Thursday, February 17, 2011

Traveling Thursdays: Historic Hollywood Courtyard District

When I travel, it isn’t unusual for me to carry my camera with me. Who knows what might need to be documented on film? Going back after the fact just isn’t the same; things look different the second time around, and often, that beautiful lighting and rare situation that caught your eye in the first place is gone by the time you return with camera in hand. On a recent trip to Hollywood, I shot some of the historic courtyard district in West Hollywood. I love these classic 1920’s/30’s apartment complexes. They are not the cheaply built sterile buildings that you encounter being constructed today; they are works of art. The beautifully landscaped courtyards, the fountains, the details in the exterior...amazing. Here are some of my favorites, including the El Palacio Apartments, where the unsolved murder of 20 year old oil heiress Georgette Elise Bauerdorf occurred in 1944.

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Connie Moreno said...

Oh my god, I had no idea the historic courtyard district even existed!!! BEAUTIFUL!!

Major Pepperidge said...

I love these old architectural details that evoke the glamour of early Hollywood.

JG said...

LA may have no architecture today, but it was not always thus...

Thank you Dave. These are precious works that are now beyond our ability to reproduce.


TokyoMagic! said...

I agree with JG. I don't think they could reproduce something like this even if they wanted to. They definitely wouldn't be willing to spend the money. Everything now is like you said, "cheap and sterile".

Great post. I need to check these out now!

JG said...

It isn't really just the money. There's plenty of money in the worlds, and people prepared to spend lots of it on their whims, so I don't see that as insurmountable.

What is now lost (irrevocably, I fear) is the sense of the artist, the designer and the craftsmen working together as part of a continuous tradition, respecting and taking pride in their wotk, reproducing familiar and meaningful forms and symbols in fresh and invigorating ways.

This attitude is no longer taught in schools of art or architecture, these are now places of political indoctrination.

Form, material, scale and proportion have given way to race, sexuality, gender, and sustainability. No art is acceptable without a political subtext. Being beautiful isn't enough, it must be didactic as well, but only in approved ways.

And most of the clients are now interested only in the bottom line, or in the case of government supported works, in some combination of the above political factors.

The results of this collectivization of design is seen all around you today. We let this happen to ourselves, no need to complain.

Sorry about the rant, but this just summed it up for me.