Curves and Arches

Curved steps and graceful archways add charm to the front.

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Shower Timer and Alarm

The average person will use anywhere between 5 to 8 gallons of water per minute while showering, and taking shorter showers is one way simple to cut down on excess water and energy use. But if you’re someone who finds themselves transported to another world when the H2O starts to flow, don’t fret, there’s still hope for you to meet your water-saving targets. The Efergy Shower Timer and Alarm is a clever little gadget that is able to monitor the amount of water going doing the drain as you lather up. Quickly and easily calibrate it to

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Remote Controlled Shades

While ample windows are a great way to bring natural light into a living space, they also are the cause of heat loss during the winter and heat build-up during the summer. Pair these two elements together and you’ll often find yourself needing to pump up the heat or cooling to keep your home comfortable. While many don’t think of blinds as anything more that a way to block out the sun, the reality is that an efficient set of shades has the power to cut your energy bill all year long. Honeycomb shades are your best bet when it comes to

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Wifi Programmable Thermostat

The average American household spends more than $2,200 annually on energy bills, and nearly half of that amount is part due to to heating and cooling. One of the easiest ways to dramatically cut down on this number is to install a programmable thermostat. Not only are they inexpensive (some cost as little as $25), but unlike their predecessors, they’re are intuitive, easy to use, and ever-programmable to meet changing needs and erratic schedules. Once installed they can save you about $180 a year — not to mention alleviate some

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Custom Dimmer

Cut energy usage and create some ambiance in the bedroom, family room or kitchen with the Maestro C.L Dimmer for Lutron. This sustainable, award-winning design is geared for use with incandescent and halogen bulbs, as well as dimmable CFLs and dimmable LEDs. This dimmer offers customizable delayed fade-to-off, which lets you leave a room before the lights go out. And we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: switching out incandescent bulbs in favor of more energy efficient ones have the potential to cut your energy bill by

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Occupancy Sensing Switch

We’re all guilty of it, forgetting to turn off lights.  If this is you, or someone you know (like your kids), consider employing Lutron‘s Maestro Occupancy/Vacancy Sensing Switch (fun fact: they are the inventors of the dimmer switch!). The handy gadget adds convenience and energy savings to any room in your home by automatically turning lights on when you enter the room and off after a period of inactivity. Using a proprietary sensing technology to ensure lights stay on when the room is occupied, the sensor features ambient

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Solar Charger Kit

Many people would love to install a complete photovoltaic system to power their home, but they either lack the space or money to do so. One much less space-intensive—and inexpensive—alternative is the 16.8-Watt Solar Charger Kit from Voltaic. This handy system features a V60 battery that is able to charge everything from laptops to tablets to cameras to several cell phones at once, and its portable and lightweight design makes it easy to move around to wherever you need power. Moreover, if any of the recent natural disasters have

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Dwell (iPhone and Android – Free)

By keeping it simple with one-word sidebar categories like Ideas, Homes and Products, the Dwell app mirrors the elegance and subtlety of the very modern design it advocates.



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Space Planning Tool (iPhone only – $1.99)

We’ve all been there, you buy a couch and think it will fit, only to realize it is too large. With this app, that will never happen again! You can input room dimensions and create floor plans, make shopping lists, input fabrics/colors/finishes, and more.


No android App yet

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Houzz (iPhone and Android – Free)

With over 200,000 high quality interior design images, Houzz is a one-stop shop for inspiration. With this app you have full access to their photo libraries and can save images to virtual idea books.

With Houzz, viewers browse photos of interiors by room type, style and geographic location. As a bonus, Houzz allows users to search for local professionals, such as architects, interior designers and contractors.

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Dream Home (iPhone – $0.99 and Android – $1.99)

This app contains beautiful high quality photos of fantastic interior designs to keep you inspired. There is no internet required, and they add more photos on a weekly basis. Slideshow navigation is very easy.



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HGTV to GO (iPhone only – Free)

Stay up-to-date with your favorite HGTV shows with this app that contains full episodes, short videos and photo galleries of inspiring and also do-able ideas.


