Thursday, December 18, 2008

Art Deco LA

One of the things noted while away in Florida is the plethora of art deco and neon prevalent at the Disney Studios in Orlando. So much neon and architecture of the earlier part of the 20th century. So beloved that they're planning to use the scheme yet again when they refurbish (or re-imagineer if you will) the 2nd gate of Disneyland, "Disney's California Adventure" (DCA).

WDW Hollywood Studios

So much of LA seems to be a tear it down & rebuild it into something else sort of culture. It really is a shame. The fact is that so much of what LA used to be is honored and memorialized in kitch-y Disney fashion because it is beloved, and in many cases, no longer exists: the Brown Derby, the Crossroads (ok that's sort of still there) and the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.. which being relatively new to California (and LA especially) I wasn't aware what it was or that it burned down.

What about that LA architecture? The fact is if it weren't for the historic tours such as the neon bus or the Conservancy tours, these lost treasures would be just that.. completely lost.

I'm so grateful that while living in LA, I have the opportunity to make my home in a place that makes an attempt at keeping old LA alive and well, not just gentrifying a place but re-purposing the structure, keeping as much of the original intact. The fact is we need to keep these places as original and pristine as possible. Places have meaning for us because they have history and a story behind them. We care for the things we love and they will stay with us, and not become just another place to be honored in an amusement park, or books about recalling the past that no longer exists.


Tim Castro said...

Agreed 1000% It's always so sad to hear when another one of L.A.'s classic buildings (e.g., The Ambassador Hotel) are torn down.

This is progress????

L.A. dude said...

I too agree 1000% Being born and raised in Los Angeles, for the past few years or so after college, I began to take interest in old L.A. history. I feel there is a huge piece of history (and ongoing) sadly lost for future generations to observe how this great city was build and the names behind them. I love looking at the old architecture of Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods because of their unique stories and sometimes try to picture myself walking by these gems during their original pristine form (1910-1940s?).

Look forward to reading more and hope you are enjoying living in L.A. ;D

meekorouse said...

Tim: When I first heard about the Ambassador Hotel being used for a future location for a school I thought what a neat concempt! If they had kept a good chunk of the structure (retrofitting if need be) and turning many of the rooms into classrooms.. it would have been neat.. but the wholesale destruction of the thing piece by piece is really sad. I can't imagine there is anything left that can be called back to it's glory days whether the nightclub or the infamous kitchens where RFK lay dying from gunshot wounds.

LA Dude: I have a lot of hope for LA and its conservancy efforts. There's been many misteps along the way but downtown itself still has some a lot of life in it.