The former LA home of the Bank of Italy is on the way to becoming a hip hotel.
The city's Board of Cultural Heritage Commissioners today voted unanimously to extend history-cultural monument status to the threatened Norms coffee shop on North La Cienega.
The early 1960s neighborhood of homes designed by A. Quincy Jones and partners was the first postwar tract in the Valley to be given Los Angeles historic district status.
Wayne Ratkovich says that getting a historic designation on a building can be a good thing. He should know.
The news doesn't really get better for fans of the Googie-style Norms coffee shop.
The site provides information on and mapping of hundreds of City Hall-designated historic-cultural monuments and other places that might be designated someday.
Of the two big projects officially kicked off on Friday, the construction of a new bridge to carry 6th Street over the Los Angeles River and beyond is the more likely to happen.
The owner of Norms wants to stay. The owner of the land under Norms got the demo permit (and an architect) but has no immediate plans.
City Cultural Heritage Commission votes to take Norms status under advisement.
An exuberant example of the California coffee shop type and an expressive Googie masterwork by Armet & Davis, the LA Conservancy says.
I got a chance on Saturday to visit the distinctive circular design by architect Bruce Goff set amid the urban forest in the old Girard section of Woodland Hills. "The house is unlike any other," the LA Conservancy says.
The draft EIR is out and shows that Renzo Piano's giant ball remains in the plan and that a big Oscar statue may take over the old May Co.'s iconic sculpture at Wilshire and Fairfax.
Sussman began her career as an office designer for Charles and Ray Eames. She created a distinctive graphic look for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
The Sunkist building on Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks has been a visual landmark beside the Ventura Freeway for 45 years. "A symphony in concrete," the LA Conservancy says.
The iconic LA architect built his own midcentury masterpiece on North Tigertail Road. Krisel and the architectural preservation community were horrified to discover late last week that the home was being torn down.
The long-closed Robinsons store beside the Beverly Hilton near the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards is being razed (but apparently not today) to make way for a big new development called 9900 Wilshire. This mid-century modern Robinsons had a lot of fans.
Los Angeles historian Jim Beardsley, a scholar in the work of architect Ross G. Montgomery, says his man produced a rendering for the hall ten years before the building opened.
Let the reviews begin. Mark Swed says the acoustics are great and "tourists take pleasure in merely touching the building's shiny surfaces. Yet Disney Hall is not what it could be."
The National Park Service listed ten of the acclaimed Case Study Houses around Southern California on the National Register of Historic Places, citing their historic and architectural significance. The Stahl house in the Hollywood Hills is one of the ten.
Rather than abandon Koreatown for the Westside, the temple leadership decided to stay and fix up the fading synagogue, under the guidance of architect Brenda Levin. Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman is glad they did.
Forget Downtown. Gehry still agrees with his pitch of ten years ago: MOCA and the cathedral should be on Wilshire Boulevard and his signature Walt Disney Hall should have been built in Westwood (or further west.)
On Saturday morning I'm taking part in an LA Conservancy panel on suburbanization and sprawl in Woodland Hills. It's part of the Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A. series, which itself is included in Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. Info inside.
Maurice and Paul Marciano of the Guess Inc. jeans empire paid $8 million for the Millard Sheets-designed venue. They plan to renovate and use it to collect their art, with occasional public showings.
Oscars ceremonies, Roller Games, cat shows and school concerts are part of the auditorium's legacy, but it's the T.A.M.I Show in 1964 that might be the most enduring memory — at least on film. And no performance measures up to James Brown's.
The new site is driven by — this will shock you — big pictures of important buildings and architecture. Plus self-guided tours to places like the San Fernando Valley.
Claud Beelman was one of those Los Angeles architects whose work spanned eras and dramatic changes in style. He's responsible for noteworthy LA examples as different as the Eastern Columbia building downtown and the office tower occupied by Occidental Petroleum and the Hammer Museum in Westwood.
On Thursday morning I moderated a panel on the future of Los Angeles at the Getty Research Institute's symposium, Urban Ambition: Assessing the Evolution of L.A. The participants included Christopher Hawthorne, the LA Times architecture critic.
