Wee Kirk O’ The Heather (F.A. Hansen, Architect)

Address: 1712 S. Glendale Blvd. in Glendale, CA.

The Wee Kirk O’ The Heather is located within the grounds of Forest Lawn Memorial Park. It is said to be a reproduction of the village church attended by Annie Laurie in Glencairn, Scotland. The original church was erected in 1310 and destroyed in 1805 A.D.

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Widney Hall, USC (Kysor & Octavius Morgan, Architects) – 1880

Address: USC Campus at 650 Childs Way.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 70)

The first building of the University of Southern California, built during the first year of the school’s existence (1880). Over the years the building came to be known as Widney Hall, its facade was altered and painted, and moved to different locations on campus. It has survived as Alumni House, now located across from the Doheny Library.

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William Andrews Clark Memorial Library (Robert Farquhar, Architect) – 1926

Address: 2520 Cimarron Street in the West Adams district

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument no. 28)

The library was established by William Andrews Clark, Jr. (1877 – 1934), a prominent philanthropist and founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1919). The library is named in honor of his father, Sen. William Andrews Clark, who had built a mining fortune in Montana. Clark lived at the corner of Adams Blvd. and Cimarron Street.

Between 1924 and 1926 he engaged prominent architect Robert D. Farquhar

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Watts Towers (Simon Rodia, Designer-Builder) – 1921-1954

Address: 1765 E. 107th Street in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 15)

A colorful lacework of 17 whimsical towers designed by Sabato Simon Rodia in his spare time over a period of 33 years. The towers are a fantasy of found objects Rodia picked up from the nearby railroad tracks and broken pieces of pottery from the Malibu Pottery, where he worked for many years.

Scrap rebar, wrapped with wire mesh, coated with mortar, and imbedded with broken china, scrap metal, pieces of

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Warren & Belle Dunn Mansion (C.W Buchanan, Architect) – 1904

Address: Oakland Avenue and Ford Place, on the campus of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

The mansion was designed in the Craftsman style and maintains much of the character of the original design, except for the enclosure of the back porch.

The building is currently named for Herbert J. Taylor, a close friend and counselor of Charles Fuller, the Founder of Fuller Seminary. Taylor was President of Club Aluminum Company, a devoted Christian, he established the Christian Workers Foundation and was a charter

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An ornament used in classical architecture formed by two or more bands twisted together in a continuous series. The openings between the bands can be filled with ornaments.

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A carved or painted decoration that combines human elements with animal and plant elements in an unrecognized motif, i.e. not a centaur, satyr, mermaid, or recognizable religious figure. The name comes from the Italians who discovered designs in the buried ruins of their ancestors’ grottos.

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The angle formed by meeting or intersection of two vaults. In the Norman era (1066 – 1300) these were left plain, but during the Gothic era these were almost invariably covered with ribs.

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An arrangement of bars or blocks that protects an opening, either a window or a doorway. The grille is a regular pattern and can be quite ornate.

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A roofed structure with open sides found in public parks or large private gardens which acts as an outdoor room or venue for summer concerts and luncheons.

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The frame for the gate or a passageway in a fence or exterior garden wall. In medieval times these were imposing structures built over entrances to provide defense and entrance control.

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Either a small outbuilding or a relatively large house beside a gateway to a mansion or manor house where the gatekeeper resides to allow or disallow entrance to the grounds.

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A wreath or festoon of flowers, leaves, fruit, or other objects used to ornament a wall, doorway, mantel or other decorative feature of a building. The garland is found in Renaissance and Baroque designs.

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Originating in Gothic architecture, Gargoyles are carved human, animal, or demon figures who offer the roof run-off through their open mouths or, in modern times, through winding body parts.

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Architecture in the Movies

Architecture infuses our lives with emotions, ideas, splendor, and stress all the time. It’s only fitting it does the same in great movies. Here are famous classic films where the buildings are more than a backdrop. Am I forgetting any? Let me know…

Blade Runner, 1982
The classic “architecture in the movies” movie. It has it all: hyper-vertical cities, buildings-as-advertisements, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Anyone who took an architectural class in college watched this movie.

