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Coral Trees

Coral TreeCoral Tree Coral TreeCoral TreeEven though “Hollywood” montages of Los Angeles show palm trees galore, the official tree of Los Angeles is the Coral Tree.  I always assumed we called it “coral” because of the color of its flowers, even though that never really made sense because the flowers are red, not coral.  My second guess, still related to the flowers, was that because they are clustered in inflorescence, it kind of looks like sea coral.  Wrong again!  The name comes from the fact that their branches look like sea coral.  But, when a tree has such vocal flowers, who’s paying attention to the branches?

Perhaps the most impressive stand of Corals in the area is along San Vicente between the VA and the beach.  There are about 120 trees planted along 5 miles of the ex-Red Car median.  They were planted sometime after WWII.  In 1976, they became a historic-cultural monument.  In 2013, Brentwood residents are fighting to raise funds for the trees’ maintenance.  Learn more about their campaign here: http://www.brentwoodcommunitycouncil.org/resources-links/our-coral-trees 

Crestwood Hills

Crestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood HillsCrestwood Hills

This Brentwood canyon community started with cooperative aspirations.  An original vision wherein residents would share a bus to work was never realized.  This was not the only glitch in the cooperative design.  Only 160 of the 500 homes in the original plan were built.  60 homes were destroyed by wildfire in 1991.  Several homes have been lost to alterations.

Personally, if I lived in an A. Quincy Jones house, I would want to make sure it stayed the way he intended. It turns out I’m not alone in my sentiment.  Residents banded together and got 17 of the 33 remaining homes to be designated as historic-cultural monuments. Even if you’re not into modern architecture, the views from Crestwood Hills is still worth the trip.

For more info on the Mutual Housing Association, check here: http://crestwoodla.com/

The Getty Center

The GettyThe GettyThe GettyThe Getty

I enjoy $15 parking, Renaissance art, and oil money about as much as I enjoy lectures on electromagnetism.  This is to say I don’t understand them and moreover, I try to avoid thinking about them.

Fortunately, the Getty Center is so much more than what I’ve boiled it down to. The views alone make the Getty a worthwhile venture, but the architecture is also one-of-a-kind.  American born though internationally acclaimed architect, Richard Meier, puts to use the ridges of the Santa Monica Mountains and 1.2 million square feet of travertine limestone.  The stone, which built most of Rome, does nothing short of transport the visitor to the Mediterranean.  Additionally, the “rational” design produces an irrational sense of wonder.

Between the 134,000-square-foot central garden, the continuous calendar of public lectures, and the 28 modern sculptures meticulously dispersed throughout the grounds, visiting the 110-acre compound has a little something for everyone.

Sturges House

Frank Lloyd WrightFrank Lloyd Wright

Like Picasso’s explorations of blues and cubes, Frank Lloyd Wright delved into several disparate stylistic periods throughout his career.  Of his five homes in Los Angeles, four were built with textile blocks, i.e. the Ennis Brown House.  But, this 1939 Brentwood home was built in a style Wright called, “Usonian.”  To Wright, this phrase emulated the expression, “American.”

 

 

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