The piece of progammatic architecture in East LA known as the Tamale was listed for sale this week: $459,000 with adjacent house.
Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne observes that the candidates for mayor have been short on future vision for the city. That's too bad, he writes in a front-page critic's notebook, since there are "some major holes in the civic fabric." It all starts with the mess that is LAX.
Developer Korean Airlines today unveiled the AC Martin design for the new Wilshire Grand tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street and said it will be 73 stories — one floor more than the US Bank tower downtown.
I intended to post on this a couple of weeks ago, but it slipped with the whole cold/flu/whatever thing. Nathan Masters has done a really nice piece at KCET's website on the train stations that dotted Los Angeles before rail service was consolidated at the "union" station in 1939.
In the new issue of VQR, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Los Angeles journalist Adam Baer (with photographer Elizabeth Daniels) explores his own and Hollywood's draw to LA architecture, especially the modern works of Lautner.
The City Council on Tuesday gave final approval for that $2 billion development around the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. Here are details and what the front of the hotel would look like.
One of the most potentially cool spots to locate a restaurant in Los Angeles could be moving closer to opening. But we have heard this before. Check out Fiona Apple in the space.
Imagine if Disneyland had been built in Burbank, or if LAX lay west of the corner of Balboa and Roscoe. A major new exhibit will look at the city that never happened — a cool video inside invites you to support the project on Kickstarter.
The modernist designed one home in the United States, the Strick House in Santa Monica. He never saw it.
Nice line: Harbor Boulevard's architecture, "largely anonymous and inward-looking, is marked by a studied blandness...that recipe has produced on Harbor a feeling of unnatural civility — the architectural equivalent of a forced smile."
Six-minute clip from Harry Pallenberg looks at the rise of Googie coffee shop architecture around Los Angeles. Included are old clips of Astro Burger, the old Carnation building on Wilshire Boulevard, a Van de Kamps drive-in, Ship's, Norm's, Pann's and an interview Googie architect Eldon Davis.
If you remember Pauley Pavilion as dark and dated, look again. UCLA's renovated arena reopens in November, newly encased in glass and bathed in light. LA Observed photos.
The "infrastructure" firm HNTB has won the city's international design competition for the new bridge that will replace the decaying concrete 6th Street Viaduct over the Los Angeles River. Here's what they have in mind.
Dion Neutra has put his father's old Glendale Boulevard offices up for sale before. Now he's listing them for lease on Craigslist as "a pristine example of the commercial work of a seminal architect of the Modernist movement" and as "the only surviving uncompromised example of Neutra commercial design."
Many in Los Angeles just became acquainted with the architectural photographs of Pedro E. Guerrero this April when he appeared at an exhibition of his work at Wodbury University's gallery...
With Ayn Rand in the media conversation around Paul Ryan and the Republican convention, here's a look at the home that Rand used to occupy in Northridge. And what a house it was — if it still existed, the Richard Neutra design might conceivably be the most architecturally renowned home in the San Fernando Valley.
The county's Hall of Records might be the least appreciated of the government office buildings strewn around what used to be called downtown's Civic Center. I would bet that many visitors to Grand Park, which will open a new section on its back side in September, have no idea of the building's name or function. Its name is actually a misnomer these days — the county Registrar-Recorder took most of the eponymous records to Norwalk more than a decade ago. But the hall has sterling LA architectural roots.
Artist Chris Burden used to see the Helmut Jahn-designed Tower building at Wilshire and Midvale Avenue on his trips to and from UCLA, where he taught for 26 years. It's a "visually complex and satisfying office building" that gives him pleasure, as he explains.
The Bob's Big Boy in Torrance is set to close Sept. 3. Cause of death? "A general lack of sales," the owner says. Boy, Bob's used to be big in LA.
No blogger has written this before, I suspect. Allon Schoener, the New York author transplanted to Boyle Heights who posts as The Reluctant Angeleno, recently visited the iconic home of Charles and Ray Eames in Pacific Palisades for the first time in a long time. "I had been there often between 1951 and 1955," he says. Let him explain.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino announced Wednesday it will close the Main Exhibition Hall on June 5. After renovation and reinstallation with "a new, dynamic permanent exhibition designed to provoke visitors’ sense of connection to history and literature," the hall will reopen in fall 2013.
