The most Instagrammable places in LA

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Urban Light at LACMA.

From world-famous icons to local favorites

People sure love taking photos of Los Angeles. A wonderland of diverse architecture and stunning natural landscapes, LA consistently ranks among the most Instagrammed cities in the world.

Below, we’ve curated a list of our favorite places to put images on Instagram. It includes architectural gems like the Walt Disney Concert Hall, outstanding vista points like the Hollywood Bowl Overlook and world-famous landmarks like the Santa Monica Pier.

You might have to elbow through tourists or get sweaty hiking a steep trail to get the shot, but the geotag will make your followers jealous.


Venice Canals

Today’s Venice canals aren’t the original bodies of water built by enterprising developer Abbot Kinney. But the channels once flowed through Kinney’s planned European-style community, and they exist today as scenic waterways dotted with colorful boats and crossed by arched bridges.
Address: 200 Linnie Canal, Venice, CA 90291

#yellowdream

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Hollywood Bowl Overlook

There are seven scenic overlooks on Mulholland Drive. This one is tucked up behind the Stone Canyon Reservoir, and it offers sweeping views of the Downtown skyline and Hollywood, and even a glimpse of that signature LA fixture: the freeway. The Hollywood Bowl Overlook can be reached by car, but has a very small parking lot. It’s open from sunrise to sunset.
Address: 7036 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

A post shared by Dory (@dorynfine) on Jan 25, 2017 at 5:32pm PST

Urban Light and LACMA

If you didn’t ’gram from Urban Light, did you even spend time in Los Angeles? A perennial Instagram favorite since it opened in 2008, the installation of 202 historic street lamps is located outside of the museum’s entrance on Wilshire Boulevard, and it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of it. The museum has plenty of other photogenic spots, too, from Levitated Mass to the zig-zag roofline of the Renzo Piano-designed Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pavilion to the palm trees to the soon-to-be-demolished modernist buildings designed by William Pereira.
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

No longer your muse.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall

The shiny Frank Gehry-designed venue pops up in many a Downtown photo. The curvaceous exterior is endlessly photogenic but the rooftop garden and its mosaic water fountain make for a nice backdrop too.
Address: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Griffith Observatory

One of LA’s most iconic buildings, the Griffith Observatory also offers some of the best views of the city from its balconies and observation decks, with sight lines all the way to Palos Verdes on a clear day. Parking at the nearby lot is $4 per hour, but you can also park at the bottom of the hill and take the free shuttle—or take the Observatory DASH bus.
Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Gods are Watching #griffithobservatory #muralart #lookingatthestars

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• • • • • #Hollywood #griffithobservatory #california

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Abalone Cove

For some of the best ocean views in Southern California, head to Abalone Cove, at the southern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. From there, you’ll see miles of sparkling blue ocean, with the hulking outline of Catalina Island in the distance.
Address: 5970 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

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Watts Towers

Built by hand by Simon Rodia over the course of 33 years (1921 to 1954), the unconventional building materials of the Watts Towers—pieces of porcelain, mirrors, seashells—make for exciting pictures up close; their heights and unique shapes look great from across the street.
Address: 1765 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Hollywood Walk of Fame

There are a lot of reasons to dislike visiting the tourist mecca that is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but it’s undeniably fun to see the pink star of an actor or musician who has earned your admiration. And if you aren’t in it for the celebrities, there’s the glittery terrazzo.
Address: Hollywood and Vine, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Santa Monica Pier

Another tourist hot-spot that’s unmistakably fun (and photogenic), the wood pier is undeniably one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in all of LA. Whether you visit to snap photos of the Ferris wheel, kitschy restaurants, or the shoreline—definitely stick around for the pink and orange sunsets.
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

The best Instagram photographers in Los Angeles don’t always disclose their shooting locations, but they do regularly take advantage of this vista point from a bluff above Culver City. The one-mile hike to the top is steep, but you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the basin and Downtown skyline. At night, a sea of twinkling lights will spread out before you.
Address: 6300 Hetzler Road, Culver City, Ca 90232

A post shared by rio11 (@rio11) on Jul 5, 2018 at 1:08am PDT

Amazing original Disneyland designs included a working farm

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Disneyland opened to the public on July 17, 1955.

Disney’s plans for the park were even more ambitious than what was built

Sixty three years ago today, with a nationally televised grand opening, Disneyland arrived on the scene as Southern California’s signature tourist attraction.

In spite of a rocky opening day, the theme park attracted more than 1 million visitors in its first two months in business, offering a spectacle quite unlike any other at the time.

But Walt Disney’s initial vision for the park was even more ambitious than what his company eventually built on 160 acres of orange groves in southern Anaheim. A few years ago, Boing Boing published the animator’s original prospectus for the park, which offered a description of Disneyland to potential investors.

Disney’s brother, Roy, brought this document to New York with him in 1953 when pitching the park (unsuccessfully) to financiers.

Much of the features of Disneyland described in the prospectus will be recognizable to parkgoers today: The basic features of Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland are all laid out in the document.

Joining those now-familiar attractions, however, are descriptions of a section of park themed around Gulliver’s Travels and another area called Holidayland, which would have been themed around holidays and was envisioned with ice skating, bobsled rides, and “real snow” at Christmas.

Disneyland prospectus mapVia Boing Boing, scanned from a copy presently (2014) owned by Glenn Beck
A map from the original pitch-documents produced by Walt Disney in 1953 for the first round of New York banker-pitches. One of three sets.

Eventually, a much-scaled back version of Holidayland opened at the park, but failed to catch on with visitors and closed four years later.

Lilliputian Land, the Gulliver’s Travels-inspired section of the park, would have been focused on a village of tiny animatronic characters “who sing and dance and talk to you as you peek through the windows of their tiny shops and homes.” Visitors would also have been able to purchase miniature ice cream cones and the “world’s smallest hot dog.”

According to the Disneyland Encyclopedia by Chris Strodder, Lilliputian Land was eventually scrapped when Disney realized that the technology to make it run smoothly did not yet exist.

Concepts for other parts of the park were even more ambitious. The pitch for Adventureland included “magnificently plumed birds and fantastic fish from all over the world.” Stagecoaches at Frontierland would have ridden past a “working farm” with real animals.

Disneyland’s planners also envisioned elaborate moneymaking schemes to make the park profitable. Those Adventureland fish would have been available to purchase; a mail-order catalogue might have included “a real pony and cart” or a “miniature donkey.”

Disneyland mulesLIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Disneyland visitors riding mules through Frontierland on opening day, 1955.

Most importantly, the park was set to serve as a backdrop for multiple television shows planned by Disney Studios. The longest-running of these, originally given the straightforward title Disneyland, was explicitly framed around the park’s attractions and served both as a tool to finance construction of the theme park and as an hour-long advertisement that reached millions of households once a week.

The Disneyland prospectus reveals that, from the beginning, Disney envisioned his attraction as far more than a standard amusement park.

One part carnival, one part world’s fair, the park presented guests with a mix of rosy nostalgia, familiar intellectual property, and a healthy dose of postwar optimism. Its creator imagined it as a distinctly American experience and one unique to Southern California.

“It will be a place for California to be at home, to bring its guests, to demonstrate its faith in the future,” the prospectus reads. “And, mostly … it will be a place for people to find happiness and knowledge.”

Six decades later, Disneyland is still captivating visitors—and leaving their wallets significantly lighter.

Should Los Angeles ban ADUs in hillside neighborhoods like Highland Park?

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Roughly 28 percent of LA’s single-family homes are in hillside areas.

Some city officials say it’s too dangerous

Thanks to a new California law, more homeowners in Los Angeles are building accessory dwelling units—otherwise known as granny flats, in-law units, or back houses.

But it may be hard to find one with a hilltop view.

City officials are considering new rules that would prevent property owners from building ADUs in hillside areas.

Fire danger and the impacts of construction on “fragile roads and sensitive hillsides” makes ADUs inappropriate in these areas, says Emma Howard, senior planning deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu.

She told the city’s Planning Commission on Thursday that the councilmember is in “strong support” of a blanket ban on constructing ADUs in any hillside community.

A hillside ban is just one element of draft ADU regulations that city officials are weighing—and some commissioners don’t support it.

“If Councilmember Ryu is going to come here and say, ‘I don’t want to have that; it’s not safe,’ I’ve got to disagree,” said Commissioner Renee Dake Wilson.

She says ADUs would have limited effects on traffic or safety in hilly areas with wide streets and access to public transit.

Dake Wilson also pointed out that the city’s own ADU pilot project—a test unit being constructed in Highland Park—would likely be banned under the proposed rules. But Highland Park wouldn’t be the only area homeowners would have trouble building.

The ban would affect roughly 28 percent of all single-family homes in the city, according to planners, preventing a huge swath of residents from constructing an additional unit on their property.

State leaders have touted ADUs as a simple solution to California’s housing shortage.

According to the planning department, more than 3,000 ADUs have been permitted in the city of Los Angeles between January 2017, when the new state law took effect, and March 2018—and plenty more are on the way.

Planner Matt Glesne told the commission Thursday that the department now receives between 300 and 350 ADU permit applications per month.

The new law simplifies the process by which ADUs are approved and prevents cities from banning them outright. But local leaders can still place some restrictions on their construction, as LA is now looking to do.

A hillside ban might not matter too much. Glesne told the commission that, so far, planners have received only a small number of permit applications for new ADUs in hillside areas.

“We looked at the impact of this based on the last year and a half and recognize this is only going to affect a small percentage of the permits that we’ve seen,” he said.

But commission President David Ambroz was also critical of the hillside ban, arguing that it put an unfair burden on flatter, and often less affluent, communities to support most of the new housing ADUs will provide.

“What’s being proposed here is not in my backyard, and my backyard has a nice view and yours doesn’t,” said Ambroz Thursday. “That’s not equitable.”

The commission asked planners to investigate which particular hillside areas are most prone to fire and other dangers, and which would be safer for new development. The planning department will report back later this year.

, and

38 remarkable places to encounter public art in Los Angeles

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From Santa Monica to the Valley

Summer’s longer days mean more time to poke around the city and explore new neighborhoods. With that in mind, here’s our map of notable public art in LA, highlighting some of the coolest murals, sculptures, and installations in the city.

We’ve included newer pieces—a mural on Skid Row created by residents of the neighborhood—as well as time-tested favorites like “Urban Light” at LACMA. Good public art doesn’t just live in Central LA, as a row of murals on a Pacoima street or a giant fork stuck in a Pasadena road show.

An urban-scale rainbow, an interactive hologram, and a space-age sculpture on the brink of restoration—all those and more are featured on this 38-point guide to finding public art wherever you go in Los Angeles.

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Updated midcentury modern in woodsy La Cañada asks $1.3M

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The house was one of many in the area constructed by Webster Wiley in the 1950s and ’60s.

Built in the 1960s, the house was recently given a tasteful makeover

This modern-style home in La Cañada Flintridge is one of many constructed in the area by prolific builder Webster Wiley.

Built in 1963, it sits on a 9,867-square-foot lot with excellent views of the surrounding Verdugos. It last sold in 2015 (for $1 million) and has been extensively updated since then.

Inside are hardwood floors, walls of glass, pitched ceilings, and clerestory windows. The living room includes a large stone fireplace and the kitchen has been equipped with new cabinetry, shelving, countertops, and appliances. The house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms spread across 1,890 square feet of living space. At the center of the home is a walled courtyard space with room for outdoor dining.

Behind the house is a concrete patio and a grassy backyard, enclosed by hedges and fencing. There’s even a club house, accessed by a short, kid-friendly ladder. in front, the house and attached two-car garage are shaded by tall trees.

Asking price is $1.299 million.

