Contemporary Architecture in Los Angeles
For more than a century after it was founded in 1781, LA remained a small town of modest adobe buildings. It was not until the late 19th century that settlers from the East and Midwest introduced the Victorian styles of building they had grown up with. When the transcontinental railroad reached LA in 1887 there was a building boom, and the city has been expanding ever since. In the 20th century, LA’s finest contributions to architecture were the inventive reworkings of past styles. In recent years, architects have remodeled dilapidated commercial buildings to create lively, fashionable structures.
Kate Mantilini’s (1985)
This building-within-a-building restaurant is typical of LA’s avant-garde deconstructivisms.
2 Rodeo (1990)
This pastiche of European architecture, including a replica of Rome’s Spanish
Steps, is part of the famous shopping district. The parking lot has Victorian-style streetlamps and a cobblestone surface.
Eames House (1949)
This steel-framed house and studio were designed by Charles and Ray Eames as one of 36 projects commissioned by Arts & Architecture magazine.
TBWA Chiat/Day Advertising Agency (1991)
Frank Gehry, the leading LA architect, designed this striking building.
Disney Studio Office Building (1991)
Michael Graves’ Post-Modern Disney building in Burbank includes a classically inspired pediment supported by 19-ft (5.7-m) statues of the Seven Dwarfs. Inside, chairs incorporate Mickey Mouse in their design.
Ennis House (1924)
The base, plan, and textured interiors of this house are typical of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “textile block” houses.
Gamble House (1908)
This is the finest example of Charles and Henry Greene’s turn-of-the-century
Arts and Crafts bungalows. Its expansive eaves, outdoor sleeping porches, and elegant interior are characteristic of the brothers’ style.
Eastern Columbia Building (1930)
This Art Deco building, designed by Claude Beelman, is one of the most impressive of its kind in LA.
Union Station (1939)
The last of the great American railroad terminals, the vaulted concourse, arches, waiting room, and patios combine Mission Revival and Streamline Moderne styles.