No android App yet

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Photo Measures (iPhone only – $4.99)

Take a photo of an object or room and write the measurements directly over it, thereby keeping all your measurements in one mobile place and removing the need for elaborate sketches.


For Android use similar app D-Photo Measures (Free)

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The Home Depot (iPhone and Android – Free).

Finding supplies can be a hassle. With this app, you can research and purchase your tools, can search the store inventory to see what is in stock, can scan barcodes while in the store and you’ll have access to hundreds of Home Depot DIY videos/how-to’s



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Benjamin Moore Color Capture (iPhone and Android – Free)

Feeling inspired by the scene in front of you? Snap a photo with this app and it will automatically create a palette from a selection of Benjamin Moore paints. You can then save the search and add notes.



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Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap (iPhone and Android – Free)

Snap a photograph and instantly get matching Sherwin-Williams paint recommendations. You can store and share what you find.



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SketchBook (iPhone and Android – Free to $4.99)

Sketch your projects, ideas and inspirations with this pro-level digital sketchbook. Digitally capture your ideas as napkin sketches or produce artwork on-the-go.



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Max Bond, Jr. (1935-2009)

When J. Max Bond, Jr. was a student at Harvard, racists burned a cross outside his dormitory. Concerned, a white professor at the University advised Bond to abandon his dream of becoming an architect.

Years later, in an interview for the Washington Post, Bond recalled his professor saying, “There have never been any famous, prominent black architects… You’d be wise to choose another profession.” Fortunately, Bond had spent a summer working for African-American architect Paul Williams, and he knew that he

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Old Photographs of Los Angeles

I get thrilled every time I see old photographs of the city of Los Angeles. I think it has to do with the rapid growth and transformation of the city’s landscape over the last century. My favorite place to see old photos is the building and safety department in Beverly Hills, where some of the walls show old photos of famous street intersections. The changes that have taken place in the last 50 years are simply incredible.

If you are like me, you will most definitely enjoy the following links:
Los Angeles, before

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Online Permit Services for Los Angeles Residents

Whether you are a homeowner interested in knowing about your property or want to build or add to your property, this links from the LADBS are a great source of information.

Parcel Profile Report
A system that displays the zoning and other information of parcels within the city of Los Angeles.

A web-based mapping application that delivers maps and reports based on data supplied by various City departments.

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Dragsholm Castle – Denmark

Dragsholm Castle in Denmark was built in the late 12th century. Today it is a renowned hotel, but Dragsholm Castle’s biggest claim to fame is its alleged haunting of over a hundred ghosts. Legend has it that three of these spirits continue to demand attention: Grey Lady, White Lady and the Earl of Bothwell. Perhaps the most tragic of all, the White Lady, was a young girl who fell in love with a commoner who worked in the castle. The girl’s father found out about the lovers and ordered his daughter imprisoned in her room, never to be seen

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Chillingham Castle – england

Chillingham Castle in England is most famous for its ghosts and is marketed as the most haunted castle. The “star” ghost of castle is the “blue boy” who is sometimes also called the radiant boy. Legend has it that he haunts the Pink Room. Guests of the Pink Room have reported seeing blue flashes of light or a blue halo of light above their bed after a long loud wailing. The hauntings decreased or perhaps ceased after renovation work revealed two bodies, a man and a young boy who were both bricked inside a 10-foot thick wall.

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Edinburgh Castle – scottland

The Scottish fortress built high upon a plug of an extinct volcano dates back to the 9th century. Edinburgh Castle has been there since the 12th century. Although it appears impregnable, in 800 years, the castle has taken part in numerous historic conflicts and wars, having been besieged both successfully and unsuccessfully many times. Deep in the bowels of Edinburgh Castle, dark and damp dungeons lie hidden away that had been used for imprisonment and torture over the centuries. Additionally there was construction of the vaults in the