Dining room
Living room
Kitchen
Living room alcove
Courtyard
Backyard with club house

1930s Spanish-style with vintage tile bathrooms asks $895K in Glendale

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The house was built in 1936.

Hardwood floors and a tile fireplace

This classic Spanish-style home in Glendale was built in 1936 and plenty of original details appear to be intact, including hardwood floors, cabinetry, and a handsome tile fireplace in the living room.

The 1,671-square-foot home has three bedrooms, and both bathrooms are equipped with vintage tile and cabinetry. Arched wall niches in the master bathroom match the entryways and built-in shelving throughout the home.

Per the listing, a solar system has been installed and the kitchen has been equipped with new countertops and appliances. The rest of the house has a more old-fashioned feel, down to the sconces and lighting fixtures.

The house sits on a 7,283-square-foot lot at the western edge of the city, near the Burbank border. Out back is a detached two-car garage and a large brick patio surrounded by gardens, trees, and a small fountain.

Asking price is $895,000.

Living room with fireplace
Bedroom
Tile bathroom
Bedroom with en-suite bathroom
Pantry
 Brick patio

How the Los Angeles Times built LA

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The short history of the newspaper—and its opportunistic publishers

The corner of First and Spring streets in Downtown Los Angeles was a scene of celebration on July 1, 1935. The new headquarters for the Los Angeles Times had opened amid the Great Depression, and news of the grand opening was broadcast across the country.

Curious Angelenos streamed through the main entrance, past the giant revolving globe that dominated the formal lobby. Entertainer and tireless LA promoter Will Rogers was master-of-ceremonies, and singer Bing Crosby crooned a few tunes.

Fronting the Los Angeles Civic Center, the new building was a stone’s throw away from the courts, the headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department, and City Hall, all of which, many detractors believed—for good reason—the LA Times virtually controlled.


The LA Times had been in the center of Downtown since its inception. Founded as the Los Angeles Daily Times in 1881 by Nathan Cole Jr. and Thomas Gardiner, its early years were spent in a “hole in the wall” at the corner of Temple and New High Streets. In July 1882, the newspaper hired a new editor, Harrison Gray Otis. By 1886, he had become the sole owner and publisher of the paper.

 Public domain
Harrison Gray Otis, a “blustery, bellicose man who approached life as if it were the Civil War battlefield of Antietam.”

Originally from Ohio, Otis, according to Bill Boyarsky, author of the definitive Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times, was a “blustery, bellicose man who approached life as if it were the Civil War battlefield of Antietam,” in which he had fought.

“He was a holy terror in his newspaper plant; his natural voice was that of a game-warden roaring at seal poachers,” historian Morrow Mayo said.

Otis was matched in this zeal and drive by his wife Eliza, a former schoolteacher and an accomplished writer in the patriotic, Victorian schmaltz vein. “I don’t believe that we need to be creatures of circumstances, but rather creators of them, and thus architects of our own fortune,” she wrote.

The couple believed that they had found their fortune in Los Angeles, although the town when they arrived wasn’t more than a dusty, Wild West outpost of 12,000 people, rife with crime and strife.

But they saw it as a land of unlimited opportunities, where hard-working Anglo-Americans like themselves could build a Utopian capitalistic society.

“It is the fattest land I ever was in by many degrees,” Otis wrote. “Climate and real estate make a most intoxicating mixture here in Los Angeles. Just enough has been done with the varied and rich resources to show the mighty possibilities of the region. There is nothing like it.”

Under Otis, the LA Times promoted a Republican, open-shop Los Angeles, driven by commerce and development. As the town boomed throughout the 1880s, the paper, with its brash editorials by Otis and pro LA poems and stories by Eliza, gained more and more power and readership.

Nothing signaled the Times’ importance more than when it moved out of its modest office in 1887. The move was to its new headquarters (the first of three the newspaper would build), which opened July 1, 1887, at First and Broadway.

Nicknamed “the fortress,” the six-story castle-like building was the first granite building in Los Angeles. The front counter was “fashioned from wood from Union and Confederate ships, from California missions and Lincoln’s deathbed,” while the different departments were connected by modern “speaking tubes.”

Eliza Otis waxed poetic upon its opening: “Take the granite which the age wrought for us, to build our Times Citadel, where we may fight for truth, do mighty battle ’gainst the wrong.”

 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
“The Fortress,” the first headquarters the LA Times built, photographed in 1901.

Besides Otis himself, the most important Times employee to decamp to the new building was Harry Chandler, who had been hired as a circulation department clerk in 1885.

A “pirate visionary,” the shrewd Chandler had been promoted to the head of the department within the year. He soon caught Otis’s attention for his ruthless, innovative ways. Decades later, Chandler recalled an early stunt to punish the Times’ competitors at the Los Angeles Herald:

Through a friend, I secretly bought the circulation routes of the Herald…then I hired a big tallyho and one day shipped off the entire Herald Circulation and carrier crew to the San Bernardino Mountains for a five-day holiday. When the time came to distribute the Herald…there weren’t any boys to do it.

Chandler soon became the son Otis (the father of three daughters) never had, and his right-hand man. In 1894, Chandler became Otis’s actual son-in-law, when he married Marian, the only daughter of Eliza and Harrison to work at the LA Times.

Under the leadership of these two men, the LA Times would have its hand in almost every pro-growth endeavor in Los Angeles. It was Otis who spurred the creation of the new LA Chamber of Commerce in 1888, which lured thousands of Midwesterners and Easterners to Los Angeles.

Picking a public fight with Henry Huntington’s Southern Pacific Railroad, they helped bring the port of Los Angeles to San Pedro instead of Santa Monica.

 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
A section of the Los Angeles aqueduct in the San Fernando Valley completed in 1913.

The LA Times was also heavily involved in the propaganda effort to build the Los Angeles Aqueduct. In 1903, using insider information, Otis, Chandler, and a group of LA businessmen bought 160,000 acres of the San Fernando Valley, aware that the aqueduct would make these parched regions into arable, fertile land.

The paper also continued to voraciously fight labor unions at every turn, believing that unions were an impediment to competitive growth.

“There is one city in the United States where a strike has never been able to succeed,” Chandler said proudly. “That city is Los Angeles. The reason is because it has the Times.”

There was also a racist element in their opposition since many unions were made up of leaders and members that did not fit Otis’s “Anglo-Saxon” ideal.

Otis, his paper—and “the fortress” itself—became a national symbol of oppression to pro-union leaders. Progressive California Governor Hiram Johnson echoed the sentiments of many when he described Otis as a man “with gangrened heart and rotting brain, grimacing at every reform, chattering impotently at all things.”

 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
“The Fortress” was bombed in 1910, killing 21 employees.

This rage came to a head in the early morning hours of October 1, 1910. An explosion tore through “The Fortress,” killing 21 employees (including Chandler’s secretary Wesley Reeves) and injuring dozens more.

Brothers J.B. and J.J. McNamara, members of International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers, who had orchestrated more than 100 cross-country bombings in twisted pursuit of anti-union activists, were eventually convicted of the crime.

“I wanted the whole building to go to hell,” J.B. McNamara later said. “I am sorry so many people were killed. I hoped to get General Otis.”

This terrorism strengthened the Times’ anti-union stance, which would persist until the 1960s. On October 1, 1912, the two-year anniversary of the bombing, the ever-resilient LA Times reopened at its new headquarters on First and Broadway, the second of three headquarter it would build Downtown. The new building, the LA Times boasted, was built with the “permanent stability of a Gibraltar” and “wider, deeper, higher in the air, [and] extended farther in the earth”

Harrison Gray Otis died in 1917, and Harry Chandler officially took the reins of the Times– and the direction of Los Angeles.

Chandler had his hands in every LA honeypot, owning stakes in oil wells, promoting and investing in the burgeoning SoCal aviation industry, investing in steamships, Goodyear Oil and Tire, and subdivisions—including the fabled Hollywoodland in Beachwood Canyon—in the city and the Valley.

At every turn, the LA Times was there to promote the boss’s latest business venture.

“Before a single board was nailed,” historian Kevin Roderick said, “the Times, doing its part to sell the boss’s land, proclaimed nonexistent new communities” to be “the wonder towns” of the San Fernando Valley.

“I think of Harry Chandler not as a publisher but as a land developer, a dreamer, a builder,” his daughter-in-law Dorothy Chandler would later say. “His mind wasn’t on the newspaper, I hate to tell you.”

Chandler was well-aware of the power of his position at the LA Times, and his ability to shape the city around him.

“There isn’t a public office in the world I would want to accept as a result of my many years of work at the Times office,” he said. “I’m able to render a service to the public that is far beyond anything I could in any elected position.”

 Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
View of the magnificent LA Times building, designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann, in 1935.

So it was, that at the height of the depression in Los Angeles, with building slowed and hope being lost, the increasingly powerful LA Times decided to make a statement about it belief in the city they had helped mold.

Chandler hired architect Gordon Kaufmann to build a magnificent new headquarters, allegedly giving the architect one directive: “Let it be a suitable newspaper plant and a monument to our city.” Chandler claimed to have paid cash for the new plant.

Designed in what was called the “monumental modern” style, the imposing new six-story building was topped with a graceful clock tower that could be seen throughout the civic center.

“Faced with Indiana limestone, California granite, bronze and aluminum, it apparently has been designed to endure as long as Los Angeles itself,” one Times writer editorialized.

The building was designed so that the temperature was always maintained at “75 degrees… conditions needed for the perfect production of newspaper.” Carved in the impressive stone frontings of the building were slogans and quotes, including that of lionized former publisher Harrison Gray Otis: “Stand fast, stand firm, stand true.”

Chandler wrote an editorial himself about the new building and his family’s paper:

The Times has always been so much a part of Los Angeles that the history of one is a history of the other… the old Times eagle will have new feathers and a new roost; but its eye will remain vigilant for injustice, tyranny, and the opportunity to defend those whose arms are too weak to defend themselves.

This new construction project on First and Spring Streets brought the praise of many in Southern California desperate for some good news. Always its best booster, the LA Times reported on the building’s grand opening on July 1, 1935, in bombastic tones that echoed its publisher and his admirers.

After Chandler’s retirement, his handsome, laid-back son, Norman, became publisher. Under him, the Times continued to exert a powerful influence on Los Angeles and Southern California, helping a young politician named Richard Nixon get elected, and influencing leaders across the street.

“The Times dominated Los Angeles City Hall,” Boyarsky writes of the Norman Chandler era, “helped by an influential reporter who signaled thumbs up and thumbs down when telling council members how to vote on measures that interested the paper.”

In 1960, Norman’s forward-thinking, hard-charging son, Otis, became publisher. Under Otis, the paper became a Pulitzer-caliber paper, covering all sides of the issues and holding increasingly progressive views.

“Just as Harrison Gray Otis used his newspaper to promote the rise of Los Angeles from a remote western town to an important American metropolis,” historian Kevin Starr wrote, “Otis Chandler, during his watch on the Times, helped Los Angeles move towards international prominence, helped it become a world-class city.”

By the 1980s, when Tom Johnson became publisher, the Times headquarters had grown, eventually featuring five interconnected buildings which took up an entire city block known as Times-Mirror Square.

 AP
Times-Mirror Square, photographed in 2006.

In 2000, the Chandler family sold the paper and its storied building to the Tribune Media Company. But the power of the LA Times was shrinking dramatically, with the internet and new media steadily decreasing circulation numbers.

As the Times’ once mighty workforce declined, its owners began to rent out portions of the complex to other businesses and film shoots. In 2016, it sold Times-Mirror Square to the Onni Group for $100 million, though the LA Times stayed on as a renter.