The Third Man, 1949

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Heliotrope Rotating House (Freiburg, Germany)

Green to the extreme, Architect Rolf Disch built a solar powered home that rotates towards the warm sun in the winter and rotates back toward its well-insulated rear in the summer.

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Raymond Hood (1881 – 1934)

American architect Raymond Hood straddled the centuries. He became famous for Neo-Gothic and Art Deco buildings. By the end of his career, however, Raymond Hood was designing buildings so modern that they foretold the International Style.

Raymond Hood became famous in 1922 when he and John Howells won a competition to design the Chicago Tribune Tower. The design by Raymond Hood and John Howells was selected over some 200 entries, including designs by great names like Walter Gopius, Adolf Loos, and Eliel Saarinen.

Raymond Hood

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A long narrow room or corridor that is notable for its scale and decorative treatment. Galleries were popular in medieval architecture as the place where people could congregate in a large building.

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Upside-Down House (Syzmbark, Poland)

This upside down design seems totally nonsensical, but that is exactly the message the Polish philanthropist and designer, Daniel Czapiewski was trying to send. The unstable and backward construction was built as a social commentary on Poland’s former Communist era.

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A (very) brief Guide to Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Yerushalayim in Hebrew and Al Quds in Arabic, is the capital and largest city of Israel. The city is considered a holy city by adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; it contains sites sacred to all three religions. The city has been a focal point for conflict between Arabs and Israelis since the establishment of Israel in 1948.

The city is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. It straddles the Judean Hills, which run north-south in Israel. The city is built on a cluster of hilltops and valleys.

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William H. Monroe House, ‘The Oaks’ (Solon I. Haas) – 1887

Address: 250 N. Primrose Avenue, Monrovia, California

The Oaks, also known as William N. Monroe House, is a Stick/Eastlake Queen Anne Style house built for William N. Monroe, for whom the city of Monrovia was named. Monroe first brought his family to the Los Angeles area in 1875; serving on the Los Angeles City Council from 1879 until 1882, moved to Texas, and then returned in 1884. That year he purchased 240 acres for $30,000 from E.J. ‘Lucky’ Baldwin, land which was part of the Azusa de Duarte and Santa Anita ranchos.

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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

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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.


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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William H. Perry Residence (E.F. Kysor, Architect) – 1876

Designed by noted Architect E. F. Kysor for lumber baron William Hayes Perry in the Greek Revival/Italianate Style. The house originally stood in Boyle Heights, a fashionable suburb of Los Angeles at the turn of the century. Its design and sheer size reflect the social class of the owners: marble fireplace mantles, formal staircase and fine hardwood floors. It was considered in its time to be the ‘finest and most expensive home yet seen in Los Angeles.’

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William Mead House (Hudson & Munsell) – 1914

Address: 4533 Cockerham Drive in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Described as a ‘Prairie’ influenced-style, the house was designed by the eminent architectural firm Hudson & Munsell for William Mead, a pioneer real estate developer in Los Feliz. Mead purchased 400 acres adjoining Griffith Park in 1911 from Col. Griffith J. Griffith and began planning what would become one of the City’s most beautiful subdivisions. He added another 132 acres to his holdings in 1925. For a period of time, Mead owned the

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William Mulholland Memorial Fountain (W. Clayberg, Designer) – 1940

Address: Intersection of Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Blvd. in Los Feliz

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 162).

William Mulholland was a ‘penniless Irish immigrant’ and a self-taught engineer who became head of the Los Angeles Bureau of Water Works & Supply at a time when business and civic leaders in Los Angeles were realizing that development would remain limited without additional water resources. Mulholland, with the support of another visionary, Fred Eaton, implemented a plan to redirect water

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William R. Staats House (Marston, Van Pelt & Maybury) – 1924

Address: 293 S. Grand Avenue in Pasadena, California.

French Provincial Revival style house designed for William Staats, by the distinguished firm Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury in 1924. Staats arrived in Pasadena in 1887, establishing what would become a well-connected real estate firm. Henry Huntington hand-picked him to subdivide and sell the exclusive Oak Knoll area.

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