Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future

Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future

LAX Theme Building c. Luckman Salas O'Brien

If you find yourself stuck on the Westside or looking to take in some culture this weekend, I suggest Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future 1940 – 1990, at the Getty Center.

Referring to both the exponential speed at which Los Angeles developed — and the multiple physical, cultural, and economic obstacles that this incredible city has overcome with such rapid development — Overdrive: LA dives into LA’s ubiquitous car culture, the infrastructures that support it, our incredible ethnic diversity, and the development of many of our favorite neighborhoods and buildings.

Capitol Records, Samitaur Tower, LAX Theme Bldg.

Architectural landmarks from across the city, including LAX’s iconic Theme Building, Capital Records, Dodger Stadium, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and Disney Hall along with many Mid-Century Case Study homes designed by famed architects Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig (architect of case study #22, the Stahl House), Rodney Walker and more that dot Los Angeles are each given their due.

A few of my favorite displays (as a biased East-Sider) was the video short “Bunker Hill: A Work In Progress” that charted the development of LA’s Bunker Hill neighborhood from its original inception in the late 1800’s as the original home to the City’s upper-class elite, through its decline in the 1920’s, to its initial redevelopment that began in the 1950’s, including the move of its famous Victorian homes that are now found in neighboring Angeleno Heights.  An entertaining 3D video brings to life the extraordinary growth of Bunker Hill and the 50+ buildings that now make up DTLA’s rapidly evolving skyline.

DWP c. Julius Shulman

It’s almost overwhelming, but the Pacific Standard Time initiative manages to convey modern architecture, infrastructure, and growth in L.A. in an all-engrossing day trip to the museum.  Free admission (tip: the Getty is closed on Mondays), parking is $15 per car, and there’s that fun tram ride to the top where you sit shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow Angelenos.

For everything that Overdrive: LA covered, part of me felt like there was still something missing from this exhibit — the real outdoors!  A.C. Martin’s Department of Water and Power Building, one of my favorite buildings in town, deserves to be seen and felt in person — its gorgeous fountains, its symmetry, its architectural largesse and simplicity — and observing it is free.

Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future runs until July 21, 2013.

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