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Predjama Castle – Slovenia

A castle built within a cave, now that is brilliant in terms of defense and offense. In Slovenia, Predjama Castle is known to date back to at least 1274. In the 15th century, a renowned robber baron fled the revenge of the Holy Roman Emperor and settled his family in this castle fortress. There ensued a long siege in which the castle was destroyed. It was rebuilt in 1511 before being destroyed by an earthquake. The castle was once again rebuilt in 1567 and has a secret natural shaft that leads out of the castle for supplies as well as when

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Witches Castle – Austria

Moosham Castle in Unternberg, Austria, has a terrible and accursed past. It was in this castle where Austria’s bloodiest witch trials took place. Untold thousands of young women who were accused of being witches were tormented and killed in torture chambers in the dungeon. Moosham Castle is now better known as Witches Castle.

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Castle Keep – England

About AD 12, the Romans constructed a fort in this location which later became a cemetery. Hundreds of the dead in the graveyard were supposedly moved when in around 1172, this stone castle was built upon that very same land. It’s now Newcastle upon Tyne, England. There is about 75 feet separating the Castle Keep and the Black gate gatehouse. Many teams of paranormal experts have led investigations here where tragedy is seeped into the ancient ground. Many of those experts claim Castle Keep is very haunted.

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Leap Castle – Ireland

More than 400 years ago, in 1532, brother turned against brother to shed blood. One was a warrior who rushed into the chapel and used his sword to slay the priest who was his brother. The priest fell across the altar and died. The chapel is known as Bloody Chapel since that time. The dungeon in the castle is called an oubliette. Prisoners pushed into the oubliette fell eight feet onto spikes coming up from the floor. Leap Castle is also haunted by an Elemental, a dark evil creature about the size of a sheep and has a human face and black

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Castle Bran (Dracula’s Castle) – Romania

Dracula’s Playground can be found in a creepy and remote corner of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. Bran Castle sits high upon craggy peaks within Transylvania, bringing vampires to mind. But there is no historic proof that Vlad the Impaler resided in Dracula’s Castle during his reign of terror. Dracula impaled thousands at a time, sometimes making their agonizing torture go on for months until death would claim his victims. Castle Bran is renowned for its infamous claim to haunted fame.

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Cool High Tech Gadgets To Incorporate Into Your Home

A transparent TV. a wall that changes shapes and colors, a faucet that adjust the amount of water that we need…

As technology advances, so do gadgets. These innovations appear from a necessity of solving the problems that old products have and besides new and improved functions, they also come with a beautiful design.

Continue Reading →

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Peter Zumthor (1943 – Present)

The 2009 Pritzker architecture prize winner was born in Basel, Switzerland. The son of a cabinet maker, he is not a celebrity architect, not one of the names that show up on shortlists for museums and concert hall projects or known beyond architecture circles. He hasn’t designed many buildings; the one he is best known for is a thermal spa in an Alpine commune. And he has toiled in relative obscurity for the last 30 years in a remote village in the Swiss mountains.

He is often praised for the detailed craftsmanship of his designs.

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Chicago, the birthplace of the modern skyscraper is still a trendsetter in urban architecture and a must for people interested in 20th century urban architecture. But the Windy City offers a lot more than architecture alone. Chicago is a thriving center of international trade and commerce and a city of world-class status and unsurpassed beauty. It features world-famous museums and galleries, amazing architecture, lake front parks and a huge variety of restaurants and shops. It is a bustling city, with a vibrant nightlife and is also a great

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A (very brief) Guide to Tokyo

Tokyo is Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolis. It is also one of Japan’s 47 prefectures, consisting of 23 central city wards and multiple cities, towns and villages west of the city center. The Izu and Ogasawara Islands are also part of Tokyo.

Prior to 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. A small castle town in the 16th century, Edo became Japan’s political center in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his feudal government there. A few decades later, Edo had grown into one of the world’s

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Frederick Law Olmsted (1822 – 1903)

Frederick Olmsted was a landscape architect before the profession was founded. He was a visionary who foresaw the need for national parks, devised one of America’s first regional plans, and designed America’s first large suburban community.

