Last chance! This weekend is the last time to see the fascinating exhibition Never Built: Los Angeles at the A+D Museum. An imaginative look at 100 ideas, renderings, blueprints, and models of buildings and parks proposed by visionary architects, designers and companies that would have altered the sprawl of the metropolis. The show is based on Sam Lubell’s book of the same name.
Some are wild ideas and some are exquisite. Many plans would have made LA standout with its architecture and gardens. Some addressed housing issues or suggested multi-use structures years ago and others offered green spaces such as the Olmstead Brother’s proposal for preserved landscapes–which they managed in Palos Verdes where shorelines are undeveloped.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s soaring model for a church in the shape of a cross may have seemed like an egotistical monument but he also offered a comprehensive design for downtown office towers with a pedestrian plaza which also got nixed.
Conservative city fathers and cranky neighbors with limited views prevented some of these ideas from coming to fruition. Also conflicting business interests put the kibosh on a domed airport terminal with access to all the airlines, a bike freeway as well as an efficient monorail system that would have been erected for free decades ago.
Some sensible minds prevailed, too, in some cases. Would we really want artificial islands off the coast of Santa Monica obstructing the view of the sunset on the ocean from the shoreline? Unusual?
The curators at the Architecture and Design Museum create big shows in a small space that are both intriguing and thought-provoking, such as the exhibit I wrote about on the Eames’ Appreciation of Common Objects. These innovative concepts for Los Angeles were inspired–and it’s disappointing that some of these dreams never happened. See what it might have been.