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Apartments we love: The Pegasus

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When it opened in 1949 as the General Petroluem headquarters, the building at 612 South Flower in downtown was the tallest in Los Angeles. Architect Welton Becket, who did the round Capitol Records building, the Cineramadome and other icons of mid-century design, probably never thought it would be turned into apartments. But that's just what happened in 2003, as The Pegasus, taking the name from the oil company's logo.

There is much to love: the building's restoration saved the accordian-style fodlout windows and the ceilings are 9 feet high. The apartments feature either blasted concrete floors or unobtrusive light gray carpet. The floor plans are open-style, with granite counters separating kitchen from living room space. The common roof area has a gorgeous pool and terrific views north and south. On the north side, a gym has treadmills facing the rooftop bar and lounge of the Standard Hotel, just across the street, which must be a certain kind of amusement (or torture). Take our Pegasus photo tour on Flickr.

So what's not to love? Well, 1-bedrooms run from about $1600-$1900. These are pretty cozy, none bigger than 760 square feet, so couples would be more likely to go for the 2-bedrooms which start at $1800 and go up to $3,000. And then there's parking; there are only enough spots in the building for about half of the 322 apartments, so many residents park 2 blocks away. In downtown, that can still be an unnerving walk. No dogs are allowed. And finally, while we saw apartments on its outside walls, the Pegasus is built around two inner courtyards; due to privacy walls on the roof, those inner apartments must never get any direct light. That would bum us out — until we went up to the roof for a swim.

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The Oakwood corporate leasing company sometimes uses the Pegasus. Even its gloomiest apartments must be much better than its cookie cutter valley complexes. We'd sure live there if somebody else was paying.

Have you been to the Pegasus? Is it worth its price tag?