It's the end of 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 this year. These are your 2015 Curbed Awards.
Two major museum openings (The Broad and the Petersen Automotive Museum), trains testing on tracks in West LA and Santa Monica in preparation for the Expo Line extension's 2016 opening, and Los Angeles's maybe impossible bid for the 2024 Olympics: just some of the excitement that LA was keeping its eyes on in 2015. Now that the year is winding down and 2016 is creeping up, what better time to take stock of the videos that helped us capture some of the big changes and milestones in Los Angeles this past year.
↑ Grand Avenue's The Broad art museum was supposed to open in 2014, but thanks to delays related to the museum's honeycomb-veil exterior, it was delayed until fall of 2015. (Broad's suing the subcontractor and the subcontractor's suing right back over the issue.) Relive the thrill of seeing a dirt lot become a major institution in this 90-second time-lapse video.
↑ 2015 was the year when LA thought, "Hey, why not try to host the Olympics in 2024?" Los Angeles's bid included this super thirsty pitch video, trying to build the Olympic Village on the riverside Piggyback Yard site (which some city officials think is a total pipe dream), renovating the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and having two rail lines ready in time for the Games. The city is up against Budapest, Paris, and Rome, but USA! USA! USA!
↑ This year, weather experts went from "Maaaaybe there's an El Niño on the way" to "Gird yer loins! The deluge is a'comin!!" This video showing a side-by-side comparison of the building El Niño and the one back in 1997-1998 (the biggest in decades) shows why opinions shifted. Los Angeles has stepped up preparations for what could be a lot of water this winter and into the spring—just because LA hasn't had a ton of rain yet, doesn't mean there isn't any coming.
↑ As suggested by the above video, for the first time in decades, trains are just moving across the Westside all the time now as the Expo Line extension gears up for an opening sometime in the spring of 2016. Test trains chugged along the tracks in West LA and even in Santa Monica, where they were the first light rail cars in that neighborhood since 1953. Madness!
↑ Finally, the terrifying and crowded intersection at Hollywood and Highland got the big pedestrian improvement it's been needing desperately: a scramble crosswalk. It's hoped that the crosswalk, which allows pedestrians to cross at the same time and in all directions (even diagonally), "will prioritize the safety and comfort of people walking."
↑ Even though the foundations for the Wilshire Grand tower were poured nearly two years ago, this year things really blossomed above ground. The future Tallest Tower in the West will eventually rise to 73 stories, and its dramatic progress was captured in this video.
↑ After five years of deep renovation, Frank Lloyd Wright's fantastic hilltop Hollyhock House reopened to the public and the public was intensely enthusiastic to see it, waiting in super-long lines to have a look around. This video shows some highlights of the newly restored 1921 residence minus the waiting in line.
↑ LAX is trying to class up its act. The Delta terminal got paparazzi-proofed this year, a remote terminal for super-VIPs was proposed, and the bulk of the Curbside Appeal project (which includes new signage and road improvements and the new light show featured in this video) was completed. (There are more terminal upgrades in the works.) Now all that's really left is to get Uber and Lyft there and wait for the people mover tram to link the airport to Metro rail system.
↑ This year, Los Angeles watched as the Petersen Automotive Museum was wrapped in a flashy new façade, both in real time and in this time-lapse video. Deemed "the Guy Fieri of buildings ... Obnoxious, loud, and, ultimately, sure to be inexplicably embraced by the public," the metallic shell is here to stay.
↑ If you didn't watch this fantastic drone video of Los Angeles in 2015, you should do it now (or if you did, watch it again). Shot over several months by filmmaker/drone-flyer Ian Wood (whose previous drone video toured the hard-to-see but beautiful views of DTLA), the short film takes viewers on a tour of more than 100 Los Angeles locations and even comes with a map charting each one (so you can quiz yourself after watching).
· Curbed Awards 2015 [Curbed LA]