As part of the Los Angeles Conservancy's efforts to explore the "next frontier in historic preservation," the organization put together a walking tour recently of the 1970s and '80s modern architecture gems of Venice, where cheap land, old buildings just waiting to be adaptively reused, and a bunch of resident architects cried out for something new. In 1979, SCI-Arc faculty member Thom Mayne opened a pop-up gallery in his spare bedroom and called it The Architecture Gallery, dedicated to the idea that "architecture IS art." And thus a movement was born. Curbed took a look inside three of the sites before the crowds showed up for the tour.
Indiana Avenue Houses/Arnoldi Triplex, 326 Indiana Avenue: These three studio spaces designed by Frank Gehry in 1981 are each designed around an abstract architectural element. You can see the stairs on the interior and exterior of the first building (the only one that was open), and the other two riff off of a bay window and a fireplace, respectively. They were also part of Dennis Hopper's long-time compound, which sold last summer.
Tasty Spuds (Arnoldi Studio), 721 Hampton Drive: Charles Arnoldi bought this 1959 potato processing plant in the early 1980s and turned it into his studio. The graffiti on the exterior was done by a local artist "as tribute to Arnoldi's daughter's career as a marine biologist."
Bay Cities Garage, 901 Abbot Kinney Boulevard: This 1912 brick building has been home to many ventures in its long life--most notably, it housed legendary designers Charles and Ray Eames's offices for more than 40 years, starting in 1943. Its interior was redesigned by Frank Israel in 1990 as a creative workspace, opening up the interior and creating sightlines all the way through the building. Much of his design has been undone, but the Conservancy says it has "energy oozing from its brick walls." We didn't see any ooze, but it seemed like a nice place to work.
· Curating the City: Modern Architecture in L.A. [LA Conservancy]