Friday, December 18, 2015

Art Deco in Downtown L.A.

Vitality is radiated from exceptional art and architecture.
~Arthur Erickson 

Marquee of the the Orpheum Theatre
842 S. Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles

Finally! The Deco post! These are photos taken on the Art Deco walking tour downtown, with the Los Angeles Conservancy last month. I will post links at the bottom of the post, if you are interested in reading up on these historic buildings. 

Many of the buildings we couldn't get into, either because they are now condos, private businesses or completely shut down. Such is the case with the Garfield. It's on the National Register of Historic Places but I believe it's empty right now!

 The Garfield Building
Architect Claud Beelman, built 1928-30

It went up for sale last summer and I heard it sold for 40 million. Will it be a boutique hotel? Condos? So curious!

Marquee of the old Rialto Theatre, 1917

One Bunker Hill
originally Southern California Edison Building
Alison and Alison, completed in 1931

Being that the building was built for a power company, there are allegorical figures by sculptor Merrell Gage to represent light, power and hydroelectric energy.

Yay! A building where we could get inside! Oh my, it was worth it. More than 17 different types of marble and beautiful details with wonderful murals, as well.

This mural by Hugo Ballin titled "The Apotheosis of Power."  (Again having to do with the utility/power company Southern California Edison.)

It was one of the first all electrically heated and cooled buildings in the western U.S.

Ninth & Broadway Building
Claud Beelman, 1930

The lobby was small and so lovely and though they let us in we weren't aloud to photograph. I'm guessing that it was because there is a jewelry store inside and it's for security. 

Title Guarantee Building
Parkinson & Parkinson, 1930 

This is now a building of loft style apartments so we were unable to go inside. Again the sculptures on the exterior to represent the original use of the building ...

Wholesale Jewelry Mart (left)
Curlett and Beelman, 1925
Los Angeles Jewelry Center (right) 
Claud Beelman, 1931

On the left, the building combines the verticals and setbacks of Art Deco, with Gothic details (arched windows and gargoyles!)

Love the green terra cotta of the beautiful building on the right! So fabulous!

James Oviatt Building
Walker & Eisen, 1928

You might be thinking ... Art Deco? Well, the outside isn't. It has a Romanesque Revival exterior that  contrasts the Art Deco interior spaces. Apparently, the owner of the building took a trip to Paris in 1925  and fell for the Moderne style and so when he returned home, he went with with Deco on the inside. So happy he did, because it's fantastic! 

Below, you can see the window of the restaurant Cicada which is a super swanky, old school place, and now (as you may have guessed) it is on my "to Do" list! Not sure when that is going to happen but I'll have to start manifesting it immediately!

The doors were made by Lalique!


James Oviatt built a super swanky Penhouse in the building and these days it's rented out for weddings. (Just in case you know any Deco fans that are getting hitched!)

This, below, is on the gate that's at the sidewalk. Lovely, no?

Western Jewelry Mart
originally William Fox Building
S. Tilden Norton, 1932

We were aloud to go into the small lobby but alas ... more jewelry and so no pictures! You'll have to take a tour if you visit! 

Los Angeles Central Library
Bertram G. Goodhue 
and CarltonM. Winslow, 1926

This building is important for many reasons, not just because it came in at the beginning of the of the Art Deco movement but it was slated for demolition in 1970 and got the whole conservancy movement going in Los Angeles. In fact, the Los Angeles Conservancy is the biggest City Conservancy in the country.

The inside of the library is a whole post of its own! I will definitely go back for that, so I can show you!

Eastern Columbia Building
Claud Beelman, 1930

For many Angelino fans of Art Deco, this building is at the top of the list. In 2006 - 30 million dollars later- 140 luxury condos! It's said Johnny Depp owns a penthouse. It's totally fabulous. Love the green and gold terra cotta. Go on Google images to see photos of the pool area. I know someone who used to live there but alas I never was able to see it. Sigh ... 

Here are links to various articles, websites, and information for the buildings in this post.

Every Saturday, the Los Angeles Conservancy not only does the Art Deco tour, but the "Historic Downtown" tour, the "Downtown Renaissance" tour, "Broadway Historic Theatre and Commercial district" tour and one called "Modern Skyline." There are other tours of Union Station, the old Biltmore downtown, and one of Angelino Heights, as well.

For info on walking tours with the LA Conservancy, click here.

Here is BBC documentary related to Deco, on Tamara de Lempicka, an artist of that time. I'm not sure how I feel about her style of art but it was quite an interesting time and I love a biographical doc even when I'm not a big fan of the central figure. Is that weird? Anyway, what do you think of her?

Hop you are all enjoying the holiday season! I will try to post my recent snowy trip to Santa Fe as soon as possible! It was lovely and inspiring!

We shape our buildings;
thereafter they shape us.
~Winston Churchill

Blessings and light!


donna baker said...

Love the deco, all the more now after your post. Deco and Arts and Crafts need a new heyday after so much concrete minimalism. It just doesn't compare. Like Lempickas's art, and those Lalique doors are gorgeous. What a lucky you to get to visit it all. Love Santa Fe and can't wait to see your pics. Have a wonderful holiday Lucinda. You are one of a kind.

Theresa said...

I think it would fun to visit a place with you. Everywhere you go, you see so much!! Happy holidays.

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