Yes, the long wait is over. We now know what the bathrooms will look like when the Hollywood Bowl season opens. Courtesy of ZevWeb.
The Los Angeles Conservancy says that the 1959 home by architect Lloyd Wright was torn down on Wednesday, "the day after the Palos Verdes Estates City Council denied the Conservancy's appeal of the decision to allow the home's demolition."
Flavorpill's Los Angeles bias is showing through again — not that we're complaining. Its Flavorwire site has put Union Station, sometimes called the last great American rail station to be built, in 1939, high on its aggregation of The Most Beautiful Train Stations in the World.
The New York Times Travel section on Sunday offered a tour, with online slide show, of locations in the Los Angeles area that the late Julius Shulman photographed. "Shulman captured Los Angeles and its surroundings in the middle of the 20th century as the city was shedding its small-town roots and becoming an international capital."
Pedro E Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life" is on exhibition at the Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery through April 25. Guerrero, who is now 94, was a close friend of, and the photographer for, Frank Lloyd Wright.
KCRW's Saul Gonzalez has aired his report inside the renovation of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple that I gave a little advance look at a couple of weeks ago. "While driving down Wilshire Boulevard early one morning about a month ago, I spotted a beautiful combination of form, function and construction-an exo-skeleton of scaffolding enveloping one of L.A.’s most treasured architectural monuments."
Mayor Villaraigosa, architect Alex Ward and others consider replacements for the 6th Street Viaduct on "DnA" with Frances Anderton on KCRW. Listen there Previously at LA Observed: 6th Street...
KCRW reporter Saul Gonzalez took this shot of the inside of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple synagogue during rehab of the National Register of Historic Places site.
An op-ed piece protests the plan by Metro to raze the Wilshire Boulevard buildings that house the A+D Architecture and Design Museum and nearby galleries in order to stage construction of the Purple Line stop at Fairfax Avenue.
Goldberger had been at the New Yorker since leaving the New York Times, where he won a Pulitzer Prize, in 1997. Is this the end for architecture at the New Yorker?
They range from historic buildings such as the Dominguez Rancho Adobe and UCLA's William Andrews Clark Library on West Adams to cultural sites such as the Dunbar Hotel on Central Avenue, the Watts Towers and Angelus Funeral Home.
The Da Camera Society's Chamber Music in Historic Sites series certainly will live up to the latter part of its name with Saturday's shows.
Gerhard Albert Becker was arrested Saturday on his arrival from Spain at LAX, and he's scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death last year of LAFD veteran Glenn Allen.
Councilmembers Jan Perry and Bill Rosendahl reacted generally positively to the design, while Councilman Ed Reyes said the project should include more benefits for the area's residents.
Architect Eugene Kinn Choy overcame the anti-Chinese covenants and racism of 1940s Los Angeles to settle in Silver Lake and build this modernist home on Castle Street, near the reservoir.
Ruth Price's Jazz Bakery received approval today from the Culver City city council to develop a new Frank Gehry-designed, 250-seat theater.
City code since 1974 has required helipads on top of tall buildings. (Luckily for the First Interstate Building, circa 1988.) Things could be different, though, if plans move ahead for skyscrapers along Hollywood Boulevard. Empire State Building anyone?
The Wilshire Grand, closing this week to be torn down and make way for a new high-rise hotel and office tower, opened in 1952 as the Statler.
American Masters on PBS on Monday night aired "Charles and Ray Eames: the Architect and the Painter," about the famed Los Angeles design team and couple.
Fun story on Off-Ramp over the weekend about architect Arthur Golding's concept of an open-air mercado with cafes spanning the Los Angeles River.
AEG and Gensler released fresh looks at the proposed Downtown football stadium.
The lobby will host Thursday lunch chats once a month with L.A. Times journalists.
Concrete in the 1933 bridge connecting Downtown with the Eastside is rotting from the inside and the structure is slated for replacement.
