Riots of Color


Urbanize LA is a website showing new development around our city. I get updates from them and see what architecture is going up and what it looks like. In residential multi-family buildings, modernism is triumphant. Today, every building is uniquely ahistorical, without any reference to past classical styles, which, in a way is good. Los…

The Van Nuys State Office Building


The Van Nuys State Office Building is that 4-story, yellow and green building on the east side of Van Nuys Boulevard right on the corner of Calvert. It has strips of windows, and a long, blank wall that fronts Van Nuys Boulevard, ensuring that no retail activity will ever enliven its frontage. What is the…

Resurrection Through Colorization.


I’m not the first person to happen upon these colorized photographs of old black and white images. But I'll write about it anyway. “Imbued With Hues” is Patty Allison’s project to bring to life vintage photos and somehow breathe new life into dead people and lost places. 25,000 follow her on Facebook. She is in…

Tom Cluster’s Van Nuys (1955-1962).


A few weeks ago I received a lovely email, and some photos from Tom Cluster, a reader of this blog. Here is one excerpt: Dear Andy, I just discovered your blog about Van Nuys.  I'm entranced by it.  I'm almost 70.  Our family moved to 6944 Columbus Avenue in the summer of 1955.  It was…

Dreaming of Exile


  Even if you have given up on LA, cursed its tackiness, screamed at its traffic, revolted from its inanities, choked on its air and dreamed of exile from its toxicities, you might be seduced on Sunday afternoon, as I was yesterday, by a place hidden away that seems like a small town in the…

Westwood in the 1970s


On Facebook (of course) there is a group called "Westwood Village in the 70s and 80s." Photos used in this post come from that page and are duly credited. I wasn't there back then, so I cannot attest to the apparent excitement, vibrancy, energy and entertainment that existed in that district forty years ago. All…