Getty’s new exhibition

Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future 1940-1990
Getty Center – Los Angeles
Through July 21, 2013

With Overdrive, at the Getty, we get an opportunity to see much of LA spread out before us in one place. This panoramic view should change the way we perceive its architecture and urbanism.

The exhibit shows how architects creatively interpreted the new conditions of Southern California’s multi-centered suburban metropolis, and how those concepts continued to evolve.

Overdrive is the story of a remarkable

Full Post

Union Station Walking Tour

The Union Station tour covers architecture, art, culture, and social history as it celebrates one of the great landmarks of Los Angeles, the 1939 Union Station.

The grand opening of Union Station was celebrated with a three-day extravaganza attended by nearly half a million people. The station’s monumental architecture, a unique combination of Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles, assured that it would be one of the most identifiable landmarks in the city. It also turned out to be the last great railway station built in

Full Post

Downtown Renaissance

Explores the former financial heart of the city, an area of Spring Street and Main Street that has a rich past and a vibrant future.

Main Street is one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles. Originally lined with haciendas and livestock corrals, it evolved into the city’s first major business district in the mid-nineteenth century. By the 1880s, the hub of commerce was shifting west to Spring Street, and Main Street emerged as an entertainment district with theatres, restaurants, and hotels, several of which remain.

Spring

Full Post

Historic Downtown Walking Tour

The Historic Downtown tour provides an overview of the historical and cultural landmarks of downtown Los Angeles. Covering a wide range of architectural styles, and including anecdotes about the people behind the buildings, this tour is a great way to become acquainted (or re-acquainted) with the unique character of downtown L.A.

Historic Downtown, as the area around Pershing Square is known, is the heart of downtown. Some of the most beloved Los Angeles landmarks are in this area, such as the Central Library, Angels Flight, and the

Full Post

Downtown: Modern Skyline Walking Tour

From architecture to public art to public space, Los Angeles’ Central Business District is a microcosm of the growth and development of Los Angeles.

From the 1880s when Victorian mansions crowned Bunker Hill, to today when sleek skyscrapers define the downtown skyline, the built environment of the Bunker Hill area has constantly evolved, reflecting the tastes, aspirations, and economics of the city’s population.

Experience the skyscrapers, plazas, and public art that define the bustling financial district today, and

Full Post

Broadway: Historic Theater and Commercial District

The Broadway Historic Theatre and Commercial District tour explores the social, cinematic, and architectural history of this unique street.

Home to an astonishing twelve movie palaces built between 1910 and 1931, and to nearly two dozen major department and clothing stores, Broadway was once the entertainment epicenter of Los Angeles. Although the theatres no longer regularly show films (special event venue, filming location, and retail are among the current uses), their elegant presence remains. Still a vibrant shopping street, the

Full Post

Biltmore Hotel Walking Tour

The Biltmore Hotel tour explores the architecture and rich history of this magnificent hotel, known in its early days as “The Host of the Coast.”

The Biltmore Hotel opened in 1923 as a 1,000-room hotel that was “first class in every respect.” This was the first hotel commission for the newly founded architecture firm of Schultze and Weaver, who later went on to design such grand hotels as the Park Lane and Waldorf Astoria in New York, and the Miami Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida. In addition to the lobby and grand hallway

Full Post

Art Deco Walking Tour

The Art Deco tour is an in-depth look at the history, materials, and style of Art Deco architecture popular in Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s.

Officially debuted at the 1925 L’Exposition Internationale des Artes Decoratifs et Industriels Moderne in Paris, the style now known as Art Deco took the western world by storm. New, modern, and angular, the style was perfect for the machine age, and was used for everything from jewelry to teapots to skyscrapers.
Typified by vertical lines, geometric patterns, and references to

Full Post

Angelino Heights Walking Tour

The Angelino Heights tour explores the architecture and history of this charming Victorian neighborhood east of Echo Park and south of Dodger Stadium.