For a lot of us, the future (or potential fate) of Johnie's Coffee Shop was one of the first questions to come to mind after the news broke that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would buy the former May Company across the street for a film museum.
The new library at San Vicente and Melrose was dedicated with a big celebration on Saturday, leading into Sunday's West Hollywood Book Fair. The WeHo city council will meet from...
Reiner never got to live there, but the home has become a modernist landmark considered one of John Lautner's masterpieces.
In his quest to read 25 books about Los Angeles this year, LAT architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne is up to David Brodsly's slim 1981 work "L.A. Freeway: An Appreciative Essay."
A biography of Harvey and a Visiting Blogger excerpt about the woman who designed the floor of the cafe at Union Station.
The LAFD Historical Society has posted some good aerial photos of the Convention Center being expanded circa 1991 — before Staples Center or L.A. Live came to the Downtown neighborhood.
We have Eldon Davis to thank for many of those Googie-style coffee shops that sprouted along Southern California boulevards in the 1950s, then spread across the country.
The Southern California Institute of Architecture has bought the century-old former rail freight depot it occupies in the Arts District.
Tonight's Which Way, L.A.? on KCRW delved more deeply into today's City Council approval of the special lighting rules for the Korean-backed project planned for the Wilshire Grand hotel site at 7th and Figueroa.
Gov. Jerry Brown (and Mark Lacter) may want to do away with the city Community Redevelopment Agency, but it's a hit at least with the Los Angeles Conservancy. The group is giving the CRA one of its nine yearly preservation awards.
If AEG gets the go-ahead to build its NFL stadium and events center on the footprint of the existing Los Angeles Convention Center, L.A.-based Gensler will be the designer.
Forty seven years later, the San Fernando Valley gets another performing arts space and it's bigger and grander.
The Los Angeles Conservancy sent out an alert this afternoon saying the owner of the 1961 building that housed the Friars Club has begun razing the unofficial landmark, with no plans yet filed for a new structure at the site on Little Santa Monica Boulevard.
The L.A. Times architecture critic announced today that he will read and post brief blog essays over the next year on "25 of the most significant books on Southern California...
Eric Lynxwiler's quest to find any surviving terra cotta angels from Downtown's old Richfield building has turned up a nice sample.
The Broad Art Foundation this morning announced the designs for The Broad, the name it's now using for the museum to be built on Bunker Hill to hold Eli and Edythe Broad's art collection.
Design for The Broad, permanent housing bust in the Inland Empire, Brown's new team and Rihanna's topless cover does well, plus more.
Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne makes a civic splash in the L.A. Times by pointing out that the Downtown NFL stadium Tim Leiweke and Casey Wasserman are pushing is another case of Los Angeles going about it all wrong.
In today's L.A. Times, Bob Pool picks up and runs with Eric Lynxwiler's visiting blogger post from a couple of weeks ago on the terra cota angel that sits in his Arts District loft.
If the three competing designs for Phil Anschutz's downtown football stadium were an NFL division, LAT architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne says "they'd be the NFC West."
In this week's New Yorker, architecture writer Paul Goldberger takes in the Eric Owen Moss structures in Culver City.
In a Visiting Blogger post at LA Observed, J. Eric Lynxwiler announces he has become the proud owner of a 1½-ton terra-cotta angel that used to stand guard over downtown...
Escrow closed last week on the late photographer's Raphael S. Soriano-designed home on Woodrow Wilson Drive — Los Angeles historic-cultural monument #325.
Phil's Diner was a beloved hangout for its fans in North Hollywood when it was located on Chandler Boulevard, from the 1920s until about ten years ago.
ZevWeb has posted a clarification about what happened with public documents left behind in the old Hall of Records in Downtown.
A photo tour of the 1925 Hall of Justice at Temple and Spring streets, closed since the Northridge earthquake.
We're doing another LA Observed night on the world-famous Neon Cruise on Saturday, October 16.
The Eric Owen Moss art tower beside the Expo Line, as observed by John Rabe, Mark Peel and Scott Timberg — and Moss.