Today, the last days of the LA Times in Downtown are at hand. In April, the Times’ new owner, billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, announced that the paper was leaving First and Spring, exiled to a complex at 2300 East Imperial Highway in El Segundo, 19 miles away. He promised the new building would have “lots of light, a daycare center [and] a museum to honor the newspaper’s history and modern technology.”

LA Times employees have been moving out of the building department by department.

The Onni Group plans to turn portions of Times Mirror Square into a mixed-used residential and commercial complex. One can only imagine how Otis and Chandler, as pro-growth and pro-development as they were, would feel about that.

8 Los Angeles hikes with spectacular endings

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Eaton Canyon Falls.

From waterfall hikes to shady trails near the beach

Los Angeles’s wealth of outdoors activities is no secret, and in sunny Southern California, it’s hardly ever a bad time to get outside.

Hiking is a great, cheap way to enjoy the fresh air and fantastic weather, but for those more reluctant hikers—folks who need a little carrot to dangle in front of them as they trudge up a hill—we’ve compiled a list of Los Angeles-area hikes that come with spectacular sights.

Each of the routes below offer a beautiful or unique sight along the way or at the end: waterfalls, stunning views, leftovers from filming location heydays. So bribe friends and family by promising them a cool dip in a waterfall or a selfie with some leftovers of a M*A*S*H episode, and get out there.

As with any outdoor adventure in the warm months, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes and pack more water than you anticipate needing. This list of hiking essentials is a good way to prepare for even the shortest of walks in the wilderness.

Now, time to hit the trail!


1. Malibu Creek State Park

A post shared by Nina Bonina (@lionfishnina) on Jun 20, 2017 at 11:45am PDT

Hikes in Malibu Creek State Park have Hollywood connections, as the park includes areas that were used to shoot M*A*S*H and South Pacific. There are some rusted Army Jeeps and other signs of filming here, and it seems like every hiker who passes through stops to have her picture taken with one of the rusty relics.

A post shared by Chris Ryan (@chrisryanmusic) on Apr 3, 2018 at 11:34pm PDT

The hike to this point and back is under 5 miles round-trip and gains less than 200 feet of elevation, making it a pretty good trip for families with kids who can be coerced onto the trail.

Heads up: You will have to pay the $12 entrance fee to park in the lot if you want to start the hike at Crags Road; the trailheads for South Grassland Trail and Cistern Trail are both close to free parking. Hikespeak offers good directions with pictures here.

2. Echo Mountain

A post shared by Gillian Clow (@gillianbcn) on Apr 1, 2018 at 11:47am PDT

Want to have a picnic among some picturesque ruins? The trail to Altadena‘s Echo Mountain will make you work for it. Beginning at the very top of Lake Avenue and through a big, beautiful gate, the 5-mile (round-trip) trail is all steep-ish switchbacks and little shade, but it is very well-maintained. It’s also peopled enough that a solo hiker can feel secure.

The reward is a dynamic history exhibit and shaded, very spread-out picnic space left over from the resort that used to be on the site.

Beautiful view from #echomountain towards the area around #LA #sunset

A post shared by Sandra La Reina (@sandra.la.reina) on Jul 10, 2018 at 9:49pm PDT

There are also large pieces of the dismantled Mt. Lowe Railroad that once brought resort-bound vacationers here, and an old metal echo phone; yell into it and have your words bounce off the mountains back to you. Amazing! Click over to SoCal Hiker for image-heavy directions.

Starting April 7, there is also a Pasadena Transit bus line that runs from the Memorial Park Gold Line station to the trailhead on Lake. It’s a weekend-only bus, but it’s an easy car-free connection to hiking.

3. Wildwood Canyon

A post shared by Alex (@alexm2012) on Mar 31, 2018 at 10:10am PDT

Burbank’s Wildwood Canyon offers an easy-to-moderate 2-mile loop, with a peak providing sweaty explorers some amazing city views and a permanent reclining chair/memorial on which to kick back and relax until it’s time to carry on.

There are picnic grounds, restrooms, and drinking water off of Wildwood Canyon Road, too, so you can compare photos and munch post-hike snacks while you sit down and cool off. Get there early, though: The park closes at sundown.

4. Eaton Canyon

A post shared by Elisa (@e.lisaaa98) on Apr 3, 2018 at 9:40pm PDT

Eaton Canyon’s lower waterfall has some water in it right now—it’s no Niagara but it’s pretty nice to look at. (Eaton’s upper falls are closed indefinitely.) The hike to the falls is relatively shady and relatively flat—the roughly 3-mile round-trip hike only gains about 375 feet.

Start hiking from the nature center, where there are restrooms, water, and people to talk to about the trails. This is a really nice novice hike or ideal for a day when you don’t feel like being in pain later.

5. Murphy Ranch

A post shared by Arman (@armanmusaji) on Mar 31, 2018 at 5:36pm PDT

By now, a lot of people know about Murphy Ranch—the compound built by 1930s Nazi sympathizers in Malibu’s Rustic Canyon that was eventually supposed to have enough self-contained infrastructure to provide for a small town’s worth of people. But who has really gone through the trouble of seeing the place for themselves?

A post shared by Arman (@armanmusaji) on Mar 31, 2018 at 5:42pm PDT

This generally flat hike comes in at just under 4 miles and starts only a few miles from the 405. The grounds are graffiti-covered but the structures that were built are still mostly in one piece (or in discernible pieces), and there are staircases and gates still standing too. In 2016, it was rumored that the buildings were being torn down, but photos show that it remains a really well-preserved site in a beautiful setting. Hikespeak provides detailed directions from the start of the trail.

6. Mount Wilson

If all of the trails above seem too tame, there’s always the hike from Sierra Madre’s Chantry Flat to Mt. Wilson, which is a punishing but beautiful trail about 7 miles up with a 4,200-foot gain in elevation. Lots of people do this hike as conditioning, to work up to bigger peaks.

One great reward at the end—if you’re up for it by then—is the Mount Wilson Observatory’s weekend tours, which run through December 2. Tours start promptly at 1 p.m. and offer visitors a chance to see the 100-inch telescope. You can catch it if you start the hike early enough, a good idea anyway because the parking at Chantry Flat fills up fast.

A post shared by Lee Dodds (@murphysprinter) on Mar 27, 2018 at 8:04am PDT

Added bonuses for visiting the Observatory are the snack shack (also open through November), which offers cold drinks and food you might buy at a local softball game—chili dogs, Fritos, etc.—and restrooms. Plus, at the parking lot right below the Observatory, some kind soul might be waiting in a car to take your tired bones home.

The lot is about 30 minutes north of La Cañada. Cars parked in the lot will need a $5 day-use Adventure Pass, available for purchase at multiple locations.

Hikers could also continue back down for an approximately 14-mile hike, if desired. Detailed directions here.

7. Solstice Canyon

A post shared by Erik (@moc_prod) on Oct 24, 2017 at 4:49pm PDT

Solstice Canyon is a popular hike and with good reason: The trail takes hikers past waterfalls, the ruins of a burned-out Paul R. Williams mansion called Tropical Terrace, and the remains of what was once believed to be the oldest building in Malibu.

A post shared by Gracie Fay (@graciefay) on Jan 5, 2018 at 7:28pm PST

The National Park Service maintains a great website with directions to the trailhead and a downloadable map. If you go up the Rising Sun Trail and down the Solstice Canyon Trail to the TRW Trail, as suggested by Robert Stone in his book Day Hikes Around Los Angeles, it’s about 6 miles total. ModernHiker takes a slightly different route.

8. Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon

A post shared by Natalie Valle (@natalievvalle) on Mar 13, 2018 at 12:39pm PDT

This Inland Empire hike is a strenuous but beautiful 12-mile roundtrip climb that offers vistas and glimpses of streams.

The first part of the trek, up the trail through Icehouse Canyon, is well traveled and easy to follow. After Icehouse Saddle, the trail to Cucamonga Peak becomes “rugged, unkempt, and solitary,” Modern Hiker notes. The final leg of the trail serves up great views of the “Baldy Bowl,” the carved-out valley ringed by Mt. Baldy and neighboring mountains.

At the very top of Cucamonga Peak, there are Inland Empire views as far as the eye can see and the knowledge that you gained 3,800 feet in elevation. (Or maybe the real reward is a burger and a beer at the Mt. Baldy Lodge? Either way!)

Modern Hiker notes that an Adventure Pass is required to park at the trailhead to this hike, and a wilderness permit is required for traveling through the Cucamonga Wilderness. Inquire about both at the Mt. Baldy Visitor Center.

Elizabeth Taylor’s Old Hollywood estate seeks $15.9M

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The house was built in 1953 and Taylor moved in a year later.

The star’s home in the 1950s, it looks down over Beverly Hills

Screen icon Elizabeth Taylor and then-husband Michael Wilding moved into this Beverly Crest home shortly after its construction in the early 1950s, when Taylor was at the height of her stardom.

According to lore, Wilding and Taylor spotted a for-sale sign outside the house and decided to hop the fence for a look around. Later, it turned out that Westlake Village architect George MacLean had Taylor in mind when designing the lavishly appointed estate.

The house is being sold with an adjacent lot and sits on more than 2 acres of land off Beverly Estates Drive, just above the Beverly Hills border. Featuring 7,761 square feet of living space, it has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, with walls of glass and plenty of access points to outdoor courtyards and patios.

The grounds are dotted with vegetation, sculptures, and fountains, along with a swimming pool and spa. The pool deck offers impressive views of the surrounding hills and the city below.

On the market for the first time in 21 years, the home is asking $15.9 million.

Fountain
Living room
Interior looking out to pool
Aerial view of pool

Activists pushing forward with plan to convert Parker Center into homeless housing

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Parker Center was built in 1955 and served as LA’s longtime police headquarters.

The city plans to begin demolishing the building later this year

With demolition of Downtown Los Angeles’s storied Parker Center building expected to begin later this year, activists are racing to preserve the structure, which the city plans to replace with an office tower.

On Monday, City Clerk Holly Wolcott announced that proponents of a ballot initiative calling for the building to be preserved and rehabilitated as homeless housing could begin gathering petition signatures to qualify it for a future election.

Which election that would be is hard to say. The deadline’s already passed to qualify measures for LA’s next polling day in November. No elections are scheduled in the city in 2019, so—even if signature gathering is successful—voters may not be able to weigh in on the initiative until 2020.

By then, Parker Center could be rubble.

But Jill Stewart, director of the Coalition to Preserve LA, which is leading the initiative, says that’s not “much of a problem.”

She points out that the measure could be brought before voters sooner in the event of a special election, and that demolition of the Parker Center isn’t expected to be complete until the end of 2019. She also expects that “red tape” could slow the tear down further.

Built in 1955, Parker Center served as the longtime headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department, but has been empty since 2013.

As the city formalized plans for a Civic Center overhaul that would require the building’s demolition, preservationists argued that the building’s innovative design by architect Welton Becket made it worthy of landmark status.

Despite a hearty recommendation from the Cultural Heritage Commission, City Councilmembers ultimately rejected the landmark effort, saying the building’s close ties with multiple LAPD scandals and discriminatory policing practices made it unworthy of preservation. Numerous Little Tokyo residents and business owners also advocated for the teardown, as the building sits on land seized from the community through eminent domain.

Supporters of the ballot measure say turning the building into supportive housing for homeless residents—and renaming it after former mayor Tom Bradley—would allow the structure to be preserved while distancing it from its messy past.

The coalition even brought in architecture firm Glavovic Studio to consult on the project. Studio president Margi Nothard told Curbed in May that the building could support nearly 500 residential units, though many would be less than 300 square feet in size.

The City Council earlier this month approved a financing plan for the demolition of Parker Center, seemingly sealing the structure’s fate. But backers of the initiative aren’t giving up just yet.

