Category Archives: Silverlake
It’s odd how cities like New York and Boston that are both contained within defined boundaries have also both maintained their early architecture. Here, our metropolis continues to push out and yet buildings go up and down faster than even our neighborhoods’ populations change. So, my most recent hypothesis about the Angelino identity is that we are a people forced to find comfort in a world where everything’s ephemeral.
I loved this wall. I still have to buck-up my hypothesized Angelino-ness to help reconcile with this loss every time I drive by. But if I could just buck-up my inner-Capitalist, I could afford to buy my very own Septerhed and hang it in my bedroom.
Luckily, I can peruse Septerhed’s work for free here: http://www.septerhed.com/
There used to be these rather disturbing stuffed animals hung on telephone wires across the Eastside linked to the ice cream truck, Hearts Challenger, but recently they seem to be pleasantly replaced with flower-pot shoefiti. The shoes are not only a friendlier gesture than the warrior-faced animals, but it’s also a kind repurposing of the shoe flinging practice traditionally linked with bullying, turf wars, and drug houses.
Anyone know who’s doing this?
I normally go hunting for the buildings I photograph, but this one called to me as I drove passed. I first noticed its ornaments because they look like cranes with touching beaks made from Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired textile blocks. So, I googled the address (2036-2046 Griffith Park Blvd) only to learn that this complex is a 1941 Rudolph Schindler. It is moments like these when I wish all permanent structures came with informational plaques. If this building’s hypothetical plaque were also to include an historical fact, it would read: Schindler designed this apartment complex so that it could be easily re-divided into more or less units depending on the tenants’ needs.
I would also like to comment that I wish they would put these plaques next to trees, as if the whole city were an arboretum.
Anyway, the Bubeshko family owned the building for 65 years, and though they sold it in 2005, its new owners are proud to maintain its Schindler-ness. So proud, in fact, they even won a 2010 Preservation Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy. Read more about that award here: http://www.laconservancy.org/awards/10_bubeshko.php
Gregory Ain grew up on the Llano Del Rio, a socialist Utopian society in Antelope Valley. The cooperative wasn’t successful because the rio wasn’t reliable, but it was successful in engraining the values of community living into the minds of its youth.
Ain is often considered a socialist architect. Whether or not there is truth in the consideration, he did design this cooperative housing project in Silverlake to house four blacklisted families. Additionally, he tried to place a communal kitchen in the development, but the Federal Housing Administration wagged its finger.
Historically, there’s so much more going on here than what meets the eye. But, the reason this project is listed on the National Register of Historic Places is because of its effective use of space. To the passerby, there are 10 identical living spaces, 2 identical hillside structures, and zero street signs indicating these buildings’ innovations.
The technical term for these arches is groined vault. While that might conjure some uncomfortable images, these arches are in fact quite picturesque. The railing posts along Sunset Boulevard look like miniature deco skyscrapers, but the bridge’s real intrigue lies beneath the boulevard.
I predicted a visit to the old Fletcher Viaduct would be something akin to visiting a Civil War battleground- you’d have to use A LOT of imagination. But, I wanted to check it out because the footings are a Historical-Cultural Monument. To my surprise, this old Red Car Property is still very much alive.
Hooray for guerilla gardening! Small stairwells have been carved into the hillside for the wanderers’ convenience. There are grapevines, zucchini, flowers, and several hearts with nonsense written on them. “Hear it tree ya.” “It’s Howdy, Hooray! Be ya!” “More it on ya.” While I’m not at all clear on what these guerillas are talking about, I’m excited about their work nonetheless.