Author Archive

Imaginations Lift Off at Los Arboles "Rocketship" Park

Posted on: September 12th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 4 Comments

 

The Rocketship Park. Credit: Neil Klemer, Flickr.
The Rocketship Park in Torrance, California.

For generations of children who have grown up in Torrance, Calif., traveling to outer space was as easy as visiting Los Arboles “Rocketship” Park.

The highlight of the 6.3-acre park, completed in the 1960s, has long been the 28-foot-tall rocket ship play structure, purchased from a catalog of playground equipment shortly after a local developer donated the land for the park to the city.

On any given day for the last five decades, park visitors would see children scaling the ladder inside the ship from one level to the next and careening down the metal slide on the outside of the structure.

“Kids feel like they’re blasting off into space,” says Janet Payne, a vice president with Torrance Historical Society.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

The Art Deco Treatment: Stanford Restores Hospital in Palo Alto

Posted on: September 4th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

The Stanford Medical Center gleams after the renovation. Credit: Bruce Damonte.
The Hoover Pavilion gleams after the renovation.

No major medical breakthroughs happened at the original Palo Alto Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., and no scientific discoveries were made there. But the hospital, which treated thousands of patients in the decades after it opened in 1931, holds one important distinction: it’s a stunning example of pre-World War II hospital architecture. And the Art Deco building recently returned to its original glory after an extensive restoration.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

 

Independence, Texas, was founded in 1835, and was the original site of Baylor University. Credit: The Texas Collection, Baylor University
Independence, Texas, was founded in 1835, and was the original site of Baylor University.

For the past 40 years, David and Mary Wolff have spent long weekends leaving their home in Houston, Texas, and driving 83 miles northwest, crossing the Brazos River and watching as hay bales replace skyscrapers, until they pulled into the driveway of their ranch home in Independence, Texas.

An unincorporated village in Texas’ Washington County, Independence was founded in 1835 and 10 years later was the chosen site of Baylor University. Sam Houston once called Independence home, as did a number of European immigrants, and during the 1850s, the village was the wealthiest community in the state.

But after the Civil War, Independence’s economy changed. The railroad bypassed the town, and Baylor relocated to Waco. The farmland remained active, though, and the town carried on.

When the Wolffs bought their Independence ranch in 1973, they didn’t know much about the village, beyond its unparalleled natural beauty.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

A. Quincy Jones: Modern Architecture's Team Player

Posted on: July 26th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

Milton S. Tyre House. Los Angeles, California, 1951-54. A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons, Architects. Credit: Jason Schmidt, Courtesy Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Milton S. Tyre House. Los Angeles, California, 1951-54.

A. Quincy Jones really liked to collaborate.

That, more than anything, is what I took away from the current exhibit at Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum, A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living, part of the current Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. and the first major retrospective of the often-overlooked architect’s work who contributed so much to late mid-century modern design.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

 

Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, 2013. Credit: Steve Devol, Flickr
Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, 2013.

I didn’t grow up in a very sports-minded family, but I still remember the first time I stepped foot inside Dodger Stadium. I was six years old, and my aunt and uncle treated my cousins and me to a night at the ballpark. While I’m certain I paid more attention to my Dodger Dog and the rowdy fans than I did to the architecture (or even the game), I do remember a definite magic to the place.

When I returned to the stadium to catch a game earlier this year, now a full-fledged grown-up, my attention still wasn’t so much on the game as it was the setting. I’m pretty sure there’s no more beautiful place to watch America’s favorite pastime.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.