Although Olmsted is famous today for his landscape architecture, he did not discover this career until he was 35. During his youth, Frederick Law Olmsted pursued several professions. Olmsted became a respected journalist and social commentator. Traveling through the southern United

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Why Get a Building Permit?

Many people get into building without even thinking of the legal ramifications that may ensue. They might hire and pay upfront fees for the services of an Architect, Interior designer, Landscape Architect, Structural Engineer before even going to the Department of Building and Safety first to verify the feasibility of their proposal.

An uninformed owner may cause significant structural issues if the work does not meet building code requirements. Some jobs may cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Sometimes you will

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Daniel Libeskind (1946 – Present)

Daniel Libeskind’s parents survived the Holocaust and met while in exile. As a child growing up in Poland, Daniel became a gifted player of the accordion. The family moved to Tel Aviv, Israel when Daniel was 11. He began playing piano and in 1959 won an America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship. The award made it possible for the family to move to the USA. Living with his family in a small apartment in the Bronx borough of New York City, Daniel continued to study music. He didn’t want to become a performer, however, so he

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A (very brief) Guide to Bruges

The Historic Town of Brugge hides stunning architectural monuments within its egg-shaped boundary. It is the home of both modern and medieval masterpieces. It was honored in 2012 with the title of European Capital of Culture. It boasts of its grand Royal Theater and of the Concertgebouw, where one can hear contemporary music or watch ballet performances. The city preserves many amazing landmarks within its walls.

Predominant Architecture:
Unspoiled for hundreds of years, the city’s canals, churches and

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Navigating the Building Permit Maze

Need a Building Permit? Want to legalize a non-permitted structure? Received an Order to Comply?
We constantly get phone calls with requests for information on a variety of topics such as:

  • Orders to comply
  • Where to obtain online information and forms
  • Illegal conversions
  • Code violations
  • Unpermitted guesthouses
  • Variances and Conditional Use Permits
  • Time saving Tips for getting a permit
  • And More…

As a free service to our clients and subscribers, we

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A (very brief) Guide to Tirana

Tirana is Albania’s largest city and serves as the country’s capital. Although Tirana’s history is relatively recent compared to that of the Albanian people, Tirana has managed to become the country’s economic, cultural and administrative center.

Tourists usually find Tirana a beautiful and charming city, with a lively night life. Tirana is undergoing a major renovation from its communist days. Many of the ugly dull buildings have been repainted,

Predominant Architecture:

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Towering Insult in Mumbai

A 27-story concrete tower in Mumbai is lying unused and abandoned because its billionaire owners believe moving in will bring them bad luck. The billion-dollar “house” is said to have fallen foul of vastu shastra – an obscure Hindu version of feng shui.

Certainly the property, featuring six floors of parking, nine elevator banks, three helipads, a four-story open garden, health club, swimming pool, 50-seat theater, and cooling “snow” room, for starters,  is comfortable enough, but according to reports, the

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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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A (very brief) Guide to Bangkok

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is not just an old city, but also a crossroads where people of different races, regions and religions have for centuries converged.

Ancient Buddhist temples that sparkle in the sun, the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha – this is just the beginning of what Bangkok, the City of Angels has to offer.

Boasting some of the most lavish hotels in the world, Bangkok is also known for its extraordinary museums, shopping centers and street stalls with incredible bargains.


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Mushroom House (Cincinnati, Ohio)

So disparate in materials and shapes this hodgepodge house looks like it’s been welded and glued together. It was designed by the professor of architecture and interior design at the University of Cincinnati, Terry Brown, and was recently on the market for an estimated $400K.

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Rozak House (Darwin, Australia)

It’s pretty gutsy to build a stilt-house in cyclone country, but these residents came prepared. Even if Mother Nature knocked their house off the grid, their solar power panels and rainwater collection systems would keep them self-sufficient.

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Pod House (New Rochelle, New York)

People assume this oddball home is UFO-inspired, but it turns out the weed Queen Anne’s lace is where it got it’s roots. Its thin stems support pods with interconnecting walkways.

