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[Slideshow] Exploring Iconic Wilshire Boulevard

Posted on: July 12th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 1 Comment

 

The intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Grand Avenue, one of the anchors of the route, featured a pedestrian zone with food trucks, performances, public programs, and information booths, where participants could pick up handy guidebooks to learn about the architecture as they travel up and down the street.
The intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Grand Avenue, one of the anchors of the route, featured a pedestrian zone with food trucks, performances, public programs, and information booths, where participants could pick up handy guidebooks to learn about the architecture as they travel up and down the street.

On June 23, thousands of bicyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, walkers, and other non-motorists (including more than a few unicyclists) took to the streets and explored iconic Wilshire Boulevard up close, without the usual ambiance of car horns and exhaust fumes.

It was the latest CicLAvia, a recurring event that closes Los Angeles streets to motor vehicles, creating a new way to explore the city, while calling attention to the possibility of a more car-free L.A. In this seventh CicLAvia, a 6.3-mile portion Wilshire Boulevard was closed down for seven hours, from downtown to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

And this time, the street’s Modern architecture was on full display.... 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.

 

130627_blog_photo_shankweilers1
Shankweiler's in Orefield, Pennsylvania is the oldest drive-in theatre in the country.

It was only supposed to be a temporary gig. Paul Geissinger, a recent high school graduate, agreed to run the projection booth at Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre in Orefield, Pa., for just a couple weeks until the theater’s new owner could find a permanent employee.

Forty-two years later, Geissinger is still there -- except now, he owns the place.

“I remember, I told [the owner] no, I’m not interested in working at a drive-in,” says Geissinger, who, at the time, was enrolled in electronics school. “But I said, fine, I’ll give you two weekends while you find someone else. But after two weeks, he couldn’t find anyone, so I gave him three weeks. Then another week. And I’m still there.”

This April, Geissinger opened up the beloved Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre, the oldest drive-in theater in the country, for its 80th season.... 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.

 

 Saddle Peak Lodge is a popular venue for special events, like weddings, graduation celebrations, and office parties. The outdoor dining spaces, in particular, have hosted many special occasions.
Saddle Peak Lodge is a popular venue for special events, like weddings, graduation celebrations, and office parties. The outdoor dining spaces, in particular, have hosted many special occasions.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I turned down the winding canyon road high up in the Santa Monica Mountains that, according to my GPS, would lead to the storied Saddle Peak Lodge.

After all, it’s hard to know what to expect when visiting a restaurant in an approximately 130-year-old structure rumored to have once been a brothel and a Pony Express stop (neither, it turns out, is true).

I was told there would an impressive menu of game meats and a certain historic, rugged charm to the interior. And, as it turned out, I was not disappointed on either front. In fact, Saddle Peak Lodge far surpassed anything I was imagining.
... 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.

[Slideshow] Touring Los Angeles' Modern Skyline

Posted on: June 21st, 2013 by Lauren Walser

 

Sleek steel and glass skyscrapers are interspersed with structures from an earlier era, making Bunker Hill a unique collection of Art Deco, Beaux Arts, and Corporate International architecture.
Sleek steel and glass skyscrapers are interspersed with structures from an earlier era, making Bunker Hill a unique collection of Art Deco, Beaux Arts, and Corporate International architecture.

Standing in the shadows of the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles’ Bunker Hill area, it’s hard to imagine what the neighborhood once was: a quiet, upscale community, with elegant Victorian homes that housed the city’s social elite.

How times have changed.

In the 1950s and ‘60s, with the city’s population soaring and the neighborhood’s residents relocating to other parts of the city, Bunker Hill underwent a major redevelopment. Streets were reconfigured and the once-stately houses were razed, replaced with the towering corporate skyscrapers that we see today, in what is now a major financial center.

These sleek glass and steel Corporate International Style buildings are on display this summer, as the Los Angeles Conservancy hosts weekly Modern Skyline Walking Tours as part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. (You can read more about this initiative, and check out a tour I took of the modern residential architecture of Pasadena, Calif.)
... 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.

 

Built for oil company executive John (Jack) W. Norton, the Norton House’s colors and materials blend with its natural surroundings -- part of the architects’ beliefs that there should be no strict divisions between interior and exterior spaces.
Built for oil company executive John (Jack) W. Norton, the Norton House’s colors and materials blend with its natural surroundings -- part of the architects’ beliefs that there should be no strict divisions between interior and exterior spaces.

A couple Saturdays ago, I spent the day touring some truly amazing Modern-era homes in Pasadena, Calif., all dating from 1950 to 1983. In a city renowned for its unparalleled collection of early-20th-century Craftsman bungalows, it was exciting to see an equally important, if less celebrated, side of Pasadena’s architectural legacy.

After all, a number of big names in Modern architecture made their mark on Los Angeles in the early- and mid-20th century, including Richard Neutra, Rudolph M. Schindler, and Gregory Ain. And the contributions of these Modernists to Pasadena had a distinctly Southern California feel: light, natural materials; rich landscaping focusing on native plants; and lots and lots of windows and glass paneling to elegantly blend the indoors and out, making full use of the endless sunshine.... 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.