Why, I think that's a Kaufman and Broad home.
Chase, the author of several books on urbanism and Los Angeles, died Friday of an apparent heart attack. He was the godfather to the daughter of Frances Anderton, host of...
Conde Nast has named Margaret Russell the new editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest, succeeding Paige Rense. But the bigger news is that the magazine will move from Los Angeles to New Yor
Christopher Hawthorne seems to like what he sees happening at the new park envisioned for the ugly mall that runs from the Music Center east most of the way to City Hall.
Governing magazine's John Buntin surveyed the new architecturally distinct police stations the LAPD has been building this decade — and he found something missing.
A tribute that Westwood restaurateur and community leader Steven Sann wrote about architect Stephen Kanner, who died Friday of cancer at 54, shows how one architect can freshen and re-shape a place like Westwood (itself planned in the 1920s) while honoring its past.
Vanity Fair asked architects and those who circulate among them, such as critic Paul Goldberger, to nominate the five most important buildings, bridges or monuments built since 1980. Plus their pick for the "greatest work of architecture" in the 21st century.
The Los Angeles Business Council handed out its architectural awards today. The top prizes went to the new Los Angeles Police Department administration building across from City Hall and to...
You've got them. Chronicler of all things modern Chris Nichols has put together a quick web guide to 33 local eateries that fit the criteria.
My weekly column on LA Observed tonight talks about my visit to the Valley to talk to Los Angeles Conservancy folks at The Onion, the Unitarian church where the first Los Angeles acid test was held in 1966.
Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne considers the record as Eli Broad prepares to cause another museum to be erected in Los Angeles, probably Downtown on Bunker Hill.
I'm the keynote speaker this afternoon at the Los Angeles Conservancy's annual meeting.
In today's column on KCRW, which just aired at 6:44 p.m. (new day and time), I muse on some of the differences between New York and Los Angeles via public...
Instead of preserving the Hollywood sign in its static condition as a legally condoned supergraphic, why not embrace its inner hotel potential?
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.
The Bruin and the older Village (the one with the Fox sign on the tower) are being taken over by Regency Theatres.
Raimund Abraham, a visiting faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, died in a Downtown crash hours after giving a lecture at the school.
n the February issue of Vogue, writer Amy Ephron talks about befriending (when she was a child in Beverly Hills) the man next door who she knew as "Samuel Clemens." Only recently did she learn it was Stiles O. Clements, one of the most under-appreciated names in Los Angeles architecture.
The first reviews of how it fits in the cityscape are mixed.
Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider is also on the list, along with Norway's seed vault and the iPhone. No, it's not your typical architecture list.
The JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels at L.A. Live don't open until Feb. 15, but Blogdowntown was on hand last night when the tower was lit up for a City of Hope gala.
Before we get too far away from New Year's, here's Curbed LA's look at some of the buildings that Los Angeles lost (or discarded) during the decade just past.
The Modern Committee of the Los Angeles Conservancy celebrated 25 years, the holidays and four photographers on Monday night in the Mayor Tom Bradley Room atop City Hall. Half the...
The home on Woodrow Wilson Drive designed by Raphael Soriano — and built for Shulman — is listed at $2.495 million vacant. It includes an extensively wooded yard, including redwood...
Plans to tear down the old CBS radio and television home at Sunset and Gower for a condo tower go to the city planning commission tomorrow. There are several old...
The former Robinson's store at the edge of Beverly Hills has been the target of a drawn-out financial and legal wrangle, which Dakota Smith tries to unravel over at Curbed...
The Urban Land Institute's local council has created the Los Angeles Real Creativity awards and will hand out the first four at a dinner on Saturday in the lobby of...
Since we broke the news Friday night about Eli Broad's museum talks with Santa Monica, there have been copycat blog posts — plus a nice mention by Tyler Green at...
My KCRW commentary today talked about two photographers of L.A. who approach their subject from different directions, Bruce Davidson and Martin Schall. It aired, as every Friday, at 4:44 p.m....
Chances are you have seen James Goldstein around town — and how could you miss him and his python cowboy hat? He shows up at fashion events and courtside at...
