A. Quincy Jones (1913-79), although not a household name, probably should be. The prolific Los Angeles architect designed 80 private residences in Southern California from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, "raising the level of the tract house in California from the simple stucco box to a structure of beauty and logic, surrounded by gardens and integrated into the landscape," writes architect Cory Buckner in her 2002 monograph, "A. Quincy Jones."
Jones' post-and-beam homes, with their high ceilings, walls of glass, functional atriums and exposed natural materials, embody a modernist aesthetic that has come to epitomize midcentury American architecture.
He and his business partner, Frederick E. Emmons, worked with building magnate Joseph Eichler on thousands of tract homes. Known for being among the first to add greenbelts to these affordable developments, Jones often included amenities unusual for the time, such as communal clubhouses, swimming pools and children's park areas.
"It wasn't just about supplying a house but designing a community as a whole," says Buckner, who lives in an experimental home that Jones designed with Whitney R. Smith for the Mutual Housing Assn. (1946-50), in the part of Brentwood now known as Crestwood Hills.