Los Angeles


Neighborhood Watching

Publication:
Date: 
April 1, 2017
What are the unintended consequences of building the city of tomorrow?

Orinio Opinaldo had been watching his West Adams neighborhood change for years. Throughout the 1990s, the area had gradually filled in with apartment buildings and higher-end housing. Opinaldo saw neighbors kicked out of rental units or bought out of homes by developers looking to reposition their properties. The pace of change quickened with the 2012 phase-one opening of the Expo Line light rail train connecting downtown, USC and Culver City.

Goodbye Highways

Date: 
February 7, 2017
The carving up of cities by expressways is still a civil rights problem, but it's being solved as an economic one.

Since freeways began slicing through cities in the United States more than 75 years ago, they have carved deep and lasting lines of separation through countless communities. Many of these communities—located in so-called blighted areas—were made up of people of color who were simply pushed aside by the transportation officials building out the nation’s vast network of interstates and urban freeways. In a somewhat surprising speech in March 2016, U.S.

Homefront

Date: 
December 9, 2016
Some of L.A.'s wealthiest philanthropists and foundations are setting their sights on solving the city's most chronic social dilemma -- providing housing for those without it. But even the mega-donors can't tackle the problem on their own.

Los Angeles is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. If it were a country, its roughly $700 billion gross domestic product would rank it amongst the top 20 richest nations. From entertainment to aerospace to technology, the city is replete with high-earning industries and the wealth they create. More than 125,000 millionaires call L.A. home.

Giving in L.A.

Date: 
December 9, 2016
Philanthropy is on the rise, but we have a ways to go to reach pre-recession levels of generosity.

Across Los Angeles County, there are more than 35,000 non profit organizations. Some find homes for pets and some find homes for people. Some prevent sexual and domestic violence and some prevent environmental devastation. Some try to improve the public school system and some try to improve the criminal justice system. Operating at a wide variety of scales, these non-profits are all similar in that they’re attempting to meet a need that’s not otherwise being met, whether from a lack of funding from the public sector or a lack of attention from society in general.

Development and Construction Are Slowly Improving L.A.’s Traffic

Date: 
September 12, 2016
Even if they make it worse in the short run.

Back by popular desperation, a recession-halted program from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation will soon resume installing speed humps on neighborhood streets. Residents on more than 800 city blocks have petitioned for the traffic-calming asphalt lumps over the last three years. They want to slow traffic and make their streets safer, dissuading all those drivers straying into residential areas—directed by navigation apps and sheer frustration—as they try to avoid the horrendous traffic elsewhere.

Better Luck This Time

Date: 
June 9, 2016
Agence Ter has won a bake-off to redesign Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles for the fifth or sixth time. Or is it the seventh?

On a warm May weekday morning, Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles was, as usual, a bit of a hybrid wasteland. Office workers crossed through as homeless people sprawled across concrete benches. Half the park was closed off for a row of plywood vendor booths related to an upcoming event. A father and son played alone in one of the park’s newly built playgrounds. People walking dogs veered toward the small patches of dirt that break up the park’s vast expanse of sun-baked concrete.

Why Some Homes Get Burgled and Others Don't

Date: 
March 29, 2016
It could have as much to do with geography as curb appeal

Los Angeles is a city that was built for crime. According to architecture writer Geoff Manaugh’s new book, A Burglar’s Guide to the City, its urban form deserves at least part of the blame for the larceny inflicted upon us. In fact, the sprawl gave rise to what Manaugh calls an entirely different kind of policing: from helicopters. We talked to him about buildings, burglars, and bank robbers.

Certain parts of L.A. are more prone to burglary simply because of their architecture and design. Manaugh says cookie-cutter suburban development is a prime target.

Photos: Bracing For a No-Show?

Publication:
Date: 
March 10, 2016
L.A. built up the city to stave off an El Niño that was supposed to be a bruiser, but may never come. That kind of thinking just might save the City of Angels.

PCH embankment

LA River work

PCH shotcrete wall
© Nate Berg

Bracing For a No-Show?

Publication:
Date: 
March 10, 2016
L.A. built up the city to stave off an El Niño that was supposed to be a bruiser, but may never come. That kind of thinking just might save the City of Angels.

It's early February, and two construction workers are perched over Malibu's Las Tunas State Beach in a cherry picker, spraying wet concrete on the embankment above the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Their target is an outcropping of the Santa Monica Mountains, and sandwiched between the rocks and the ocean is Malibu's main drag: California State Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, a dazzling roadway that runs the length of the state. The gorgeous, jagged terrain make this a treacherous carriage.

Inside the Big Lebowski’s Porn Mansion: John Lautner’s Most Famous House Becomes a Museum Piece

Publication:
Date: 
February 20, 2016
The house John Lautner designed for The Big Lebowski is going to be donated to LACMA, meaning students will be able to see the architect’s stunning, mid-century modernist architecture up close.

The striking mid-century modernist architecture of John Lautner was seemingly designed for the movies.

His residential projects—many of which are peppered throughout the wealthier parts of Southern California—have become prominent settings for films, from Diamonds are Forever to Lethal Weapon 2 to Less Than Zero to Body Double. One even had an animated turn in an episode of The Simpsons.