Posts tagged Culver City

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In this excerpt from my 2012 short film, Olympic & Western: A Primer on the Typographic Order and an Argument for its Proper Usage in the Built Environment, I wonder about the color chosen by Metro for the then-recently-completed Expo Line, spanning from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City.

The color in question – Pantone 2985 – seemed to be way too close in hue to the established color used for the Blue LinePantone 285. Imagine the confusion of winding up in Long Beach instead of Culver City. Someone finally noticed the absurdity of the similarity of colors between the two lines. Metro solved the issue by adding a distinct “E” to all Expo Line signage in mid-2015. However, with Phase 2 of the Expo Line opening up early this year, the train will go to the beach in Santa Monica, perhaps deserving a new name.

The solution should be obvious: the train to the beach should be color coded and called the Tan Line.

All photos: Calvin Abe

All photos: Calvin Abe

Yesterday, I decided to drive over to the industrial area of Downtown Los Angeles, near East LA and the City of Vernon. My office is now located in the central part of Downtown LA after our move from Culver City almost 2 years ago. I can easily say we definitely work in an urban environment. Culver City feels suburban in comparison now.

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There is so much residential construction and future developments being planned in LA today it’s hard to keep track of everything that is happening. Try walking the streets of Downtown LA now and you’ll experience a renewed energy, youthfulness, and urban diversity that was long absent (the food is great also). However, walking the industrial area after work, I found a wonderful peacefulness and quiet. I can imagine this area becoming the next urban residential enclave in the next 50 years. Just dreaming…

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This is the video record of an art installation.

In 2007, we began to openly question the concept of sustainability. At the same time we recognized we as professionals were accumulating tons of waste paper. As landscape architects the paper trail is tied to our design process: we draw on trace paper, take countless meeting notes, plot construction drawings, etc.

Conceptually So What? was not just a question of whether it is appropriate or possible to operate as a paperless design office – we still struggle with the concept – but also an investigation of where all of our waste paper eventually ends up.

The installation took place in April 2007 at the Museum of Design Art and Architecture in Culver City. The video, produced to communicate our ideas to the general public, received a 2008 Honor Award in Communications from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Photo: Linda Daley

Photo: Linda Daley

I have lived in major cities all of my life, relying on public transit to get around. But it was in Los Angeles where I converted into a regular car commuter. The opening of the Metro Exposition rail line changed that. Although I still drive daily (Los Angeles is, after all, a big county), I am relieved to have the choice of public transit. The daily ride is my madeleine, triggering long buried memories of commuting by train in different cities and different landscapes.

Photo: Linda Daley

Photo: Linda Daley

My travels from Culver City station to Downtown Los Angeles have been an education in urban culture. From my seat on the train, I am drawn daily to the passing scenes and have been curious enough about them to look up their stories.

Automobile Club of Southern California Headquarters, designed by architectural firm Hunt and Burns in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style. Photo: Linda Daley

Automobile Club of Southern California Headquarters, designed by architectural firm Hunt and Burns in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style. Photo: Linda Daley

Some places, like the USC campus and Exposition Park, are well known destinations. My research revealed anecdotes of minor and prominent landmarks, as well as monographs of historic buildings and places.

Photo: Linda Daley

Photo: Linda Daley

Photo: Linda Daley

Photo: Linda Daley

What is the story of the Felix Chevrolet sign I see in the distance; or the murals along a wall of Los Angeles Trade Tech College? How large is the West Angeles Church’s congregation? Who were the architects of the historic St. John’s Cathedral and the Spanish revival building located down the street from it? Each story reveals a bit more about the city I have called home for over two decades.

St. John Cathedral was built in 1925 in the Romanesque Revival architectural style. Photo: Linda Daley

St. John Cathedral was built in 1925 in the Romanesque Revival architectural style. Photo: Linda Daley

By the way, have you noticed the lot used by LATTC for its pole climbing training? I made up my own narrative for it. I re-envision the space as a public art piece — a modern interpretation of an urban forest, neatly arranged rows of trunks without canopies.