Once petitioning begins, they’ll have 120 days to gather nearly 65,000 signatures.

Billionaire Paul Allen selling 120 acres in Beverly Crest for $150M

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An aerial view of the sprawling hillside parcel.

The land once held a storied Old Hollywood mansion

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is selling one of the nation’s most valuable parcels of land in mansion-filled Beverly Crest.

The 120-acre property sits on top of a ridge in the 90210 zip code and is being advertised with a $150 million price tag. It’s not even the most expensive listing on the Los Angeles market. There’s a $250 million price tag attached to a similarly sprawling hillside parcel nearby, though that property comes with plans for an enormous 75,000 mansion.

Per the Los Angeles Times, Allen purchased the huge tract of land in 1997, when it still contained a Wallace Neff-designed mansion built for silent film star Fred Thomson and writer Francis Marion. Allen later tore down the house and installed a private street, but never developed the property further.

The land does appear to have been neatly staged for listing photos though; the ridge line is topped by large, level lawns of bright green grass and looks like a very challenging golf course.

The property is one of several listed in LA with nine-digit asking prices. It’s not inconceivable that they’ll sell for that much. Earlier this year, a beachfront mansion in Malibu became the first house in LA County to sell for over $100 million.

Allen’s land is somewhat unique because the lot is large enough that a buyer could easily develop several lavish mansions on the property—or hold on to all that acreage as a kind of private resort.

Here’s what $685K buys around LA

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From Koreatown to El Segundo

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five homes within $10,000 of today’s price: $685,000.


Front courtyard
Dining room
Hallway
BalconyJeffrey Park, Min Chung | New Star Realty

Here’s a two-bedroom unit in the lovely old Miramonte Terrace building in southern Koreatown. Built in 1922, the U-shaped building is framed around a quiet courtyard with a fountain. This particular unit offers a roomy 1,491 square feet of living space with a private balcony. It comes with a one-car garage space and an additional outdoor spot. Asking price is $690,000, with HOA dues of $363 per month.

front of house
living room
Dining room
BackyardVia Laurie Sharrigan, Berkshire Hathaway

This Woodland Hills home was built in 1962 and has been recently updated with new flooring and a remodeled kitchen. It’s got three bedrooms and two bathrooms spread across 1,182 square feet of floor space. The house sits on a 7,812-square foot lot with an attached garage, a back patio, and a hilly yard. Asking price is $689,500.

Building from street
Living and dining area
Kitchen
Pool deckVia Jonathan Minerick | Homecoin.com

If it’s amenities you’re after, try this condo in South Park’s Evo complex. The 1,120-square-foot unit has one bedroom and a single bathroom, with wide panels of windows and an open living and dining space. The building boasts a swimming pool, spa, barbecue area, fitness center, and rooftop lounge. Asking price is $688,000, with HOA dues of $749 per month.

Front of house
Living room
dining room
Backyard

This homey Spanish bungalow in Pasadena was built in 1925 and still contains hardwood floors and an elegant tile fireplace (though it sadly no longer works). The 900-square-foot house has two bedrooms and one bathroom, along with an airy living room and a formal dining room. Sitting on a 4,682-square-foot lot, the home has a grassy front lawn and a patio space in the back. Asking price is $675,000.

Living room
Kitchen
Bedroom
BalconyVia Bill Ruane | Re/Max

Finally, here’s a two-bedroom condo right off Main Street in El Segundo. The 1970s unit has been recently remodeled and has two updated bathrooms along with a kitchen outfitted with freshly installed appliances and countertops. The master bedroom leads out to a large private balcony with room for outdoor seating. The unit comes with a pair of parking spaces and extra storage space. Asking price is $679,900, with HOA dues of $335 per month.

Warner Brothers pitches LA on an aerial tram to the Hollywood Sign

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A rendering of the proposed tramway.

It’s the most fleshed out gondola proposal yet

One of entertainment industry’s largest and most recognizable movie studios wants to get into the transportation business.

Warner Brothers announced plans Tuesday for an aerial tram that would ferry visitors to and from the Hollywood Sign. The company would pay for the tram’s construction and would operate it from a parking lot just south of its Burbank backlot.

In a letter sent Monday to Los Angeles parks and legislative officials, the studio offers the tram as a potential solution to issues of access to the landmark.

In 2017, the city closed a popular Beachwood Canyon access point to the Hollyridge Trail, which provides some of the best views of the sign. Soon after, Councilmember David Ryu commissioned a study examining ways to alleviate traffic in neighborhoods around the sign while ensuring it remains accessible to residents and visitors.

The study included several outside-the-box recommendations, including an aerial tram or gondola and even a replica sign that would be easier for hikers to get to.

In December, Variety reported that media mogul Barry Diller, along with his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, and her son, Alexander von Furstenberg, were considering their own plans for a tram that would take riders to and from the sign.

Now, the city has a more concrete proposal for such a system.

The Warner Brothers tram would take riders up the back of Mount Lee to an education center about the sign that the company also plans to build. Warner Brothers would charge visitors to ride the ferry and would split the revenue with the city.

The company would also pay for a new transit hub on the north side of Griffith Park from which passengers could access buses, shuttles, and the tram itself.

If city officials should pursue the proposal further, it would still need to go through an extensive environmental review process—and any related legal challenges.

Any privately funded development within Griffith Park is bound to draw plenty of public scrutiny, but Warner Brothers argues its solution is one that makes sense for the city and visitors alike.

In a statement, the company says its tram proposal would have the “least impact on the surrounding environment” and would allow easy access to the park “at no cost to the taxpayer.”

Metro bike share isn’t working in Pasadena—and the city wants out

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Staffers say the city only has money to keep the bike service running until the end of the month.

The city might try dockless bikes instead

Only a year after Metro’s bike share initiative launched in Pasadena, the city is looking to put a halt to the program—as soon as the end of the month.

In a report prepared for the city’s Municipal Services Committee, transportation staffers indicate that the city’s bike share budget will only be enough to keep the service up-and-running through the end of July.

The city agreed to a two-year contract with Metro in 2016 that expires at the end of October. But Pasadena may back out of the deal early, citing unforseen costs and lower-than-expected ridership.

The bike share system attracted more than 10,000 users in each of its first two months, before ridership plummeted to less than 4,000 in December. Since then, the numbers have been slowly improving, but not to levels needed to cover the city’s maintenance and operation expenses.

Even with fare revenue factored in, the city spends nearly $100,000 per month to keep bikes in good working condition, according to the report.

Previous reports also highlighted the low ridership numbers and suggested the city would exit the bike share program once its contract with Metro expires.

But now, Pasadena’s transportation department plans to let Metro know Wednesday that the city will leave the program early.

That could open the door for privately funded bike sharing services to set up shop in Pasadena. The city’s transportation department is also considering new regulations on dockless vehicles, which are popping up all over Los Angeles and the country.

Those rules would need to be fleshed out in coming months, but transportation staffers suggest that they would be similar to those established recently in Santa Monica and those now being considered by the city of Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Metro continues to expand its bike share system into new areas, with lower fares to entice more riders. By next year, the agency expects to install nearly 80 new stations with around 700 rentable bikes.

Spotify will open regional headquarters in the Arts District

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At Mateo’s office and retail space is now 85 percent leased.

The streaming service is moving into At Mateo

Music streaming service Spotify will open a new regional headquarters in Los Angeles’s Arts District.

Representatives of the recently opened At Mateo office and retail complex announced Monday that the Swedish tech company had signed on to lease approximately 110,000 square feet of office space at the site.

The arrival of Spotify marks another big step in the Arts District’s transformation from a trendy area popular with artists and gallery owners to a major corporate hub and a live-work destination for highly paid creative types.

Warner Music Group announced plans to relocate to the neighborhood from Burbank in 2016, and both food-replacement startup Soylent and the USC Roski School of Art and Design are moving into At Mateo along with Spotify.

Spotify will occupy well over half of the complex, which was originally planned as an open-air shopping center before owners began focusing on office space midway through development. Rumors have been swirling since the beginning of the year that the tech company was considering a lease at the site.

At Mateo representatives say the complex, which quietly opened earlier this year, is now 85 percent leased.

Study: LA buildings will shake more in earthquakes than previously predicted

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In this Jan. 17, 1994 file photo, a Los Angeles police officer stands in front of the Northridge Meadows Apartment building, after the upper floors of the structure collapsed onto the open garages and first story, killing 16 people.

Developers and builders will have to reassess the safety of “tall buildings”

There’s a shift happening in earthquake science, and it’s not just in the tectonic plates. Results of a new five-year study reveal that the way experts model potential earthquakes is changing for good.

Experts behind the CyberShake project say they have identified a far more accurate and localized method of simulating earthquakes’ effects at specific locations. Based on the new models, LA is expected to see 10 to 50 percent more shaking across all magnitudes of earthquakes than previous models suggested.

The results have major implications for LA’s skyscrapers—and the future of building safety.

“We can’t predict earthquakes,” says Tom Jordan, a professor of geological sciences at USC and lead author of CyberShake. “But what we’re doing is a much better job of predicting what will happen when they occur.”

In the wake of CyberShake’s findings, developers and builders will have to reassess the safety of “tall buildings”—what experts call buildings of 20 stories or more. They’ll also have to figure out how to build stronger structures in the future, according to John Vidale, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, which ran the study.

In the past, LA city had refused calls from experts to make a comprehensive list of earthquake-prone buildings. But in the past few years, the city has amped up efforts to supply engineers with the data they’ll need to secure buildings against the ever-impending “big one.”

In 2014, they identified approximately 14,000 buildings, including apartments buildings, that are at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake. Scientists at UCLA have also launched a program to expand earthquake-resistant design for individual skyscrapers and earthquake-resilient design for entire communities.

And city law now requires tall buildings to be outfitted with earthquake data-gathering instruments.

In the decades before CyberShake, scientists relied on retroactive models called Ground Motion Prediction Equations, or GMPEs. These equations are pieced together using historical records of quakes from around the world.

CyberShake, which was launched in response to data showing that the Los Angeles Basin was moving differently than previous calculations predicted, revealed that past methods resulted, not only in very broad estimates, but also in largely inaccurate ones. Instead, it relies on local conditions and existing geology.

“We’re making a shift from thinking about how dangerous the quakes are by looking at past records, to calculating what the next ones will look like based on geology,” says Vidale.

“Instead of going on the track record, we’re looking at the physics of where we are and what’s coming next,” he says.

Historically, GMPEs were used as the basis for building code design. But now, with CyberShake’s technology, its authors say engineers can couple predictive seismograms with structural simulations to better design buildings. That’s especially important civic facilities such as hospitals, dams, and power plants.

It is also possible that, using CyberShake’s technology, engineers will be able to locate a building plan tailored for seismic hazards specific to a proposed site.

The new models also reveal that some geographical regions are more dangerous than previously thought. Those in the large basins, like LA and Mexico City are particularly at risk, because the ground is soft and deep, so much so that experts often equate the shake to the jiggling of a bowl of Jell-O.

“In some areas of Los Angeles County like Century City, Culver City, Long Beach or Santa Monica, the new projections nearly double the previous estimates for the type of ground shaking that is most threatening to a tall building,” according to the New York Times.

But experts are quick to remind us that estimates are not guarantees.

“It doesn’t mean that the ground motions will go super high at all the locations,” co-author and developer of CyberShake Christine Goulet tells Curbed. “It may increase the risk, effectively, but we don’t know by which amount.”

That might mean there will be more windowless skyscrapers in LA’s future. The strength of a building is determined by factors like how much steel is used, and how many open spaces and windows it has. Buildings with open spaces like atriums and open causeways are much weaker in the event of an earthquake.

