"In those areas, it's hard to drive around without seeing one of
our homes," Vice President Bob Gregg said.
Gregg's Artistic Homes was established in 1934, when the company's
current president, John Gregg, was only a year old. His father fell
ill with tuberculosis, and his mother became the family's
She used the family's life savings to buy a piece of property on
Cumberland Road near Brand Park. Without a degree in architecture or
engineering, Alice Lee Gregg designed and eventually built a home
that she turned around and sold for about $6,000.
The home still stands.
"She always liked drawing plans, and she was very talented from an
arts standpoint," John Gregg said. "She had a great knack for
building very usable plans from a women's perspective."
From the success of her first home, Alice Lee Gregg began a
career, buying properties, building homes and selling them. She had
always wanted to be a developer, though she studied history in
college, at her parents' request.
She became the first female licensed general contractor in
California soon after she designed her first home, John Gregg said.
Over the next five years, Alice and her husband, who recovered from
his illness, made a living buying property and building homes. Their
homes are scattered throughout the city, including on Verdugo Circle
and Oak Circle.
The business shut down during World War II because of the slow
economy, but began to prosper again after the war.
John Gregg joined the business in 1958, when he handled the
development of 14 homes on a 3-acre property on Capistrano Circle.
Bob Gregg joined the business in 1961 and now oversees construction.
John Gregg's son, Lee Gregg, acts as company counsel.
"I should work less, but I want to stay active, and I'm reluctant
to hang it up," said John Gregg, 69. "The satisfaction of having
taken a piece of land, subdividing it, building a house ... is such a
The Greggs built more than 300 homes on a hillside development
project called Oakmont View I, II, III and IV. It was when they
proposed building Oakmont View V, a 572-unit housing project on 238