b. 1908, Pittsburgh; d. 1988, Los Angeles
Gregory Ain moved from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles and attended architecture school during the late 1920s, eventually working with both Rudolph M. Schindler and Richard Neutra. Seeking to promote the adoption of modern architecture by the working and middle classes, Ain partnered with architects Joseph Johnson and Alfred Day during the late 1940s. Large housing tracts by their firm included Park Planned Homes, Avenel Cooperative Housing Complex, and Mar Vista Housing in the Los Angeles area. These projects came to the attention of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, curator Philip Johnson, and, as a result, Ain was commissioned to design the 1950 demonstration house in the museum’s sculpture garden.
Cosponsored by Woman’s Home Companion magazine, Ain’s demonstration house was built as a single residence but designed to be combined with other units to create a multifamily development. Sliding interior walls and panels made the house spatially flexible; the living room, dining area, parents’ bedroom, and kitchen could be separated for privacy or opened up to create a single large living space. The furnishings included chairs by Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames and a clock by the firm of George Nelson.