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Berman House (Joadja, Australia)

Surrounded by lush vegetation and wild animals of the outback, this striking split-level cliff house hangs over a deep river cut-canyon.

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Richard Morris Hunt (1827 – 1895)

Living during an era when American business leaders amassed huge fortunes, Gilded Age architect Richard Morris Hunt became known for designing palatial homes with lavish interiors.

Working with artists and craftspeople, Richard Morris Hunt designed lavish interiors with paintings, sculptures, murals, and interior architectural details modeled after those found in European castles and palaces.

Outstanding Work:
1888-1892: Vanderbilt Marble House, Newport, Rhode Island
1888-1895: Biltmore Estate

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Anna Keichline (1889 – 1943)

Anna Keichline was the first woman to become a registered architect of Pennsylvania.

An inventor, Anna Keichline patented seven inventions. Anna Keichline’s first patent was for an improved combined sink and washtub design. In 1924, she patented a kitchen design that included sloped countertops and glass-doored cabinets. In 1929, Anna Keichline patented a design for a space saving bed that folded away into the wall.

Her best known invention was the K Brick patented in 1927. The K Brick was a precursor to the modern

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Maya Lin (1959 – Present)

Maya Lin grew up in Ohio surrounded by art and literature. Her educated, artistic parents came to America from Beijing and Shanghai and taught at Ohio University.

Maya Lin is best known for her large, minimalist sculptures and monuments. When she was only 21 and still a student, Lin created the winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Many people criticized the stark, black monument, but today the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most famous monuments in the United States. Throughout her career, Maya

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Paulo Mendes da Rocha (1928 – Present)

Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha is known for socially responsible architecture that uses simple shapes and minimal resources. Paulo Mendes da Rocha often called a “Brazilian Brutalist” because his buildings are constructed of prefabricated and mass-produced concrete components.

During the 1950s, Paulo Mendes da Rocha joined an avant-garde movement in São Paulo, Brazil. His work, known as Paulist brutalist architecture, used simple shapes and materials. Importance was placed on people and society rather than

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The triangular end of a roof above the eaves which closes the roof on that end. Also the triangular end of a dormer or a triangular cut in a roof for a window or door. For Gothic designs the slope tends to be acute; for Classical buildings the slope is gentler.

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Originating from Greek architecture (600 – 400 B.C.), a frieze is a continuous horizontal band of carved or painted decoration. It was originally the middle band of an entablature which lies between the architrave and the cornice.

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A wall or cornice decoration of Classical origin that is formed by small fillets intersecting each other at right angles. Numerous varieties of this pattern are produced by cutting away the background leaving the rest as grating.

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Paintings done on walls using water-based pigments that are added to plaster and applied over a freshly spread plaster. The earliest frescoes are Minoan (1600 B.C.).

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Wilshire United Methodist Church (Allison & Allison and Whittlesey, Architects) – 1924

Address: 4350 Wilshire Blvd. in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 114).

The architects were among the most important architects in Los Angeles during the first half of the 20th Century. The church combines Romanesque and Gothic elements in the design. The tower and facade were inspired by La Giralda in Sevilla, Spain as well as the facade and 140-foot tower, inspired by Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Brescia, Italy.

Singer Jeanette MacDonald married Gene

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Wilshire Blvd. Temple (Edelman, Tilden Norton & Allison, Architects) – 1922-29

Address: 3663 Wilshire Blvd. (at the corner of Hobart Boulevard).

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 116).

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple reminds of other great churches and temples of Byzantium. Massive and mysterious, the interior is opulent with black marble, inlaid gold, rich mosaics, rare woods and exquisite murals depicting the history of the Hebrews (by Hugo Ballin). The temple is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Wilshire Ebell Theater & Club (Sumner Hunt & Silas Burns, Architects) – 1924-27

Address: 4400 Wilshire Boulevard in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 250).

