Tagged: Los Angeles

This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.

The Inspiring Story of Hamburg, NY – Better! Cities & Towns


Image via Better! Cities & Towns

An upstate New York village defied the Department of Transportation and created a human-scale Main Street that restored community to a downtrodden downtown. the New York DOT proposed 12-foot travel lanes — the same width as Interstate highways — and other design details that are standard for urban arterials all across the US. The village rejected the state’s proposal and suggested an alternative. “Hamburg’s Main Street was redesigned to slow vehicles, a technique known as traffic calming. Two lanes, instead of the three that had been planned, were built, and the lanes’ width was shrunk from 12 feet — highway-size ribbons that invite drivers to go fast — to 10 feet. That created more room for trees; on-street parking, which is good for businesses; and “safety lanes,” which provide room for drivers to open car doors safely and also serve as de facto bicycle lanes.” Since the redesign, car accidents on the road of dropped by 66% and “business owners, inspired by the new road, spent a total of $7 million on 33 building projects.

Hawaii Before Statehood – Life

hawaii laundry

Washing hung out to dry, Hawaii, 1959. Image via LIFE

Fifty-four years ago this week, Hawaii was admitted into the Union. LIFE.com presents a slide show of beautiful color photographs from 1959, the year Hawaii officially became America’s 50th state. In a March 1959 article, “Hawaii — Beauty, Wealth, Amiable People,” for which these pictures were made, LIFE painted a largely rosy picture of the place.

The Stahl House photographed by Julius Shulman. Image via Modern Capital DC

The Stahl House photographed by Julius Shulman. Image via Modern Capital DC

“The Case Study Houses have finally made the National Register of Historic Places (well, 11 of them have). The modest, modern, houses–built through an Arts & Architecture magazine program launched in 1945–helped establish Los Angeles as the American center of mid-century modern architecture (participants included Richard Neutra, Charles Eames, Pierre Koenig) and of mid-century futurist living (they were meant to be easily replicable, made with “new materials and new techniques in house construction,” and were of course car-centric and single-family). The newly-landmarked include Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House (aka CSH #22), which might just be the most famous house in Los Angeles, thanks to a photograph by Julius Shulman, along with the Entenza House in Pacific Palisades and Koenig’s CSH #21 in the Hills.”

‘The Las Vegas Tapes’: Remarkable footage of Sin City from 1976 – Dangerous Minds


Las Vegas post card via Danger Minds

“In 1976 Scott Jacobs and Valjean McLenighan decided to do a video documentary of life in Las Vegas, and the resultant 29-minute movie was made with the title The Las Vegas Tapes. To accomplish their goal they chose the simplest strategy imaginable—they simply went around with a video camera and asked people questions….There are no great revelations herein, merely a pungent documentation of Fremont Street before it became the “other” strip in Las Vegas, which today is dominated by Caesar’s Palace and the Luxor and that huge neon Paris balloon.”

The Mad Men Effect: A Preservation and Design Recap


If your Sunday evening was sadly bereft of the SC &P crew and your Monday has been spent pining for more mid-century mod eye candy and late 1960s  goodness, don’t fear! I have just what you’re jonesing for. Behold, a collection of blog posts and articles about Mad Men/1960s style and (of course!) historic preservation.  Here’s to the anticipation of Season 7 and crossed fingers that the  Mad Men Effect will continue to inspire a love for those mid-century buildings that so often get overlooked just because George Washington never slept in them.

1. Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner on Why Don Draper Is a Preservationist – Preservation Nation

2. Is Mad Men Good for Preservation? – DOCOMOMO

3. Mad Men Inspires Appreciation for Architecture of the ‘Recent Past’ – Planetizen

4. Mad Men Locations in Los Angeles – Discover Los Angeles

5. Mad Men’s Village People – GVSHP

6. Montgomery’s Mad Men Modern Buildings – Are They Worth Protecting? – The Washington Post

7. Mad Men, Mad Buildings – Preservation Journey

8. Mad Men Motif Comes to Life in New Canaan, Conn. – Boston Globe

9. Touring Los Angeles’ Modern Skyline – Preservation Nation

10. Mad Men Style : The Best of the 1960s from House Beautiful – House Beautiful

11. Mid-Century Modern? Not Here – LA Times

12. American Style Through the Decades: The Sixties – Apartment Therapy

This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.


SC Johnson Frank Lloyd Wright Research Tower – The Journal Times


SC Johnson Headquarters Research Tower. Image via SC Johnson

“SCJ is currently in the middle of an eight-year, $30 million restoration and conservation plan.  ‘Our family’s long partnership with Frank Lloyd Wright led to these architectural treasures that we’re honored to work in every day,’ company President and CEO Fisk.  Johnson said Friday via email. ‘The Research Tower represents the completion of the work that Wright began here in the mid-1930s with our Administration Building.  As we have made significant investments in these historic buildings and expanded our free public tour program, including the Tower was the natural next step.'”

Locally Owned Businesses Can Help Communities Thrive and Survive Climate Change – The Grist

“Cities where small, locally owned businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks, more engaged citizens, and better success solving problems, according to several recently published studies.  And in the face of climate change, those are just the sort of traits that communities most need if they are to survive massive storms, adapt to changing conditions, find new ways of living more lightly on the planet, and, most important, nurture a vigorous citizenship that can drive major changes in policy.”

