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LA's Lovely and Weird Year in Architecture and Preservation

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 2012 Curbed Awards.

Top 7 Most Mindblowing Home Tours
7. Designer and artist Millard Sheets's studio in Pomona
6. Sunnylands, the A. Quincy Jones-designed "Camp David West" in Rancho Mirage
5. The Neutra VDL Research House, filled with Xavier Veilhan sculptures
4. Buster Keaton's old estate in Beverly Hills (and its once-lost film fault)
3. The John Lautner-designed Schaffer House in Glendale
2. The Pierre Koenig-designed Case Study House #21 filled with smoke
1. Architect Ray Kappe's own house in Rustic Canyon

The Lazarus Award
Real estate agent Mike Chapman and architect Barry Milofsky pretty much literally brought the Raphael Soriano-designed Lukens House back from the dead. Seriously: their restoration is more or less miraculous.

Criticism of the Year
LA Times archicritic Christopher Hawthorne on the Expo Line: "The architecture of the new stations, unfortunately, is not just weak but somehow aggressively banal."

Architecture Blogger of the Year
Musician, Wolf's Lair owner, and all-around gem Moby.

Heartwarmer of the Year
The tale of the 84-year-old grandmother who realized a lifelong dream to own a modern house when she bought the Allyn Morris Home and Studio in Silver Lake.

The Postie, for Posthumous Achievements in Architecture
This year the world finally saw the last house designed by Pierre Koenig, who died in 2004. (It's still up for sale in Malibu, FYI.)

Preservation Battle of the Year
Nothing could possibly match the spark of last year's Kronish House wars, but UCLA's much-hated plan to sell off its Hannah Carter Japanese Garden still made for pretty good drama.

Preservationist of the Year (City Category)
We're grading on a curve, but we're just so damn proud that Beverly Hills finally got itself a preservation ordinance this year and even designated its first landmark. Great job, guys!

Savior of the Year
Superproducer Joel Silver, for stepping in and buying Venice's cool WPA-era post office, which he plans to rehab and turn into his company headquarters (he also throws a mean press event).

Discovery of the Year
The ca. 1914 Chocolate Shoppe in Downtown, which is covered in Dutch-themed tiles by (maybe the only) famous tilist Ernest Batchelder. It's currently being restored.

The Shamey, for Total Shittiness in Preservation
The owners of the Lloyd Wright-designed Moore House in Palos Verdes Estates, who tore the place down this year in favor of a Mediterranean McMansion.
Runner up: Paramount head Brad Grey, for tearing down his nice old Frank Sinatra house in Holmby Hills without even changing the property's $19.995 million asking price.

Weirdest Preservation
CVS, which actually did a nice job keeping East LA's Golden Gate Theater intact when it converted it into a drugstore.
· Curbed Awards 2012 [Curbed LA]