Neoclassical in style, the Wilshire Ebell Theater and Club was founded as a non-profie woman’s organization in 1894, and is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

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Wilshire Vermont Station- (Arquitectonica Architects) – 2007

Address: Intersection of Vermont St. and Wilshire Blvd.,

Miami firm Arquitectonica designed this eye-catching complex, sitting atop the Metro subway station in the heart of Koreatown. The station is highlighted by a gigantic (8200 square foot) image by artist April Greiman. The complex held its grand opening on October 7, 2007.

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Wilshire Ward Chapel (Harold W. Burton, Architect) – 1928

Address: 1209 Manhattan Place.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 531).

Harold W. Burton was the most prolific architect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The outstanding feature of the church is the octagonal tower in a Moderne/Art Deco motif.

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Wiltern Theater (Morgan, Walls & Clements, Architects) – 1930-31

Address: 3780 Wilshire Boulevard (corner of Western Avenue).

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 118).

The Pelliser Office Building and Wiltern Theater(formerly the Warner Brothers Western Theater) is among the most recognizable and loved landmarks in the City of the Angels. Located along the Wilshire Boulevard Corridor, The exterior is completely covered with blue-green glazed terra cotta tiles in a style referred to as French Zigzag Moderne.

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Ziegler Estate (Hornbeck & Wilson, Architects) – 1904

Address: 4601 North Figueroa Street.

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 416).

The Zeigler Estate located in historic Highland Park combines Queen Anne, Craftsman and Shingle Style into an elegant statement. The mansion has 6 bedrooms and four baths and features an arroyo stone wall. It is situated in the historic core of Highland Park next door to Casa de Adobe.

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Yoakum House, 1895-1915

Address: 140 S. Avenue 46

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 287).

Tudor Revival style house built by volunteer labor for Finis Ewing Yoakum, founder of ‘Pisgah House’, a halfway home. Located in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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Wrigley Mansion ‘Tournament House” (G. Lawrence Stimson, Architect) – 1906-1914

Address: 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd

Owned by chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley, the Wrigley Mansion was given to the City of Pasadena in 1958, upon Mrs. Wrigley’s death, with the stipulation that it be used as the headquarters for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. The house is magnificently situated at. and includes the Wrigley Gardens, with 4.5 acres of roses representing 1,500 varieties.

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Wright-Mooers House, 1880

Address: 818 S. Bonnie Brae Street

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 45).

The Wright-Mooers House is representative of the ‘West Coast Victorian’, an eclectic blend of Queen Anne Victorian with other styles. Note the small pairs of Romanesque columns and the elongated domed roof, perhaps a touch of the Islamic. Located at in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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Wolf’s Lair (Milton Wolf, Designer) – 1927

Address: 2869 Durand Drive

Historic castle-chateau located at the end of the hiking trail which runs alongside the Castillo del Lago at the foot of Lake Hollywood. Designed by Developer and Art Director Milton Wolf, it has been the residence of both Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Doris Day and was featured in the film, ‘Return from Witch Mountain’, starring Bette Davis. The fairy-tale fortress with its crenellated walls, turrets and towers gained a local reputation as being haunted after Wolf died at the dining room table.

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Woit House (Jno H. Fleming, Architect) – 1934

Address: 3607 Shannon Road

Architect Jno H. Fleming designed the English Tudor Revival style house for Charles S. Woit in 1934. Located in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles. The architect also designed the Spanish Revival style Lee Holtz Residence on Amesbury Road in 1935.

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Wirin House (Richard Neutra, Architect) – 1950

Address: 2622 Glendower Avenue

(Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 812)

Located directly across the street from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House in Los Feliz, the Wirin House was purchased by celebrity photographer Mark Seliger in 2004. An extensive restoration under the direction of Architect Sharon Johnston-Lee was completed in 2008. Located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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Received an Order to Comply?

An Order to Comply is a citation issued by the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) for building code violations or substandard conditions. The Order to Comply may be given to any home or business owner that the LADBS code enforcement division determines is in violation of a building or safety standard found in the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

An Order to Comply may be issued for a number of reasons. A building inspector may literally “drive-by” your property and spot a condition believed to be a violation, or a neighbor

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