Moving forward, engineers and city officials will have to grapple with how to implement these new predictions into safer building codes. But because the building codes change every six years, there are many buildings in LA right now that are technically up to code, but structurally unsound, according to Goulet. Landlords and developers will have to decide whether to reinforce those buildings that were deemed earthquake-safe as far back as the 1930s.

“People have to realize that codes evolve over time,” Goulet cautioned. “As a society, we’ll have to make choices.” Choices, Goulet says, about what era code should be used as the safety standard.

Seattle is one of the first cities to have made that choice.It has announced that it will start using CyberShake’s new maps in determining building codes starting December 1.

For now, in LA, engineers and scientists like Goulet are waiting to hear when the new models will be taken into account.

“We have to incorporate it,” Jim Malley, a structural engineer and co-organizer of the conference told the New York Times. “We haven’t settled on how.”

Heat wave breaks records across LA; mercury soars to 117 degrees in Van Nuys

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High surf is also expected over the weekend.

Fire danger is high

A searing early summer heat wave broke Los Angeles-area records Friday.

In Burbank and Van Nuys—where temperatures reached 114 and 117 degrees, respectively—it was the hottest day in recorded history for each location.

The mercury started climbing early. By 10:15 a.m., the National Weather Service had recorded a temperature of 95 degrees in Downtown LA, eclipsing the highest July 6 temperature recorded in the neighborhood. Eventually, thermometers Downtown registered a high of 106 degrees.

The hottest temperature ever recorded Downtown this early in the year was 112 in June 1990.

Temperatures reached triple digits across much of LA, and more hot weather is expected Saturday—with little relief at night. Lows are expected to hover in the 70s and even upper 80s in the valley and mountain areas.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Wofford says the intensity of the weekend heat will be “somewhat unprecedented.”

In Long Beach, temperatures hit 108 degrees on Friday, breaking a July record set in 1985.

It wasn’t the only July record to fall. In Westwood, temperatures reached 106—3 degrees higher than the monthly record set in 1959.

Humidity is low, and with that dry heat comes increased risk of fire. “Gusty winds” forecasted over the weekend will further increase the danger, and Weather Service meteorologists expect fire weather conditions may reach a critical level Friday and Saturday.

The heat will probably bring even bigger crowds to the beach than on a typical Fourth of July weekend, so expect traffic—and be very careful if swimming. Strong rip tides are also in the weekend forecast.

“Anyone who runs away from dangers of the heat to the beaches will face the dangers of the sea,” says the Weather Service forecast.

Temperatures will only be slightly lower Saturday, with projected highs of 98 degrees in Downtown LA, 105 degrees in Burbank, and 91 degrees in Santa Monica.

Sunday will be “noticeably cooler,” according to the Weather Service—though temperatures will continue to hover in the 90s for much of the coming week. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be warm Friday, only dropping into the 80s in the most landlocked areas.

“Stay hydrated,” Wofford says.

If you need a place to get out of the sun, Los Angeles County has put together an extensive list of cooling centers where residents can benefit from free air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day.

Heat wave breaks record as mercury soars above 100

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High surf is also expected over the weekend.

Fire danger is high

An early summer heat wave broke Los Angeles-area records Friday.

By 10:15 a.m., the National Weather Service had recorded a temperature of 95 degrees in Downtown LA, eclipsing the highest July 6 temperature ever recorded in the neighborhood. Temperature records have also fallen in Van Nuys and Burbank, where temperatures have already soared above 110 degrees.

Temperatures are expected to keep climbing today, reaching triple digits across much of LA through Saturday—with little relief at night. Lows are expected to hover in the 70s and even upper 80s in the valley and mountain areas.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Wofford says the intensity of the weekend heat will be “somewhat unprecedented.”

In the San Fernando Valley, daytime temperatures Friday are expected to climb as high as 117 degrees. In Downtown LA, forecasters are now predicting a high of 106 degrees. For context, the highest July 6 temperature recorded Downtown before today was 94 degrees.

The hottest temperature ever recorded Downtown this early in the year was 112 in June 1990.

Even in coastal areas, forecasters expect temperatures to reach the 90s.

In Santa Monica, Friday’s expected high is expected to be 98 degrees. In Long Beach, temperatures hit 108 degrees, breaking a July record set in 1985.

Humidity is low, and with that dry heat comes increased risk of fire. “Gusty winds” forecasted over the weekend will further increase the danger, and Weather Service meteorologists expect fire weather conditions may reach a critical level Friday and Saturday.

The heat will probably bring even bigger crowds to the beach than on a typical Fourth of July weekend, so expect traffic—and be very careful if swimming. Strong rip tides are also in the weekend forecast.

“Anyone who runs away from dangers of the heat to the beaches will face the dangers of the sea,” says the Weather Service forecast.

Temperatures will be nearly as high Saturday. Sunday will be “noticeably cooler,” according to the Weather Service, though temperatures will continue to hover in the 90s for much of the coming week. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be warm Friday, only dropping into the 80s in the most landlocked areas.

“Stay hydrated,” Wofford says.

If you need a place to get out of the sun, Los Angeles County has put together an extensive list of cooling centers where residents can benefit from free air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day.

‘Unprecedented’ heat wave breaks records with triple-digit temperatures

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High surf is also expected over the weekend.

Fire danger is high

An early summer heat wave broke Los Angeles-area records Friday.

By 10:15 a.m., the National Weather Service had recorded a temperature of 95 degrees in Downtown LA, eclipsing the highest July 6 temperature ever recorded in the neighborhood. Temperature records have also fallen in Van Nuys and Burbank, where temperatures have already soared above 110 degrees.

Temperatures are expected to keep climbing today, reaching triple digits across much of LA through Saturday—with little relief at night. Lows are expected to hover in the 70s and even upper 80s in the valley and mountain areas.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Wofford says the intensity of the weekend heat will be “somewhat unprecedented.”

In the San Fernando Valley, daytime temperatures Friday are expected to climb as high as 117 degrees. In Downtown LA, forecasters are now predicting a high of 111 degrees. For context, the highest July 6 temperature recorded Downtown before today was 94 degrees.

Even in coastal areas, forecasters expect temperatures to reach the 90s.

In Santa Monica, Friday’s expected high is expected to be 98 degrees. In Long Beach, a high of 102 is expected. In Malibu, a high of 101 is expected in the hills above the shore.

Humidity is low, and with that dry heat comes increased risk of fire. “Gusty winds” forecasted over the weekend will further increase the danger, and Weather Service meteorologists expect fire weather conditions may reach a critical level Friday and Saturday.

The heat will probably bring even bigger crowds to the beach than on a typical Fourth of July weekend, so expect traffic—and be very careful if swimming. Strong rip tides are also in the weekend forecast.

“Anyone who runs away from dangers of the heat to the beaches will face the dangers of the sea,” says the Weather Service forecast.

Temperatures will be nearly as high Saturday. Sunday will be “noticeably cooler,” according to the Weather Service, though temperatures will continue to hover in the 90s for much of the coming week. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be warm Friday, only dropping into the 80s in the most landlocked areas.

“Stay hydrated,” Wofford says.

If you need a place to get out of the sun, Los Angeles County has put together an extensive list of cooling centers where residents can benefit from free air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day.

LA rents continue to flatline

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Rental prices have plateaued in 2018.

Unlike the cost of buying, renting hasn’t gotten much more expensive in 2018

The weather is heating up in Los Angeles, but the city’s rental market remains rather cool, with monthly prices barely budging in June.

According to Apartment List, the median rental price in the city of Los Angeles is now $1,360—right where it’s been for the past two months. For a two-bedroom, the median price also remains unchanged at $1,750.

Those estimates are based on census data and give a good approximation of what LA tenants are paying right now. For a sense of what prices renters can expect to find searching for available units, we asked CoStar for average rental prices based on current listings.

Across all of LA County, the price of a one-bedroom stands at $1,676. Two-bedrooms are listed for $2,135, on average. As in the Apartment List report, neither number is much higher than it was a month ago.

According to the Apartment List report, the cost of rent has gone up just 1.6 percent since a year ago, well below the state average of 2.1 percent and far below the 3 percent annual rent hike allowed by LA’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

That’s certainly welcome news for tenants, who already face some of the most unaffordable housing prices in the nation.

At the beginning of the year, some experts predicted that rental prices would begin to plateau—or even drop—in 2018. With more than half of renters spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, prices may simply be getting too high for the market to bear.

So far, that logic hasn’t carried over to the home-buying market. Prospective homeowners now face the highest prices in the county’s history, and the cost of real estate is only going up.

It’s enough to raise that age-old question: Is it better to buy or rent? In LA, neither option is cheap.

What $2,800 rents in Los Angeles

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See what that price gets in five LA neighborhoods

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five rentals within $100 of today’s price, $2,800. Vote for your favorite below.


 Via Zillow

This pretty unit is proof that this price point won’t get you a lot of space in and around Hollywood. The apartment is small—it’s a one-bedroom that measures 570 square feet—but the trade-off is that it is stylishly updated with hardwood floors, subway tile, stainless steel appliances, and marble counters. Located in walkable Franklin Village, it comes fully furnished for $2,800.

 Via S.I.G. Property Management

If space is what you’re seeking, here’s a strong contender in Glendale. This Spanish-style home comes in at 1,022 square feet and holds three bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a grassy backyard with an orange tree. The home is charming too, from the arched entryways to the fireplace, to the retro tiled bathroom. It’s renting for $2,725.

 Via Zillow

Two blocks from the Wilshire/Vermont station along the subway’s Red and Purple lines in centrally-located Koreatown, you’ll find this two-bedroom, two-bathroom pad. Bright and sunny, it features tall ceilings, a small balcony, and in-unit washer and dryer. It’s available for $2,800.

 Via Zillow

Here’s a delightfully charming two-bedroom, one-bath just off Fairfax Avenue. Walk to Canter’s, Jon & Vinny’s, and Council Thrift Shops. The garden apartment is replete with vintage tile, plus lovely molding and white and black checkered kitchen floors. It also comes with an in-unit washer and dryer, a balcony, and a single car garage. It’s renting for $2,895.

 Via Zillow

If this heatwave has you pining for ocean breezes, here’s a bright one-bedroom on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach. South of Venice Boulevard, it’s a short walk to hip restaurants and boutiques. It’s also just a short walk to the Venice canals and the beach. And, per the listing, a side yard offers “easy storage for your bikes and boards.” The building has parking and shared laundry. It’s renting for $2,775.

‘Unprecedented’ heat wave expected to break records with triple-digit temperatures

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High surf is also expected over the weekend.

Fire danger will be high

An early summer heat wave could break Los Angeles-area records this weekend

Temperatures will climb today, then soar into the mid-90s to mid-100s across much of LA on Friday and Saturday—with little relief at night. Lows are expected to hover in the 70s and even upper 80s in the valley and mountain areas.

The National Weather Service is advising residents to “begin to make heat mitigation plans now.”

In the San Fernando Valley, daytime temperatures Friday could climb above 110 degrees. Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with Weather Service, calls a projected temperature of 100 degrees in Downtown LA a “conservative estimate.” For context, the highest July 6 temperature ever recorded Downtown was 94 degrees.

Even in coastal areas, forecasters expect temperatures to reach the 90s.

Wofford says the intensity of the weekend heat will be “somewhat unprecedented,” with temperatures expected to reach triple digits in much of the county.

Low humidities are expected, and with that dry heat comes increased risk of fire. “Gusty winds” forecasted over the weekend will further increase the danger, and Weather Service meteorologists expect fire weather conditions may reach a critical level Friday and Saturday.

Temperatures won’t be the only things soaring Friday. A south swell is expected to bring waves up to 10 feet to Southern California shores. High heat and big waves will probably bring even bigger crowds to the beach than on a typical Fourth of July weekend, so expect traffic—and be very careful if swimming. Strong rip tides are also in the weekend forecast.

