downtown LA culture day

la-conservancy-047

on saturday, the crew and i went on a great walking tour of downtown run by the LA conservancy, followed by a visit to the MOCA’s bourgeois exhibit (bourgeois the artist, not the socio-economic class).  here’s a snapshot of what we learned:

  • majority of buildings we saw were either beaux arts or art deco (called “style moderne” back then); most were built sometime between roughly 1900-1930
  • beaux arts architecture shows baroque and rococo influences (classical columns, cornices, garlands, etc.), and the buildings are characterized by a horizontal, squat appearance, kinda like a french bulldog. examples downtown are the biltmore, the subway terminal building and the grand central market
  • art deco buildings are vertically oriented, influenced by far- and mid-eastern designs, and incorporate materials like limestone, terra cotta and marble. examples include one bunker hill (formerly socal edison and current home of my past employer golinharris; also one of my favorite buildings on the tour), the interior of the oviatt building, the library and the eastern columbia building
  • exteriors of lots of buildings have eye bolts near the corners. apparently the city had cable cars, and the cables ran through the eye bolts. can you imagine downtown LA with cable cars? take a look next time you’re downtown. neat stuff.

 

eye bolt in the right-center of the shot

eye bolt in the center of the shot

  • only in LA moment: they were shooting a jerry bruckheimer pilot when we were at one bunker hill. i thought it was a suzuki commercial
  • apparently the pyramid at the top of the library building was added during construction when king tut’s tomb was discovered and all things egyptian became the rage; so funny that it’s right across the street from golinharris, given golinharris launched the king tut exhibit at the LACMA a few years back (btw, that was a shout out to my peeps at GH)
pyramid atop the library building

pyramid atop the library building

  • the older buildings downtown aren’t taller than 150 feet because of an ordinance that capped them at that height until the late 50s
  • exterior of the million dollar theater — amazing; interior of bradbury building — even better

 

exterior of million dollar theater in churrigueresque style

exterior of million dollar theater in churrigueresque style

interior of the bradbury building where the scene in Blade Runner with crazy cartwheeling chick was shot

interior of the bradbury building where the scene in Blade Runner with crazy cartwheeling chick was shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as for the louise bourgeois show at the MOCA, all you need to know is that the woman is a twisted genius with an obviously effed up family history, and you should see the exhibit if you can. it ends jan. 25, 2009.

see my flickr set with more photos here.

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2 Responses to “downtown LA culture day”

  1. PatrickP Says:

    No one had ever pointed out the bolts for the trolley cars to me until Saturday. I love stuff like that!.

  2. Lynne Wiley Says:

    Thanks for the walking tour! Maybe we can catch a few of those sights next time I come.

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