A vanished city lives again...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Richfield Kodachrome

A mid-1950s Kodachrome postcard of the magnificent Richfield Building.

Can there be any doubt that this jewel was Los Angeles's single most grievous architectural loss of the 20th century?



Benovite said...

OK I feel compelled to play devil's advocate as it were because I had an epiphany not too long ago about L.A.'s seeming careless treatment of its own history.

First of all, I love L.A., been here since 1978. And I love history. I also believe it's important not to tear everything over 10 years old down for a new mixed-use mega block.

But, if you're in this city look around. It's alive, vibrant and still growing! We still have many wonderful old landmarks and new ones are being discovered all the time (the recent discovery of downtowns Chocolate Shoppe for example). There are new and exciting constructions, modes of living and working. And there's still a lot of the old L.A. that is fortunately with us to appreciate.

My point is this: L.A. is one of the greatest places to live in the world. But that wouldn't be the case without forward-thinking, progressive dreamers, visionaries and creators that constantly push this city into the future. The city keeps growing but more importantly it keeps evolving, as any big city should.

Yes we've lost some things along the way but you simply cannot keep everything AND keep building and growing. You have tears for the Richfield, fair enough. He'll I miss that old funky Vons they tore down recently on Santa Monica and Barrington. It wasn't a pretty store to look at, but it was an old school Vons that I would shop there with my ex girlfriend(sigh). It's a big empty lot not (guess what- mixed use on the way!).

I'm proud of this city and its mentality. There are hard core building/architectural buffs that know and love every rivet of every structure lost. Hey look I'm haunted by this city, I obsess over its past l, watch movies and TV shows to pick out specific locations and so on so my epiphany was almost painful.

But it was also accepting the fact that life goes on and hopefully thanks to good leaders and designers things get better for L.A. I'll miss my girl, that funky Vons where we shopped... but as Frank sang back in '83 , L.A. is my lady!

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