Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Pacific Standard Time: Modern Architecture In L.A.

gm_337273EX1-766x613Ever since 2011, the great force that is the Getty Museum has been entertaining us with Pacific Standard Time, an arts initiative that focuses on the artistic fruits of modern and contemporary Los Angeles. This year’s theme, which began in April and takes us through July, celebrates Southern California’s lasting impact on modern architecture, with the participation of 17 cultural institutions throughout the region.

Southern California is rich in post-war architecture – we created and/or popularized the following:

  • Freeways (large, multi-lane, crisscrossing-in-midair thoroughfares)
  • “Googie” architecture (LAX’s dizzying Theme building; Disneyland’s House of the Future, pretty much every diner or fast food chain begun in the late 1940s)
  • Postwar residential architecture (tract housing) utilizing new technology and landscape treatments (a pool for every home!)
  • Mid-century modern low-slung, planar buildings

If you’ve ever felt awe-struck by the sight of multiple busy freeways crossing over and under one another, if you’ve ever watched an episode of the Jetsons, if you’ve dined at Sonic or In’N’Out, if you’ve walked down a suburban cul-de-sac street with tightly-arranged homes and backyard pools, or if you’ve listened to Miles Davis’ The Birth Of Cool, then you’ve been under the influence of modern California architecture. What a fantastic way to ring in the summer and to bring the greater Los Angeles community together!

Images courtesy of Pacific Standard Time initiative.

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