“Anyone who runs away from dangers of the heat to the beaches will face the dangers of the sea,” says the Weather Service forecast.

Wofford says temperatures should begin to drop close the beach on Saturday. Further inland, relief likely won’t come until Sunday. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be warm, only dropping into the 80s in the most landlocked areas.

“Stay hydrated,” Wofford says.

26 must-do things in LA this summer

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26 places to visit in LA, from the Hammer to Yamashiro Night Market

Welcome to Curbed LA’s pocket guide, a map of 26 essential things to do in Los Angeles. Suited for locals and visitors and curated by our editors, this map is updated seasonally, focusing on cultural institutions, architecture, the outdoors, and beautiful spaces.

This summer, we’re paying special attention to things to do along the water, lush parks and gardens, impressive architecture that’s open to the public, special exhibits, and our favorite museums. Our picks include well-known classics and new favorites, from the “Beyond the Streets” graffiti showcase to the beach bike path to Yamashiro Night Market. If we missed any cool spots, let us know in the comments.

Looking for more ways to explore the City of Angels this summer?

Plan to add some density along the Expo Line wins full council support

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Expo Line in Culver City.

The Exposition Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan wins City Council approval

A plan to allow thousands of new apartments and condos to be built around some Expo Line stations on the Westside was approved unanimously today by the Los Angeles City Council.

Under the Exposition Corridor Transit Neighborhood Plan, taller, mixed-use buildings will now be allowed in a half-mile radius around five train stations in Palms, Rancho Park, Sawtelle, Mid-City, and Cheviot Hills.

With the goal of boosting transit ridership, reducing dependency on cars, and creating “vibrant neighborhoods,” the plan rezones 256 acres of land, mostly from industrial and light manufacturing uses to residential and office space.

But one of the more radical pieces of the plan changes single-family zoning on several blocks fronting Bundy Drive south of Expo Line’s Bundy station to allow “neighborhood-scale mixed-use development that creates ground-floor commercial activity” with the “capacity for multifamily housing.”

The plan estimates that between 4,400 and 6,000 new housing units and between 9,400 and 14,300 new jobs could be added across the entire plan area by 2035. Every new residential project built in the plan area that takes advantage of density bonus incentives will have to include “some level” of affordable housing.

Abundant Housing LA, a group that advocates for the construction of more housing in Los Angeles as a solution to the affordability crisis, says the plan “reorients development away from sprawl” and will help “thousands more Angelenos benefit from LA’s public transit” network.

It says parts of the plan that allow “hundreds of single-family parcels to be re-zoned for multi-family housing” are progressive.

But the group’s Westside advocacy coordinator Nick Burns says it doesn’t go far enough in every neighborhood.

At the request of Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, building heights were scaled back on a stretch of Pico Boulevard roughly between the Expo/Sepulveda and the Westwood/Rancho Park stations.

Burns says reducing the building heights means 987 fewer units of housing.

A statement from Koretz’s office says that change reflects input from residents after the city planning commission tweaked the plan in October to allow for taller building heights. That change, he said “contradict[ed] with what we believe are the appropriated capacities for the proposed change areas.”

Will the Crenshaw Line strand South Bay riders?

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Metro staff is recommending a plan that would divide up the Green Line in order to connect part of it to the Crenshaw Line.

The connection to the Green Line may not be as smooth as some riders hoped

Metro’s under-construction Crenshaw Line is expected to start carrying riders next year, but agency officials are split on how the light rail route should link up with the existing Green Line, south of LAX.

The new route will bring passengers from the Expo Line stop at Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards to the airport, passing through Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Hyde Park, and Inglewood along the way. Eventually, the line will be extended north to Hollywood.

Metro staffers are pushing for a plan that would break apart the Green Line, connecting most of the route to the Crenshaw Line and allowing riders to travel continuously between Norwalk and the Expo Line stop at Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards. The rest of the Green Line would then travel just a few miles between Redondo Beach and the future Aviation/Century and 96th Street stations.

Track connections from the Green Line to the Crenshaw Line were completed earlier this year.

The majority of Green Line riders get on and off the train at stations east of the intersection with the Crenshaw Line, so connecting the latter route with the eastern portion of the Green Line makes sense, according to Metro staffers.

But elected officials who represent the South Bay aren’t happy.

Crenshaw/LAX Line mapMetro
A map showing the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the Green Line.

Metro Boardmember Janice Hahn, who represents most of the South Bay region as a county supervisor, says Metro staffers are rushing a decision that could have “serious impacts on the transportation options for an entire region.”

Other elected officials from the South Bay, including Torrance Mayor Patrick Furey, echoed those statements at Thursday’s meeting.

Eventually, what’s now the Green Line will be extended farther south to Torrance, adding roughly four miles to the route. That’s one of the 28 projects that Metro plans to complete in time for the 2028 Olympics, meaning that the southern portion of the route could get a lot more riders in the not-too-distant future.

Those passengers could easily transfer to trains bound for Norwalk or the Expo Line, but Hahn and others argue that those transfers would add unnecessary delays and inconveniences to trips that some riders are already taking.

At Thursday’s meeting, Metro staff acknowledged that there is a way to connect the Crenshaw Line to both segments of the Green Line, guaranteeing one-seat rides for passengers coming from the South Bay and from Norwalk. The catch is that this system would require more frequent track changes, resulting in longer rides and more irregular service.

Another possibility that Metro has studied would connect the southern portion of the Green Line to the Crenshaw Line, leaving riders coming from Norwalk and South LA (i.e. most current passengers) to transfer near the airport in order to continue north.

Board Chair Eric Garcetti questioned whether it was possible to engineer a solution that would guarantee riders from both ends of the Green Line a continuous trip, but staffers suggested such a fix would be costly and slow to implement.

That leaves Metro leadership with a tough decision to make—later this year. After a long discussion Thursday, the board voted to revisit the item at a future meeting.

LeBron James, will you be LA’s Bike King?

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LeBron James at a Bike-a-thon for kids in Akron, Ohio.

The newest Laker loves riding bikes—imagine if he demanded a safer, healthier way to get around Los Angeles

Here is the most important thing you need to know about our newest Laker: LeBron James loves riding his bike.

During his time with the Miami Heat, James became well-known for riding his bike to games, crediting his performance to the two-wheeled aerobic warmup. He also rode to beat traffic, telling reporters it was faster than driving. James became a fixture of local cycling culture, posting his own photos of group rides to social media.

Upon hearing the news that King James was on his way to LA, bike groups all over the city added their own shouts of excitement to the welcome chorus.

But let’s get serious about this for a minute. This is Los Angeles, where the expansion of the city’s protected bike infrastructure has slowed and more cyclists are being killed on our streets every year.

LeBron James—arguably one of the most famous athletes on the planet—could exert some sorely needed influence to make LA better for biking.

In Miami, James rode from his Coconut Grove home to the American Airlines Arena, which took him about 30 to 40 minutes. For some of his trip, he could use the M-Path, a paved, dedicated multi-use trail. The ride finishes with a protected bike lane on the bridge over the Miami River.

Let’s say hypothetically that James wants to ride from his house in Brentwood to Staples Center. It’s a much longer distance than his Miami commute—about an hour and 20 minutes—and it has little to no safe biking infrastructure.

Westwood Boulevard would provide the most direct route. But bike lanes along that thoroughfare were rejected by the Los Angeles City Council after homeowner groups said it would slow down their commutes.

On his route from Brentwood to the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo, he would fare a bit better. Much of the ride would take him through Santa Monica, which has better biking infrastructure than the city of LA.

But then he’d have to take Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, where a bike lane was installed and then taken back out after homeowner groups said it would slow down their commutes.

James would not have to go far from where the Lakers play to see what kind of safe biking infrastructure can be possible in LA with a little political will. The best bike infrastructure in the city of LA is right outside Staples Center, a four-mile stretch of Figueroa with new protected bike lanes—that took more than a decade to implement.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQd4TiM5O3M?rel=0]

Now, imagine one of the greatest basketball players of all time—and one of the most influential people on social media—riding outside Staples Center, demanding a safer, healthier way to get around our city.

The number cyclists and pedestrians killed on LA’s streets has risen sharply. From 2013 to 2017, 489 walkers and cyclists were killed on LA’s streets. In some underserved communities, the increases are even more dramatic. In some parts of South LA, for example, collisions that involve bikes have increased by 70 percent.

James’s four-year, $153.3 million contract with the Lakers works out to about $38.3 million per year. That’s about the same as the city’s annual Vision Zero budget to eliminate traffic fatalities. In 2017, the city of LA paid out an additional $19.1 million just for cyclist injuries and deaths. Instead of settling lawsuits, we could be making another half-a-LeBron James-worth of safe streets improvements each year.

James will be playing in LA until 2022. The city’s goal is to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.

People on bikes are among LA’s most vulnerable road users, but are treated like second-class citizens in this city. With few advocates among our city leaders stepping up to improve the situation, it’s time to look to star power.

Now, more than ever, LA needs someone who can stand up for the hundreds of people who are being killed and seriously injured while riding our deadly streets. We also need someone to advocate for Angelenos from all walks of life who are too terrified of the city’s dangerous streets to even give it a try.

Weekend heat wave could break records with triple-digit temperatures

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High surf is also expected over the weekend.

Fire danger will be high

An early summer heat wave could break Los Angeles-area records this weekend, according to a preliminary forecast from the National Weather Service.

Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with Weather Service, says the intensity of the weekend heat will be “somewhat unprecedented,” with temperatures expected to reach triple digits in much of Los ANgeles County.

In the San Fernando Valley, temperatures Friday could climb above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Wofford calls a projected temperature of 100 in Downtown LA a “conservative estimate.” For context, the highest temperature ever recorded Downtown was 94 degrees.

Even in coastal areas, forecasters expect temperatures to reach the 90s.

Low humidities are expected, and with that dry heat comes increased risk of fire. “Gusty winds” forecasted over the weekend will further increase the danger, and Weather Service meteorologists expect fire weather conditions may reach a critical level Friday and Saturday.

Keep that in mind when making plans for the holiday weekend (particularly those that involve fireworks or sparklers).

Temperatures won’t be the only things soaring Friday. A south swell is expected to bring waves up to 10 feet to Southern California shores. High heat and big waves will probably bring even bigger crowds to the beach than on a typical Fourth of July weekend, so expect traffic—and be very careful if swimming. Strong rip tides are also in the weekend forecast.

Wofford says temperatures should begin to drop close the beach on Saturday. Further inland, relief likely won’t come until Sunday. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be warm, only dropping into the 80s in the most landlocked areas.

“Stay hydrated,” Wofford says.

Silver Lake three-bedroom with California cool interiors seeks $1.3M

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Stylish!

A three-bedroom house that is classic Silver Lake has come on the market. Built in 1923, the remodeled home features a cool exterior and an updated interior, courtesy of Los Angeles designer Kathryn McCullough.

The communal spaces open to one another, allowing for a great flow through from the entryway to the spacious back patio. And throughout the 1,400 square feet, a few skylights offer added sunlight to an already bright interior.

The master bedroom includes a fireplace and a roomy master bathroom with a subway-tiled shower enclosure.

The property, which spans 5,421 square feet and is located off Glendale Boulevard, comes with a detached garage that has been converted into a useful flexible space that could serve as a home office or a fun bonus room.

Last sold two years ago for $778,000, the home is now listed for $1.295 million.

Revamped ranch in Highland Park’s midcentury enclave Arroyo View Estates asks $1.16M

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It’s come a long way since last on the market

This three-bedroom, two-bath ranch is located just off of Easy Street in Arroyo View Estates, the charming midcentury tract of about 200 homes on the eastern outskirts of Highland Park.

