28th Street YMCA Apartments
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Built in 1920 as a YMCA for African-Americans, this is one of the few beautiful buildings in the area, deteriorated as it is. The care in the design of the arched windows and bas-relief details of the building is juxtaposed by the riot of a dozen different spraypaint colors where taggers have left their mark. The building was renovated a decade ago to be used as low-income housing, and while the 43 units inside are better than most the area has to offer, most who can afford better choose to spend their rent money elsewhere. Inside, the ground floor includes the mailboxes, a laundry room, the management office, and furnace room, in addition to the basketball courts and indoor swimming pool that remind the residents of the building’s original purpose.

Inside rooms:
The studio apartments here are basic but clean on the inside, unlike their exterior. Spanish tile is easy to keep clean, though here and there, hairline cracks run through a tile, thanks to the earthquake-prone land of Southern California. The kitchen is small and basic, with a stove, microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher. The cabinetry is industrial grade in the kitchen and bathroom. The latter is small, with a bathtub-shower combination, toilet, and single sink.

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