Never Altered Modern in Cali to be Demolished – Curbed Los Angeles


[Photograph courtesy of Los Angeles Modern Auctions; original photograph by Julius Shulman of the J. R. Davidson Kingsley residence, to be sold with the corresponding lot on Sunday, May 19, 2013]

“On Sunday, Los Angeles Modern Auctions is selling off the custom-built furniture from the Kingsley Residence in Pacific Palisades, designed by JR Davidson, the underrated architect who designed three houses for the Case Study House program (Numbers 1, 11, and 15). Why? Because the 1947 house has recently sold and the new owner is planning to demolish it very, very soon, according to the seller (members of the Kingsley family). Boo! Hiss! According to a LAMA press release, this is “One of the last remaining Davidson houses in its original form … The Kingsley residence was never altered in terms of the structure, and aside from minor updates by the architect in the 1950s, the interior of the home remained almost identical to the [Julius] Shulman photographs for over 60 years.”

Boom or Bust? Saving Rhode Island’s ‘Superman’ Building – NPR


“The iconic Industrial Trust Tower, knows as the “Superman building,” stands in downtown Providence, R.I. The art deco-style skyscraper, the tallest in the state, lost its last tenant when the bank’s lease expired in April.”

“In Rhode Island, the issue [shrinking revenues, lost jobs and general economic malaise]has come to a head around the future of the once-iconic Industrial Trust Tower, or, as it is known more affectionately, the Superman building — named for its resemblance to the building the Man of Steel leaped “in a single bound” in the . The building is empty for the first time in 85 years, and casts a shadow over a city struggling to reinvent its economy.”

Repurposing Streets with No Name – Rustwire

“In a number of cities, there are certain derelict streets that are nearly denuded of dwellings or businesses. Desolate and forlorn, these streets resemble something out of a post war apocalypse. Detroit may be the poster child du jour of such stark and sad emptiness, but there are many other examples across the Rust Belt and elsewhere. What to do with neglected streets has long been a source of planning discussion and conjecture.  In some instances entire abandoned neighborhoods have or are being converted to urban agriculture or community gardens.  However, this avid bicycle commuter has another suggestion for a few of these lowly streets without names – repurpose them to active transportation byways.”

This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.

Cataloging Historic Camp Springs – Cincinnati.com

Native Mark Ramler has literally written the book about how to preserve the historic stone buildings constructed by German immigrants in the 19th Century in Camp Springs, KY.  “Old buildings are my passion,” said Ramler.

Ramler wrote the 86-page book “Camp Springs, Ky., Preservation + Design Guidelines” in 2010 as part of earning his master of historic preservation degree at the University of Kentucky (my alma mater!).

The Meaning of Gary Indiana – RustWire

“Since the first buildings went up on the shifting sands of Lake County, reformers, sociologists, and commentators looked on Gary as place where a new man could be born—a new man for an industrial age. However, over the course of the 20th century Gary went from a city that represented the possibility of industrial utopia to a city consistently described as a blighted, deindustrialized dystopia. As a new city built from the ground up in the era of progressivism, Gary became a tabula rasa in discourse and in the public imagination.”

The LA That Never Was – Architizer


Proposed Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center. Image via Architizer

“But it only took a few failed proposals from the early 20th century to send LA into a self-reinforcing spiral of freeways and sprawl. If a couple of prescient planners had had their way, the city might have grown into a model of urbanism besting the Big Apple (or at least Portland), with hundreds of miles of subways and elevated rail, thousands of parks linked by parkways, and even a raised bicycle freeway connecting Pasadena with downtown.”

Free Parking Vigilante  Strikes Cincinnati – UrbanCincy

“Residents began to notice the meters being vandalized in November 2012 when the city initially announced its intentions to lease its parking system to a private entity. The city insists that the vandalism and parking privatization is not connected. However, UrbanCincy’s investigative sleuthing has found that although the meters are not connected to city sabotage, they are instead connected to a lone vigilante who wants nothing more than to park…for free!”

Abandoned Suit Cases at Insane Asylum – Collector’s Weekly

Thelmas Suitcase

Thelma’s Suitcase. Image via Collectors Weekly

“From the 1910s through the 1960s, many patients at the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane left suitcases behind when they passed away, with nobody to claim them. Upon the center’s closure in 1995, employees found hundreds of these time capsules stored in a locked attic. Working with the New York State Museum, former Willard staffers were able to preserve the hidden cache of luggage as part of the museum’s permanent collection. Photographer Jon Crispin has long been drawn to the ghostly remains of abandoned psychiatric institutions. After learning of the Willard suitcases, Crispin sought the museum’s permission to document each case and its contents.”

The History of the Flapper: A Call to Freedom – The Smithsonian via Three Months by Car


Image via smithsonian.com

This week, Three Months by Car posted a link to this article at smithsonian.com about the flapper, to give us a better understanding of  Edie, Ev, and Dottie’s cross-country trip. It’s an interesting look at the rapid social changes taking place in the 1920s that are now symbolized by the bobbed hair and fashion of the times.