Big things that were never built in Los Angeles

civic-center-wright.jpg

One of my lesser historical obsessions has been the grandiose stuff that's been proposed for the Los Angeles area and never built. Things like the amusement park that Walt Disney proposed for Burbank before he put Anaheim on the map with Disneyland, or the assorted hotels, parks, monorails and highways that were given ink in the newspapers but either fell through or were never that real to begin with. I've written before about the sketch on my office wall from a 1913 Los Angeles Times front page envisioning a future downtown of skyscrapers, high-altitude auto bridges and curiously a waterfront. Imagine how different the city would be if, for instance, Valley promoters had gotten their way to plant the original LAX due west of the corner of Balboa and Roscoe. Or if the 1930 plan from Olmsted and Bartholomew for a chain of parks and playgrounds across the city had been accomplished.

Sam Lubell, the West Coast Editor of the Architect’s Newspaper, and Greg Goldin, the architecture critic at Los Angeles Magazine, have mined the landscape and found some real gems. Lloyd Wright's incredibly grand 1925 Civic Center for downtown (above.) Or the 1952 master plan for LAX by architects Pereira and Luckman. The plan is to use the research to mount an ambitious exhibition next spring at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum on Wilshire. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to make it happen, and of course you can help.

Check out their cool video:




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