Were you one of the thousands of curious souls who came, like moths to the flame, to the derelict Los Angeles Mall over the past three Fridays to see Joseph Young's Triforium come to life with flashing lights synced to live music?
We're so impressed by this grassroots effort to revive a piece of civic artwork that the city has neglected for decades, and by the many passionate Angelenos who came together to make it happen. But despite the great success of the Triforium Fridays concert series, the fight to save the Triforium is just beginning. The city has a plan to demolish the very plaza it sits on.
Learn more about efforts to restore the Triforium, how this cool piece of technology works, and how you can get involved, in the latest You Can't Eat the Sunshine podcast, and newly posted video of last fall's Civic Center art & architectural preservation walking tour.
Our new crime bus tour Mansonland is a hot ticket, with the 3/30 tour selling out almost instantly. But you're not out of luck just yet! We'll be listing an additional tour date (3/9). Tickets on this tour will become available around 9am on Monday morning, so swing by our website then if you'd like to take that weird ride.
Tuesday is Election Day, and it's an important one. If you're still undecided about the many propositions, judges and other mysteries on the ballot, you might find our friend Bob Wolfe's California Election Guide helpful. Click here to see it. Bob wrote the brief that got the terrible Proposition 9 (splitting California into three states) off the ballot, so you know he takes these matters seriously. More seriously than the Los Angeles Times, which is up to all kinds of shenanigans with its endorsements.
Although you won't find this in the literature, Proposition 10 is a pro-preservation measure that we enthusiastically support. Allowing cities to set their own rent control laws has the happy side effect of protecting historic multi-family housing stock from being demolished by corporate developers. Los Angeles has some of the most beautiful apartment buildings in the world, and we'd like to keep it that way.
We're back on the bus on Saturday with the debut excursion of Elmore Leonard in Hollywood, hosted by the writer's longtime assistant and researcher Gregg Sutter and offering rare insights into the dark arts of adapting fiction to the screen without losing one's mind. Join us, do!
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LAVA'S FORENSIC SCIENCE SEMINAR - SUN. 1/27
Four times a year, we gather in the teaching crime labs of Cal State L.A. to explore the history and future of American forensic science. On January 27, join us for an inquiry into Arson and After, from cold case clearance to the impact on an arsonist's family. Your $36.50 ticket benefits graduate level Criminalistics research.
Up from the ashes of the terrible 1986 arson fire and into the archives: in The Library Book, recent Angeleno Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief) paints an engaging pen portrait of the colorful characters who built up the Los Angeles Public Library, the peculiar dude who maybe tried to destroy it, and the preservationists, architects and policy wonks who saved the grand old gal from demolition.
SPECIAL EVENT: ELMORE LEONARD IN HOLLYWOOD - SAT. 11/10... A new bus adventure hosted by Gregg Sutter, the writer’s loyal assistant and researcher of 33 years. You’ll get the skinny on Elmore’s great Hollywood novel turned film Get Shorty, meet the real life inspiration for Chili Palmer, trace Elmore’s evolution as a commuting screenwriter and visit the locations that inspired some of his most memorable scenes. (Buy tickets here.)
WILSHIRE BOULEVARD DEATH TRIP - SAT. 11/17... Wilshire Boulevard is an iconic Los Angeles thoroughfare—from its prehistoric origins as a path forged by extinct megafauna to the spectacular Art Deco monuments of the Miracle Mile. It’s also ground zero for some deeply strange, only-in-Los Angeles crimes and oddities that played out against the backdrop of the boulevard. The deceptively simple route contains a multitude of mysteries, from cruel plots, divine inspiration, historic preservation, love gone sour, lucky breaks and weird tales, Wilshire Boulevard Death Trip, a dark day’s out among the city’s most glittering architectural gems. (Buy tickets here.)
RICHARD'S 50th BIRTHDAY BUS ADVENTURE - SAT. 11/24... In partnership with the Huntington Library and the new Architects of a Golden Age exhibition. (Sold out with a waiting list.)
