Preserving the Past without Losing the Future
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Beverly Hills has allowed the demolition of too many architectural landmarks other cities would save. After a fight over Richard Neutra's Kronish House, that might change. But in some places, is preservation going too far? Chris Nichols and Christopher Hawthorne discuss preserving the past, without losing the future. Plus, Jonathan Louie and others "Rethink LA."
Banner image: Kronish House, designed by Richard Neutra in 1955. Photo © by Marc Angeles, Unlimited Style Photography, April, 2011
Is Preservation Going Too Far? ()
Earlier this year, the new owners of the Kronish House, a 1955 Modernist home in Beverly Hills designed by legendary Austrian architect Richard Neutra, showed signs that they planned to demolish the aging structure and sell the empty lot. Unlike the city of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills has no preservation ordinance in place that offers protections for historic properties, so a campaign to save the house has been waged by fans of Modernist architecture, lead by the Los Angeles Conservancy. Longtime LA Conservancy member and associate editor at Los Angeles Magazine Chris Nichols gives some background on the house and why he thinks it should be saved. But is this desire to save aging buildings preventing cities from creating new and exciting architecture for the future? Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne gives his thoughts on the Kronish House, defining notable architecture, and our obsession with the past.
The Kronish House today. Curbed LA editor Adrian Glick Kudler got an exclusive peek
inside the home, you can see the entire slideshow of the tour at Curbed LA.
Top image: The Kronish House in better days, photo via Neutra.org
Rethinking Los Angeles 50 Years From Now ()
A new show, Rethink LA: Perspectives on a Future City is a beautifully designed exhibition that's currently up at the A+D Museum. Co-curator Jonathan Louie explains that the starting point for the show is the notion that LA goes through 50-year epochs, starting 100 years ago with the growth of the region via Pacific Electric Railway, and then transforming again with the Federal Highway Act of 1956. Rethink LA tapped 18 architects and designers to create collages of the Los Angeles 50 years in the future, starting with present-day photographs of notable areas of the city. Last Thursday night, the exhibition hoped to envision LA's post-automobile future by hosting the Moving Beyond Cars party, which challenged all attendees to arrive via bike, transit or walking, and to document their journeys. Frances chatted with attendees Jonathan Cowan, Bianca Siegal, Adam Coulson and Kat Fowler about their non-car experiences. Rethink LA: Perspectives on a Future City is up through September 4.
A photo in the exhibition by Noah Webb shows the Hyperion Treatment Plant,
which has been treating wastewater for over a century.
Taalman Koch re-envisioned the center as a desalination plant
and a recreation center, including a surf reservoir.
A giant chalkboard in the exhibition serves as a place
for citizens to record their ideas for a better city.
Five narrators (including Frances herself) provided context to the exhibition through a series of films. Here, Architect's Newspaper editor Sam Lubell examines the architecture and urban design of Inland Empire city Ontario.
- Jonathan Louie: Co-Curator, Rethink LA
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