Even I've heard the rumors that Paige Rense's days as supreme leader at Architectural Digest are numbered. This will surely fuel such talk: AD led all Conde Nast monthly magazines...
Longtime readers know Martin Schall as the German creator of you-are-here.com, the great website of Los Angeles photographs. Although I've been posting since 2004 about the 42-year-old who runs the...
All this talk of the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner closing led Curbed LA to ask, sensibly, what has become of the plans to renovate the old...
Eric Spillman of KTLA covers the night-time move through Pasadena of the 1912 Herkimer Arms Apartments, designed by Charles and Henry Greene. The building, apparently the only apartment house...
Pater Wallsten, a star in the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau that became the Tribune chain's bureau, has jumped to the Wall Street Journal. He will cover national politics, "an...
Colleagues, family and admirers of Julius Shulman gathered at Getty Center this afternoon to remember and applaud "truly one of the great photographers of the 20th century," in the words...
I visited a Los Angeles icon yesterday for the first time. Before we got there I told friends I half-expected to be disappointed. Boy, was I not disappointed. As soon...
My four-minute segment today (back after two weeks off) veers from a weekend train trip up to Santa Barbara to confess why I don't care whether the Century Plaza Hotel...
Investor Charles T. Munger's latest plan for the Barry Building in Brentwood is to tear it down, build underground parking, then put in a shopping center that shares the courtyard...
"Forget the exterior," Gehry says in this recent interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival, via Curbed LA. Covering the interior in wood cost an extra $5 million, and was...
Tomorrow's New York Times real estate page ventures into the Century Plaza preservation dispute. Diane Keaton, listing the hotel's supposed glories, likens the design to a "sexy woman surrounded by...
It hasn't been called the Showcase for awhile now, and many longtimers still think of the movie house on La Brea Avenue south of Melrose as the Gordon. Doesn't matter...
Now that the owner of the Century Plaza wants to tear down the hotel, Dakota Smith at Curbed LA dug up what developer Michael Rosenfeld's release said when he bought...
Author D.J. Waldie ruminates on the Spanish Colonial Revival style, inspired by dinner at the Santa Monica home of Angel City Press publishers Paddy Calistro and Scott McAuley. From his...
When a foot-long chunk of plaster fell from the dome over the sanctuary, temple officials decided to suspend services, says a Jewish Journal story that raises the specter of possibly...
The Variety name went up in giant letters today on the former People's Bank tower in the Miracle Mile stretch of Wilshire. The Hollywood trade moves into the top floor...
A 1941 Richard Neutra house was recently moved from Brentwood to Angelino Heights. Photographer Brian Thomas Jones has a slide show up at LATimes.com. Though it's rarely seen now now,...
Last time I was at LAX I wondered aloud, momentarily disoriented, what the big skeleton-like structure was looming over the traffic loop. "Uh, the Theme Building," my companion said, as...
The Los Angeles Conservancy is out with its preservation award winners for the 27th year. Of the residential restoration of the Eastern Columbia building downtown, they say: "Magnificent yet long...
The first of hundreds of stores to get a toned-down design hoping people will stick around is located off the 60 freeway in Hacienda Heights. Eater Los Angeles digests the...
Crews are on hand today at the old Ambassador Hotel site on Wilshire Boulevard, taking down the Cocoanut Grove, ballrooms and last remaining remnants. The Los Angeles Conservancy recently gave...
One of the most unusual, and storied, commercial buildings on Wilshire Boulevard is back on the market. The one-story, ranch-style office complex at the southeast corner of Wilshire and Highland...
New at LA Observed
Egg slutstersThese lucky seven got seats Saturday afternoon at Grand Central Market's hottest counter. Bigger
StreetscapeThis was in the Hollywood Hills a few weeks ago. We assume the Elvis suits are long gone.
'Mad Men' at the AceMatthew Weiner and the cast of "Mad Men" attended a screening of the series finale at the Ace Hotel. Iris Schneider photos
Attention, shoppersSteve Harvey's high-quality advice for LA consumers.