PASADENA CONFIDENTIAL - SAT. 12/1... The Crown City masquerades as a calm and refined retreat, where well-bred ladies glide around their perfect bungalows and everyone knows what fork to use first. But don't be fooled by appearances. Dip into the confidential files of old Pasadena and meet assassins and oddballs, kidnappers and slashers, black magicians and all manner of maniac in a delightful little tour you won't find recommended by the better class of people. (Buy tickets here.)
HOTEL HORRORS & MAIN STREET VICE - SAT. 12/8... Last tour of the year! Through the 1940s, downtown was the true city center, a lively, densely populated, exciting and sometimes dangerous place. But while many of the historic buildings remain, their human context has been lost. This downtown double feature tour is meant to bring alive the old ghosts and memories that cling to the streets and structures of the historic core, and is especially recommended for downtown residents curious about their neighborhood's neglected history. (Buy tickets here.)
THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA - SAT. 1/5... Join us on this iconic, unsolved Los Angeles murder mystery tour, from the throbbing boulevards of a postwar Downtown to the quiet suburban avenue where horror came calling. After multiple revisions, this is less a true crime tour than a social history of 1940s Hollywood female culture, mass media and madness, and we welcome you to join us for the ride. This tour usually sells out, so don't wait to reserve. (Buy tickets here.)
Additional upcoming tours: Weird West Adams (1/12), Echo Park Book of the Dead (1/19), Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles (2/2), Boyle Heights & Monterey Park (2/16), Special Event: Silent Echoes Film Locations Tour (3/2), Special Event: Mansonland (3/9), Special Event: Mansonland (3/30) and Special Event: The 1910 Bombing of the Los Angeles Times (4/6).
OUR HISTORIC L.A. PODCAST
Episode #132 is Illuminating Los Angeles: Elmore Leonard & The Triforium. Meet Gregg Sutter, who is hosting a new bus tour about the screenwriter he aided for 33 colorful years, then get the skinny on reactivating Joseph Young's 1975 musical phantasmagoria. Click here to tune in. New: find stories on the map!
AND FINALLY, LINKS
LAPL's blog features the daffy dead tech of the TransLogic inter-building book railway.
Parker Center, deconstructed. Los Angeles, you shouldn’t have!
Honoring Helen Borgers, who enlivened Long Beach theater and the jazz airwaves.
L.A.’s 19th century wine district is boozy again.
Scratch the surface of that miniature mansion that's all the rage on Instagram, and you'll find a tale of Southern California housing anxiety.
The end of the line for a Route 66 original. RIP, Golden Spur!
Can the 1904 Tabor House, featured in the 1927 Our Gang film Dog Heaven be saved? Possibly, with the support of CM Paul Koretz (PDF link)
Preservationists fretted, but it looks like Metro will save the Arts District's beloved Pickle Works, after all. (See Chapter 2.0.)
CBS Television City reportedly selling to Hackman Capital. Happily, this Pereira (previously) in Peril is partially protected by its recently obtained HCM status.
Burlingame's folly is finally being fixed.
Los Angeles fails to make compassion its public policy.
Pressure builds as writers protest lack of transparency around LAPL’s ALOUD program.
Townscape Partners is eager to demolish the landmarked Lytton Savings; the Cultural Heritage Commission asks what the rush is.
A wild slice of circa 1932 Los Angeles automotive mayhem, courtesy our friends at the Internet Archive.
Big questions about serial landmark wrecker Jason Iloullian's proposal to tunnel under WeHo's French Market like a cash seeking gopher.
Cheers to new owners Rockwell Properties for revealing this lovely Millard Sheets studio mosaic mural to Long Beach once again!
Encouraged to see the city turn to historic structures for the homeless, instead of costly ground-up construction that benefits politicians’ developer friends.
One Arcadia household has cornered the market on holiday spirit. Enjoy these Hallowe'en photos and hear what's coming next.
Funny, over years of public workshops for Re:code LA, nobody mentioned the intent was to hand power over land use decisions to unelected planning officers, answering only to the Mayor. Angelenos, please contact your councilperson and ask them to put the brakes on!
Kim and Richard