Sunday afternoon I finally took in the New Built Los Angeles exhibit at the Architecture and Design Museum on Wilshire at Ogden (one block east of Fairfax). The always thoughtful Christopher Hawthorne of the Los Angeles Times provides a good overview of the exhibit and notes it may hold lessons for a city grappling with new and exciting trends. Seven more pictures from the exhibition can be found at the end of this article.
Gary Kavanagh did an excellent rundown of the various Santa Monica related offerings for Streetsblog. I had heard years ago about “The Causeway” proposal Kavanagh describes. But to see the actual concept art and realize killing this thing involved an epic battle leaves one dumbfounded.
I especially enjoyed the hallway lined with transportation projects, a sort of graveyard for transportation visions. It includes various monorail projects (one of which Curbed LA dubbed a hyperloop precursor) along with the downtown People Mover, a heliport for LAX and proposed networks of subways lines and freeways for the region. Nearby I stumbled across Frank Gehry’s concept for the Metro headquarters building — it has a sort of Disney Hall vibe, I think.
Speaking of Disney not only do they have concept art of Walt’s original idea for a theme park (across from his studio in Burbank) but a truly scary proposal by a former Disneyland executive for a Bible themed park in Rancho Cucamonga. The schematic makes clear how much of a copy-cat in design it would have been of the Anaheim park. If I had gone a week before I could have seen a screening of the documentary about Bible Storyland. Oh, well.
The darkened room where they show animations of some of the proposals is a 5-6 minute continuous presentation which I found fascinating to take in. The same can be said for the entire exhibit. It deserves all the buzz it has been getting. I love that the captions are often blunt explaining why various projects died on the vine. Plus you have to love a show that includes a model monorail running on a loop. OK, I used the word love twice in a single paragraph, which I think signifies how much fun I had taking the show in. Give yourself at least an hour to work your way through all the various concept drawings, models, animations, etc.
Thankfully the show has been extended until Oct. 27th and by showing your TAP card the cost of admission is only $5. Plus the location is very easy to reach via Metro bus service on Wilshire (20/720) and Fairfax (217/780).
Posted on the Facebook page is one monstrosity the show doesn’t include but is covered in the accompanying book (a copy of which you can leaf through at the service desk) — the 125 story building Donald Trump promoted for the Ambassador Hotel site. I agree with the caption accompanying this — YIKES!
The show is curated by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin and designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects. Kudos to all who helped make this exhibit possible! Don’t miss it!