When it last appeared on the market in July 2017, the 1,750-square-foot residence was a real sore for sighted eyes, sporting an abundance of window-bars, popcorn ceilings, taupe carpets, and ecru walls. A year later, there’s been a transformation that would put a slew of ’90s teen movies to shame.

Per the listing, the home has been revamped with new bamboo floors, quartz countertops, windows and sliders, high-end appliances, designer tile, new and vintage lighting, a new roof, a tankless water heater, a new HVAC system, and new landscaping.

Other standout features include a Palos Verdes rock fireplace and chimney, built-in nooks and shelving, and a vivid pair of stained glass windows designed by artist Megan Whitmarsh and fabricated by Judson Studios.

On a 5,985-square-foot lot, the property is listed with an asking price of $1.158 million.

Open house is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s when Fourth of July traffic will be at its worst

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Record numbers of travelers will be on the road around July 4.

Trip length could double

Fourth of July falls smack in the middle of the workweek this year, but that doesn’t seem to be deterring travelers much. According to a report from AAA and transportation analyst Inrix, close to 47 million Americans will hit the road between July 3 and July 8, and many of them will be coming to Los Angeles.

If you’re planning on heading out of town for the holiday, consider leaving early—or be prepared for congestion.

The report predicts that traffic will be worst on Tuesday afternoon between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. At that time, trips will take about twice as long as they do in normal traffic levels.

New York and Washington are the only major cities expected to have longer backups during that time.

“Tuesday afternoon will hands down be the worst time to be on the road,” says Inrix general manager Scott Sedlik. In a statement, he advises travelers to “avoid peak commuting hours altogether or consider alternative routes.”

Compounding the problem are low airfares, enticing record numbers of visitors to LAX. The airport announced Thursday that it expects nearly 3 million passengers to fly in and out of its terminals between June 29 and July 9.

On the four busiest days during that stretch (June 29, July 1, July 6, and July 9), more than 100,000 vehicles are projected to pass through the airport’s arrivals and departures roadway.

If you have a flight to catch on one of those days, it’s probably a good idea to head to the airport far in advance. If you know someone arriving, now might be a good time to let them know about the handy Flyaway shuttle.

Metro greenlights new light rail line in the San Fernando Valley

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A rendering of what a light rail transit station at Van Nuys and Victory would look like.

The train would run along Van Nuys Boulevard

Metro is moving forward with plans for a new rail line in the eastern San Fernando Valley.

One of the 28 projects that the agency plans to have up-and-running in time for the 2028 Olympics, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor would run from the Orange Line station in Van Nuys to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station, about 9 miles to the north.

Metro had considered building the line as a rapid bus route, rather than rail, but on Thursday the agency’s board of directors approved plans that would advance the project as a light rail route similar to the existing Gold, Blue, and Green lines.

“I have long dreamed of a day when we would have more than two Metro train stops,” Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, told the Metro board.

He called the line the “largest economic development project in the San Fernando Valley this millennium.”

Most of the line would travel along Van Nuys Boulevard, with trains traveling on tracks built in the center of the road. For the final 2.5 miles of the route, trains would travel on San Fernando Road to the northernmost stop.

Metro expects a trip from end-to-end would take about 29 minutes, and that the train could carry close to 50,000 riders per day by 2040. Eventually, the line could connect with a future transit project through the Sepulveda Pass.

That would give Valley residents significantly more options when navigating the city.

Since the line will be served by light rail, Metro will need to add a service station for trains that travel along the route. The agency had considered putting that facility on a parcel of land close to the Van Nuys station, but local property owners complained that the plan would displace hundreds of businesses.

Now, Metro plans to put that maintenance yard closer to the Van Nuys Metrolink station, where it would have to acquire fewer properties. Some businesses would still be displaced, and several business owners expressed concern Thursday that they could be forced to close up shop.

These businesses would be eligible for relocation fees, and on Thursday Metro Boardmember Sheila Kuehl also asked staffers to look into creating a fund to compensate business owners for disruptions caused by construction of the line.

The light rail tracks would serve 14 stations running through the communities of Van Nuys, Panorama City, Arleta, Pacoima, and the city of San Fernando. The entire project would cost about $1.3 billion to construct. Metro previously considered running a short leg of the line underground, but found that would more than double the project cost.

Now that Metro has settled on a design for the project, the agency will complete a final environmental review before preparing to begin construction.

Under the Measure M funding timelineapproved by LA County voters in 2016—the project would break ground in 2021. Construction is expected to wrap up by 2027.

Major Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza redevelopment wins City Council approval

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2017 renderings of the redeveloped mall.

Nearly 1,000 residential units, a hotel, and new space for food and retail

The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza has jumped its last planning hurdle and is on the straightway toward a $700 million redevelopment.

The redevelopment was approved unanimously Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.

As planned, the mall, owned by Chicago-based Capri Capital Partners, will be turned into a mixed-use complex with 961 new condos and apartments, a 400-room hotel, and new offices, restaurants, and retail space.

The project’s development agreement was amended at a June 5 planning and land use management meeting to include an affordable housing mandate.

“This community has been waiting on this development for 10 or 12 years and it will provide the kind of investment that South Los Angeles deserves,” Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents the area, said in a statement after the June vote.

Under the agreement, Capri is required to set aside 5 percent of rental units for low-income households and 5 percent of the for-sale units for residents making 150 percent of the area median income.

The development agreement also says 30 percent of the project’s construction team has to be hired locally.

Supporters say the project will bring much-needed jobs and opportunities to the neighborhood.

But opponents maintain that this is not the development the community has been waiting for. Many said they wished the project offered more for current residents of the neighborhood in terms of affordable housing stock.

“It saddens me to be here today to speak in opposition to this project,” said Pastor William Smart, CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“This project should not be built unless it is completely affordable to the local community with a 50 percent local hire agreement,” he said. He called the project “a bad deal for the community.”

Seven groups lodged appeals against the project, including the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, the Los Angeles Tenants Union, the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, and the Black Community Clergy and Labor Alliance.

The project is the largest in the neighborhood in decades, and it has not gone unnoticed by locals.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents attended a planning commission hearing on the project in July, and more than three dozen supporters and opponents spoke at the June PLUM meeting.

Beverly Crest midcentury built for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s grandparents asks $6.9M

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Modern style with killer views

Here’s a midcentury home with a unique place in Los Angeles history. Designed by influential modern architects Conrad Buff and Donald Hensman, it was built in 1963 for Harry and Julia Roth, grandparents of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The sleek Beverly Crest residence was photographed by Julius Shulman and received a merit award from the American Institute of Architects in 1964. It was expanded and remodeled in 2006, but retains its original post and beam design style.

The 3,800-square-foot home has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, with walls of glass and concrete floors throughout. A long, double-height corridor connects the kitchen to the open living and dining area.

The house has been equipped with new appliances, cabinetry, and bathroom fixtures. Sliding glass doors provide easy indoor-outdoor access, and a pergola-shaded rooftop deck offers excellent views of the Century City skyline.

Sitting on a one-third-acre lot in the 90210 zip code, the home also comes with a pool, fire pit, and a bit of grassy lawn.

Asking price is $6.9 million.

Corridor and kitchen
Living room
Breakfast area
Bedroom
Bedroom
Kitchen
Rooftop deck

What $2,500 rents in LA right now

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Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five rentals within $100 of today’s price, $2,500. Vote for your favorite below.

 Via Zillow

We begin in Koreatown, where this two-bedroom unit is for rent. The condo offers stainless steel kitchen appliances, in-unit laundry machines, two bathrooms, and wall-mounted air conditioning. The place comes with two parking spaces, and it rents for $2,595.

 Via Zillow

This two-bedroom apartment sits at the foot of the Cahuenga Pass in the Hollywood Hills. The apartment comes with one parking space, which is probably very helpful in the hilly neighborhood. The interiors have decorative doorway arches, a spacious kitchen and dining area, and a small patio. It rents for $2,400.

 Via Zillow

This dashing midcentury two-bedroom apartment in Silver Lake features wood floors, a rear patio, and 900 square feet of space to spread out. It comes with parking and on-site laundry. It rents for $2,495.

 Via Zillow

Roughly a half-mile from the North Hollywood Red and Orange Line stations, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment has been fully overhauled. The dwelling holds new floors, central air conditioning, ample closet space, and stainless steel kitchen appliances. The unit comes with two parking spaces. It rents for $2,595.

 Via Zillow

This Mid-City two-bedroom comes with a newly remodeled kitchen, one and a half bathrooms, an outdoor patio, and one parking spot. One of only five units in the building, this apartment rents for $2,400.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s monumental Ennis House hits the market for $23M

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According to listing material, seller Ron Burkle spent nearly $17 million restoring the home.

The Mayan-inspired residence is up for grabs after a major restoration

After an extensive restoration, Frank Lloyd Wright’s spectacular Ennis House is looking for a new owner.

Built in 1924, the sprawling concrete block home was one of a handful of enigmatic, Mayan-inspired homes that the architect designed during a brief sojourn in Southern California. Through star appearances in films like Blade Runner and House on Haunted Hill, the Los Feliz house became a recognizable LA landmark and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Damaged in the Northridge earthquake, the house was partially rehabilitated in 2007. Billionaire investor Ron Burkle purchased it four years later for $4.5 million with plans for further restoration.

Almost $17 million later, that work is complete, and the house is being quietly shopped for $23 million.

According to listing material, the “remarkably livable” house is being offered furnished. The striking interiors feature concrete columns, enormous leaded glass windows, marble and hardwood floors, coffered ceilings, custom light fixtures, and walls of mosaic tile.

Occupying a half-acre lot, the residence looms over the neighborhood like an ancient temple, and can be seen for miles around. That makes for some pretty nice views, of course, and the house is laden with multiple balconies, patios, and wraparound walkways. There’s also a large pool deck and a fish pond.

The house is being shown by appointment only to prequalified buyers, so don’t plan on crashing an open house. Branden and Rayni Williams of Hilton & Hyland have the listing, along with Ron De Salvo of Coldwell Banker.

Ennis house living room with mosaic fireplace
Ennis house fireplace and columns
Leaded glass window
Ennis house billiards room
Ennis house bedroom
Ennis house dining room
Ennis house hallway
Ennis house bathroom
Ennis house study
Ennis house kitchen
Ennis house pool
Ennis house exterior

CBS Television City scores city landmark status

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The Fairfax campus played a huge role in television history

A historic home of television production was recognized today by the Los Angeles City Council, which voted to name CBS Television City a historic-cultural monument.

“Today, we were able to preserve a piece of Los Angeles history and a vital part of our local economy,” Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, said in a statement.

Television City played a huge role in television history as “the first large-scale, all-new facility in the nation designed to meet the mass-production of television programming.” Its studios hosted Elvis Presley’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and hosted shows by Carol Burnett and Jack Benny.

The studio compound at Beverly and Fairfax is home to plenty of modern-day filming, including shows like The Price Is Right and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

The 25-acre Fairfax complex is also architecturally significant—a fine example of the International Style, and master work by midcentury modern architecture firm Pereira and Luckman.

The studios had been nominated for landmark status by the Los Angeles Conservancy after it was reported that CBS was mulling whether to sell the property, and that a few major developers were interested.

“A historic property is often at risk when it changes out of long-time stewardship,” Adrian Scott Fine, the conversancy’s director of advocacy, said at the time.

Now that Television City is a landmark, any planned major changes to its exterior—or something like a total redevelopment—would have to go through the city’s historic resources office.

Here’s what $610K buys around LA

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A studio in Hollywood or a house with a pool in Reseda?

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five homes or condos within $10,000 of today’s price: $610,000—right around the median home price in LA County.