Angelino Heights is considered one of the first suburbs of Los Angeles. Built on a hill just a few miles west of the city center, the area was developed in the mid-1880s by William W. Stilson and Everett E. Hall. It is one of the few neighborhoods in Los Angeles remaining intact from the Victorian era.

The main part of the tour explores Carroll Avenue, a street lined with

Full Post

Highland Park Heritage Trust Walking Tour

This tour explores the rich and varied architectural and social history of the Sycamore Grove area of Highland Park, one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods.

Located along the Arroyo Seco, Highland Park was created in 1870 by developers who purchased the territory from Spanish and Mexican landowners. Incorporated into Los Angeles in 1895, it quickly became a thriving part of the city, and was once home to both Occidental College and USC’s School of Fine Arts. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Arroyo Seco was a

Full Post

LA Architecture Tour – Masters of 20th-Century Residential Architecture

These three historic residences have short hours, so it’s important to start on time in order to visit all three places. Also, this day on the itinerary lets you see the homes in the order they were built.

Begin in Pasadena at the Gamble House. Designed by brothers Charles and Henry Greene, this 1908 bungalow (at 6,000 sq. feet, hardly what we think of as a bungalow) is perhaps one of the finest examples of the Craftsman style in the world, incorporating broad horizontal lines, Asian influences and, most of all, an incredible use of

Full Post

LA Architecture Tour – Classic Architecture

Walking tour begins at Downtown LA’s Union Station. The last of the great rail stations (opened 1939) and carefully restored to its full glamour, Union Station is a romantic blend of Spanish Mission, Moorish and Streamline Moderne elements. Imagine glamorous movie stars rushing across the elaborate marbled floor to catch a train east.

Walk down Alameda Street to Temple Avenue, west to Main Street to LA City Hall. The landmark has been recently restored (post-earthquake necessity). Built in 1928 in a quirky mix of styles, the top of

Full Post

LA Architecture Tour – Pritzker Prize-winning Architecture

Often called the “Nobel Prize of Architecture,” the international Pritzker Prize is given to one living architect annually to honor his or her body of work. Today’s itinerary takes you to Los Angeles architectural masterpieces designed by three Pritzker Prize-winning architects.

Start at the southwest corner of Main and 1st Street in Downtown LA. CalTrans District 7 Headquarters sounds like a snooze until you discover that Thom Mayne and his firm, Morphosis, designed this modern wonder. CalTrans calls the 13-story structure

Full Post

LA Architecture Tour – Landmarks and Tour Companies

From Spanish Revival historic landmarks to homes and other buildings that span more than a century of design by the world’s most lauded architects, LA has so much superb architecture.

Downtown Los Angeles’ El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument (125 Paseo de la Plaza) features several Spanish Mission-style historical buildings around a plaza. The focal point of the area is the Avila Adobe, the city’s oldest building, off of which runs Olvera Street, a pedestrian street full of mariachi bands, Mexican food and craft

Full Post

Stargazing in L.A.- Cemeteries

Almost everybody who visits L.A. hopes to see a celebrity, but celebrities usually don’t cooperate. There is, however, an absolutely guaranteed method to approach within 6 feet of many famous stars. Cemeteries are the place for star (or headstone) gazing: The star is always available, and you’re going to get a lot more up close and personal than you probably would to anyone who’s actually alive. Here is a guide to the most fruitful cemeteries. If you’re looking for someone in particular, log on to www.findagrave.com.

Full Post

Ethnic Neighborhoods – Los Angeles

Los Angeles has the highest concentration of Mexicans outside Mexico, Koreans outside Korea, and even Samoans outside Samoa. Tiny Russian, Ethiopian, Armenian, and even British enclaves also coexist throughout L.A. But to call the city a “melting pot” wouldn’t be quite accurate; it’s really more of a tossed salad, composed of distinct, albeit overlapping, cultures.

Boyle Heights
East of Downtown; bounded by U.S. 101, I-10, Calif. 60, and Indiana St.
In the first decades of the 20th

Full Post