In 1936, little-known housing advocate and shrewd businesswoman Mary Louise Schmidt organized what might be the most significant architecture show of the 20th century — right here in Los Angeles. Long before the celebrated Case Study House program of the postwar years, Schmidt utilized her extensive knowledge of the architectural industry and new federal housing policy … Continue reading Who Was Mary Louise Schmidt?
The Impermanence of LA’s Built Environment?
What deserves protection? With every announcement I read about the construction of a new building, new museum, or a park redesign comes my inevitable questions: what was there before? Is there anything worth saving? And how will these new spaces shape L.A. in the 21st century? My latest pondering of these questions has to do with L.A. … Continue reading The Impermanence of LA’s Built Environment?
Everybody Loves L.A.
Last November I attended my first Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH) Conference, and I walked away with one conclusion: everybody loves L.A. Now, I already knew how great Los Angeles is, but it was both refreshing and exciting to hear that sentiment over and over from visitors. The conference featured numerous panels that discussed … Continue reading Everybody Loves L.A.
The Day Angelenos Lost Elysian Park…Almost
March 10, 1965: The L.A. City Council votes in favor of a proposal to construct a convention center and exhibit hall in Elysian Park, on 63 acres of the park's most popular play and picnic grounds, which include the recreation lodge and the Avenue of the Palms. At the Council Meeting, retired journalist Grace E. Simons vehemently … Continue reading The Day Angelenos Lost Elysian Park…Almost
The Messy World of Historic Preservation: the Bob Baker Marionette Theater
What constitutes a building worth saving? Curbed LA recently featured an article about the likely conversion of the Bob Baker Marionette Theater into a five-story mixed-use building project. As the article notes, the sixty-one year old building in downtown Los Angeles has faced a number of threats in the last six years, including a near-foreclosure, and official … Continue reading The Messy World of Historic Preservation: the Bob Baker Marionette Theater