Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Streamline Moderne

Pan Pacific Auditorium, 1939

We live near Pan Pacific Park in the center of Los Angeles. I remember the original streamline-moderne Pan Pacific Auditorium. We saw the auto show, the boat show and even the Ice-Capades here. It was a huge venue. I've read that this was the place Elvis Presley had his Los Angeles concert debut. The Auditorium was built in 1935, designed by Plummer, Wurderman and Becket. The building was demolished in 1992 after a 1989 fire.
Just Before the Fire, 1989

Today, the Pan Pacific Recreation Center stands in the center of Pan Pacific Park in the same location as the original auditorium. This park also serves as a flood basin for the area. The entirely new Pan Pacific Recreation Center was designed by architect, Jeffrey Kalban. At least Kalban referenced the original auditorium in his design. Photographer, Larry Underhill documented the building for Kalban. You can see more photos here.
Pan Pacific Recreation Center, 2010. Photo by Larry Underhill

I'm glad that a portion of the original design of this beautiful auditorium was commemorated in the newer design. I just wish that ALL of those beautiful streamlined moderne towers had been saved and the building behind the fa├žade remodeled. Sigh.

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