It's a Mod Mod Mod Mod City
Yesterday, Larry and I had a marvelous time on the L.A. Conservancy / Modern Committee Tour of Mid-20th Century commercial buildings in the Westchester area. This is part of a year-long program called "The Sixties Turn 50" to highlight the fact than many of our mid-20th century buildings are now eligible for historic landmark status.
We started out at the former IBM headquarters (1964) which is now Otis College of Art and Design. The building is easy to see from Lincoln Blvd., just north of LAX. The precast concrete panels on the seven storey building were designed to look like a computer punch card. Our docent, Leah is also a knitter friend of mine. We saw a wonderful exhibit in the lobby of other IBM ephemera and machines.
Next stop was the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum on Imperial Highway, at the end of the LAX runway. I didn't even know this museum existed. It's free and definitely a perfect place to take out of town visitors. The entire history of the airport is detailed within the walls of this nice little building (1969). Volunteers that are former airport workers are there to answer all of your questions. The exhibit of former stewardess uniforms was a highlight.
There was a shuttle from the Museum to the Theme Building (1961) at LAX. This building, which houses the Encounter Restaurant is being rennovated at the moment, but we were allowed to zoom up to the Observation Deck and tour the restaurant. I've always LOVED this building. It really is the centerpiece of LAX.
We stopped for a quick lunch in Westchester at Paco's Tacos. Yum.
Then, we headed up to La Tijera to St. Jerome Catholic Church (1966). Wow! I've passed by this church hundreds of times, but never took the time to really drive around the back and tour the interior. It's a beautiful, modern church...very uplifting! The 91 year-old architect was there to answer a few questions while we toured the church.
We were tired, but we headed south to Northrop Grumman, the former TRW Space Park Campus in Redondo Beach (1960). This is truly a beautiful campus. We were given a tour of the exterior buildings. The guide then took us into the lobby of one building where there were historic models and displays of spacecraft designed by the TRW team. It was very impressive.
Our last destination was the Proud Bird Restaurant (1967). It's a "destination" restaurant with an aviation theme. We were given a tour of the gardens and patios, along with the extensive airplane and helicopter collection. The restaurant has huge windows so you can watch the planes and jets land at LAX. We were very tired after our long day. Perfect time for a cocktail at the Proud Bird!
To see many more photos of our day, check out this slide show: