Los Angeles Architecture by James SteeleLos Angeles Architecture by James Steele

Los Angeles Architecture

byJames Steele

Paperback | January 22, 1998

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This hip, well-designed, picture-packed book on Los Angeles architecture opens with a chapter called, tellingly, "Confronting Autopia." Author James Steele traces the evolution of the freeway city's notable buildings and styles, from arts-and-crafts bungalows to the Museum of Contemporary Art, "the cultural capital of the West Coast." Steele is tremendously knowledgeable about both individual buildings and their meaning in the larger contexts of the history of design, cultural and economic pressures, and civic life. In this book, he ably discusses such important phases as Arts & Architecture publisher John Entenza's "Case Study House" program, which showcased modern, postwar homes, as well as recent efforts to establish a "downtown" for this far-flung, disparate community. There are strange omissions in his text, however. Nowhere does he mention the "architectural commission of the century," Richard Meier's new Getty Center, for example. His focus is instead on central Los Angeles, but it seems eccentric not to give the Getty even a footnote. And Steele's penchant for long sentences is unchecked by the editors of this volume: "Issues, in this admittedly selective sectional slice through the L.A. corpus civicus at the moment, seem to revolve around the shifting perceptions of the growing multitudes who live there about the character of their city, and the reaction of the established residents among that group (who seem to qualify as such in an amazingly short period of time) about changes that are out of their control," is but one example. That aside, this book offers a particularly thoughtful appreciation of the City of Angels, which has so often been shortchanged by authors of less vision and erudition. --Peggy Moorman
Title:Los Angeles ArchitectureFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 11.5 × 10 × 1 inPublished:January 22, 1998Publisher:Phaidon Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0714837563

ISBN - 13:9780714837567

Appropriate for ages: 13

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The architecture of Los Angeles seems at first sight to be chaotic, individualism being its only rationale. This book challenges that view, looking beneath the seductive surface to find out why the city's architectural scene is so fascinating. Beginning with the pioneering characters of the American Arts and Crafts movement, the author traces Los Angeles' architectural energy through the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolph Schindler to arrive at the buildings of Frank Gehry, who is widely acknowledged as a peerless interpreter of his surroundings. This analysis expands to investigate the work of those who have followed Gehry's lead, from the avant-garde institutions such as Sci-Arc to those who are attempting to complete the Los Angeles myth by at last giving it a Downtown.'James Steele's+ book -- with glamorous photography and elegant design -- will have enduring value.' (Architect's Journal)'This book proves to be far more than skin deep, thanks to a provocative and erudite text ... an excellent insight.' (Architecture Review)'Literate, comprehensi