I noticed at LAX the other day that the skin is back on the iconic Theme Building, with a fresh coat of white paint. Renovation only took, what, three years? New York Times bureau chief Jennifer Steinhauer explained the meaning of it all this weekend for the out-of-towners:
Before they face traffic on the 405 freeway, grab an In-N-Out burger or zip off to Rodeo Drive to see whatever they think is there, visitors who arrive here through LAX first stare up at the futuristic spider-shaped building at the center of the airport, welcoming them to the edge of America....
The Theme Building, designed by the futuristic architects William Pereira, Charles Luckman Associates, Welton Becket & Associates and Paul R. Williams, was built in 1961 to serve as the center of the airport, a ticketing spot through which all passengers would pass.
But as a result of the manner in which LAX developed — highly decentralized without a single point of orientation, much like the city it serves — that plan never came together. However, the building’s other features, like the observation deck — where people could watch planes take off and land and peer through the mini-telescopes — still attracted visitors. (The deck was closed to the public after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but airport officials are contemplating a way to make it accessible again to visitors, possibly by appointment.)
Busy weekend: Steinhauer also has a nice profile of Demi Moore.
Photo: Michal Czerwonka for The New York Times