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The Best and Worst in Architecture and Preservation

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It's the last week in December, when according to tradition we make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to all the best, worst, and shitshowiest of things that happened in Los Angeles real estate, architecture, and neighborhoods this year. These are your 2011 Curbed Awards.

Our Favorite 6 Lautner Moments--It was the architect's one hundredth birthday this year and there was plenty of related news to celebrate.
6) John Lautner's Garcia House Out-Sexys Hot Naked People
5) Brent Bolthouse Lists Lautner's Polin House in the Hills
4) John Lautner's Cahuenga Pass Carling House Comes With Indoor-Outdoor Pool, Without Columns
3) John Lautner Houses in the Movies: James Bond to Big Lebowski
2) Porn Star Sasha Grey Rides the Funicular at Lautner's Chemosphere
1) Inside John Lautner's Dangerous Sheats-Goldstein House

Design of the Year
It was a pretty boring year for new architecture in LA, but Diller Scofidio + Renfro's designs for the Downtown Broad Museum are somewhat interesting, even if they no longer include a car aquarium.

Best Criticism
The Vatican was super passive-aggressive after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange bought the Philip Johnson-designed Crystal Cathedral. Shortly after, it formed a commission to "'crack down' on architectural abuses" like "cement cubes, glass boxes, crazy shapes and confused spaces."

The new Wilshire Grand hotel and office building will be covered in bright "architectural lighting" from top to bottom.

Michael LaFetra Award For Prolific Buying and Selling of Architectural Properties
Michael LaFetra--dude was busy as ever this year.

Semi-Surprise Demolition of the Year
West Hollywood's old library, designed by Ed Fickett, was demolished in September, just days after the city's new library opened. Cold, WeHo. Cold.

Most Impressive Feat
LACMA moved the entire Eames House living room into the museum for its California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way"--everything from the books to an oar to the famous Eames bird.

Savior of the Year
Billionaire Ron Burkle stepped up and bought the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House when no one else would?for more than two years and millions and millions in pricechops. Of course he did get quite a deal--the house was originally listed for $15 million and he paid about $4.5 million.

Rehab of the Year
The Raphael Soriano-designed Lukens House once looked like this. Now it looks like this.

The "Deal With It, New York" Award
The LA Conservancy gave Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner an award for bringing attention to preservation issues, largely via beautiful SoCal locations used in his show.

Kronish House Prize For Most Dramatic Preservation Story
We're naming this award for the Kronish House because we can't imagine it getting more dramatic than this: a foreclosure auction, an imminent demolition, a stay of execution, and a happy resolution announced just days after the last deadline. On top of all that, there's the intriguing mystery of its buyer (someone "international") and the impact the whole thing had on the future of all Beverly Hills preservation.

Architecture Moment of the Year
"Ice Cube Celebrates Charles and Ray Eames." Every last damn minute of it.
· Curbed Awards 2011 [Curbed LA]