Olmsted Brothers, a firm founded by the sons of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, built hundreds of suburban enclaves across North America. If their father gained fame for his parks and park systems, in the first quarter of the 20th century they applied his landscape strategies to these gated communities to satisfy the private desires of the American upper class. This chapter analyses the advertising imagery of what was arguably their largest suburban community: Palos Verdes Estates in California.

The advertisements for Palos Verdes, published in pamphlets and newspapers during the 1920s, show a pervasive use of two motifs: the window of the house and the gates of various entrances. Moreover, each is always associated with the same messages: in the former, mastery of place and affirmation of identity, and in the latter, security and stability in the face of change and external aggression.

This chapter examines several advertisements for Palos Verdes Estates and compares them to other gated communities designed by the Olmsted Brothers. The discussion opens to an interpretation of the gate and the window as architectural elements arranged in advertisements as symbols of a desire for division: the permanence of a dominant class overlooking its possessions and the exclusion of diversity. Particular attention will be paid to the image and meaning of the window and the possible historical roots of its meanings.