community. By 1947 the group had a board of directors and a credit union in place, and the MHA was formed. Eight hundred acres of land near Santa Monica was divided into 350 lots, and Whitney R. Smith and A. Quincy Jones, and an engineer, Edgardo Contini were selected to design the neighborhood, beginning with the architect's site office and a communal day care center. Garrett Eckbo was chosen as the landscape architect for the neighborhood. Eventually, 150 houses were completed, and in 1956, the site office—which the architects worked out of for nearly a decade—was converted into a home. In 1961 a fire took out 45 of the homes, and numerous others were torn down or drastically altered.
Fast-forward to 1993, when Cory Buckner and her husband Nick Roberts purchase the former site office tor their home in the neighborhood now known as Crestwood Hills. At first she unsuccessfully tried to have the area designated as a historic preservation zone but decided to get individual houses declared historic monuments. And with the help of the late Julius Shulman and Elaine Sewell Jones, A. Quincy Jones's widow, she has done just that. Fifteen of the homes now have historic designation.
As a result of her work with Crestwood Hills, Buckner has written a monograph about A. Quincy Jones and has preserved a significant portion of California modernism. She says her hard work has been a small price to pay for "living inside the mind of a great man."
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