Front of house
Fireplace
Kitchen
Backyard garageVia Julie Allen, Keller Williams

Here’s a remodeled home on the edge of Lake Balboa and Van Nuys built in the 1940s. It’s got three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with 1,279 square feet of living space. The living room has new floors and a brick fireplace, while the kitchen has been outfitted with new appliances. The house sits on a 5,648-square-foot lot with a concrete patio, backyard, and a detached garage with a surprising checkerboard floor. Asking price is $619,000.

Living room
Kitchen
Bedroom
Exterior of buildingVia Bernadette Pittroff, Pacific Union International

This condo is situated right in the heart of Pasadena, close to the Playhouse District and Lake Avenue’s shops and restaurants. It’s got one bedroom and a single bathroom, with 914 square feet of living space. The loft-style unit has wood floors and high, concrete ceilings with exposed ducts. The building offers a shared lounge, game room, and fitness center. Asking price is $610,000, with HOA dues of $635 per month.

Living room
Bedroom
Kitchen
Bathroom

This studio unit in Hollywood’s swanky W Residences offers 990 square feet of space on the inside, plus a large covered balcony. It’s got plenty of built-in storage space to go along with an open kitchen and a large bathroom with a double vanity. Building amenities include a rooftop pool, a fitness center, and a screening room. Asking price is $619,000, but the HOA dues will add quite a bit to those monthly payments—$1,436, to be exact.

Front of house
Living room
Kitchen
BackyardVia Shannon Jones, Keller Williams

This airy Spanish-style residence in Long Beach has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with 1,303 square feet of living space. Built in 1930, the home is equipped with Spanish tile flooring and a living room fireplace, along with tile countertops in the kitchen and bathroom. The house sits on a 5,959-square-foot lot with a bit of patio space and a detached garage with an adjacent studio space. Asking price is $600,000.

Front of house
Kitchen
Bedroom
Backyard poolVia William Larsen, Grupe Real Estate

If it’s a pool you’re after, you can find it at this 1950s ranch home in Reseda. The house has been recently overhauled with new flooring, countertops, and cabinetry. It’s got three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1,408 square feet of floor space. A step-down den leads outside through sliding glass doors. Sitting on a 6,250-square-foot lot, with that pool, a spa, and a fire pit, the home is asking $609,000.

Mind-blowing Bel-Air lair built in the ’70s can be yours for $19M

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Truly awesome

One of the most interesting properties in Los Angeles, if not the world, is newly up for grabs. Formally known as “Ursa Major,” the singular residence is more commonly known as the former home of legendary basketball player Wilt Chamberlain, who worked closely with architect David Tenneson Rich on the design of the Bel-Air property, completed in 1971.

According to the architect, inspiration for the home’s unique design came from Frank Lloyd Wright, the giant redwood groves of Yosemite, and the triangle.

Built upon a mountain top that had served as a Nike anti-aircraft missile site during the Cold War, the 7,158-square-foot residence required five freight car loads of redwood and 16 tons of Bouquet Canyon stone to construct, and was designed without a single right-angled corner.

On the market for the first time in a decade, the house has been, per the listing description, “recently updated and enhanced.” Accessed by a stone bridge traversing a tranquil water feature, the impressive residence’s entry level features a massive stone fireplace, a sunken conversation pit, a billiard room, and a dining room with open indoor floor portal to the triangular swimming pool.

Guest bedrooms, staff quarters, a media room, and offices are also contained on the lower level, while the upper floor is devoted to the oversize master suite. Vast expanses of glass offering master-of-the-universe views are found throughout the home.

The 2.5-acre gated property, which overlooks the Bel-Air Reservoir, also features a luxurious al fresco cooking and entertaining area, a redwood sauna, outdoor shower, covered cabana, and parking for 20-plus cars.

Last sold for $6.555 million in 2008, it’s now on the market with an asking price of $18.999 million. Brokers’ open is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Mortgage payments are more affordable now—except in LA

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Rising interest rates mean higher monthly payments for LA buyers.

House payments have gotten much less affordable in the last two decades

Los Angeles homeowners are burdened with some of the nation’s least affordable mortgage payments, according to a new report from Zillow.

With housing prices in the area shattering all-time highs, it may not come as a surprise that monthly payments for buyers are on the rise as well. But due in part to historically low interest rates, mortgages are actually more affordable now in most parts of the country than they were between 1985 and 2000.

Zillow finds that a typical U.S. homeowner would have spent about 21.1 percent of their income on mortgage payments between 1985 and 2000—compared to 34.5 percent in the Los Angeles metro area. Today, that share of income is down to 17.1 percent nationwide, but up to 44.9 percent in LA.

Los Angeles is one of just nine of the 35 largest U.S. housing markets where mortgage payments on a median priced home take up a larger share of of the median income now than they did in that 15-year time period, which Zillow uses as a historic average.

More simply put: House payments in the Los Angeles area have gotten harder to afford in the last 18 years, while nationally, they’ve become more affordable.

Interest rates are climbing, and mortgage payments could quickly become far more expensive for U.S. buyers. In the LA area, where those costs are already high, that could make homeownership an even bigger challenge for many residents.

According to Zillow’s projections, if interest rates hit 5 percent (as some forecasters expect), mortgage payments will amount to roughly half of the median income in the LA area—well above the 30 percent threshold often used as a measure of housing affordability.

The true affordability burden for most buyers may be even higher. Zillow’s income share statistic assumes a 20 percent downpayment—more than $120,000, based on median home prices in LA County.

Since many buyers don’t have that kind of cash on hand, they may put down far less than 20 percent of a home’s purchase price up front. While that allows home shoppers to save money in the short term, it means they’ll end up with much higher monthly payments.

Assuming a 4.5 percent mortgage interest rate, the monthly payment for a median-priced home in LA would be around $3,068 with a 20 percent down payment, according to Zillow’s mortgage calculator. Cut that down payment in half, and the monthly cost of the mortgage goes up to $3,645.

At some point, the combination of escalating home prices and soaring interest rates may drive buyers away from the market, but for now, demand is high. According to a recent Redfin survey, only 6 percent of U.S. home shoppers would give up on plans to buy should interest rates hit 5 percent.

San Fernando Valley home prices soar to $708K

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May’s median home price in the San Fernando Valley was $708,000.

Houses in the area have never been this expensive

San Fernando Valley single-family home prices hit a new all-time high in May, reaching a median cost of $708,000, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

That’s up 1.6 percent since the month before and more than 11 percent since May 2017.

Average home prices are also significantly higher—$887,500. That’s 8.6 percent above the average in May of last year.

“If a home is coming onto the market priced properly, it’s going to have multiple offers very quickly,” says Ralph Odierna, branch manager at Coldwell Banker Sherman Oaks.

That’s stressful for prospective buyers, who have less time to consider whether a home is right for them.

“They often have to make a decision on the spot,” Odierna says.

There is a small silver lining for home shoppers; the number of houses on the market went up last month, giving buyers more options to choose from. More than 1,000 homes were available for sale by the end of May—nearly 10 percent more than a year before.

A lack of choices for buyers has contributed to skyrocketing home prices throughout Southern California since 2012. Despite rising mortgage interest rates, demand from buyers is high and supply hasn’t kept up, says Southland Regional Association of Realtors president Gary Washburn.

“Home prices keep climbing above what many home shoppers are able to afford,” says Washburn in a statement.

That’s contributed to a decline in overall sales. The number of homes that closed escrow in May was down more than 10 percent since a year earlier.

Sales of condos have also dwindled, but prices haven’t increased nearly as dramatically. May’s median sale price was up just 0.2 percent over a year ago, and down 3.4 percent since April.

Odierna says condo prices in the area may have leveled off due to buyer preferences.

“A lot of these are older buildings,” he says. “In Downtown or Koreatown, buyers might be more interested in condos, but in the San Fernando Valley we have a lot of people who just want that house with a white picket fence.”

Garcetti reportedly cozying up to idea of reenforcing ban on sleeping on the streets

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An 11-year-old court ruling has prevented LA from arresting people living on the streets

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti might begin reinforcing a ban on sleeping overnight on sidewalks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

He told the newspaper that the law—which hasn’t been enforced since 2007— is “a tool that we have before us, that we can and will use.”

His deputy chief of staff, Matt Szabo, says the goal is to clean up areas around where new shelters have been built, “not to resume arrests.”

City officials once used a 1968 law that prohibits sleeping on the street as justification for arresting homeless people, especially in and around Skid Row.

In 2003, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the city on behalf of a group of homeless people for the practice, arguing it was inhumane to arrest people sleeping on the street when they had no other option. Four years later, the city agreed to a settlement that required it to build 1,250 units of homeless housing, half of which needed to be in Downtown.

Now that the requirement has been met, and at least 1,500 more units are on the way, Garcetti tells the LA Times that the city might enforce the law again.

There are more than 31,500 homeless residents living in the city of Los Angeles, and 6,473 people live in tents and makeshift shelters, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. An additional 8,980 people live in cars, vans, and campers; the city has rules against that too.

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the city of Los Angeles has fewer than 8,000 shelter beds to serve the homeless population. A KPCC report last month found that many of those shelters are in poor and unsanitary conditions.

Read the full story at the LA Times.

Development with 20-story tower breaks ground behind Hollywood ArcLight

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The $450 million development will rise at 1341 Vine Street—a site bordered by De Longpre, Homewood, Ivar, and Vine Street.

The project would encompass a full city block, directly behind ArcLight

Hollywood’s ever-changing landscape is due for another major new addition. Kilroy Realty has begun work to build Academy on Vine, its $450 million mixed-use development, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The development will rise on a full city block bounded by De Longpre, Homewood, Ivar, and Vine, directly south of the ArcLight Hollywood parking garage.

Made up of four mid-rise commercial buildings and one 20-story residential tower, the completed project will offer approximately 335,000 square feet of office space and 13,000 square feet of retail space.

The Times notes that “office developers commonly line up some tenants before breaking ground, but Kilroy is proceeding ‘on spec’ without renters in hand.”

Kilroy did the same with its nearby Columbia Square project, which reused the former Hollywood headquarters of CBS’s radio and television operations as a high-end extended stay hotel, a fancy restaurant, an outpost of the chic coworking space NeueHouse, and office space that’s attracted high-profile tenants like Viacom.

Kilroy has owned the Academy on Vine property since 2014, purchasing it for $46 million from The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The site was once planned to house the Academy’s museum, which is under construction now at Wilshire and Fairfax.

Academy on Vine is expected to open in early 2020.

The remnants of LA’s 1984 Olympics

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The Olympic cauldron lit at the Coliseum.

From the Coliseum to Dodger Stadium

In 1978, Los Angeles agreed to host the 1984 Summer Olympics and, as described in the official report of the games, a small, secretive organizing committee formed to oversee the delivery and management of the two-week event.

The city had hosted the games once before, in 1932, when city officials used the opportunity to show off Los Angeles as a world class city that was—sort of—thriving, in spite of the Great Depression.

By the 1980s, organizing committee leaders had a different goal in mind: profit. For the first time, presentation of the games wasn’t funded by local taxpayers. Instead, the powerful committee, led by businessman Peter Ueberroth, operated as a nonprofit with full financial liability if the games went over budget.

That meant keeping costs down during the games and using plenty of existing venues for competition. The games took place across a wide swath of Southern California, with athletes competing in dozens of neighborhoods and on most of the area’s major college campuses.

For better or for worse, the strategy worked, and the 1984 Olympics were some of the most economically successful in history.

Most of the venues used during the games are still around, though some have been significantly remodeled or rebuilt. Organizers of the 2028 games, borrowing many of the tactics employed by the 1984 committee, plan to stage events in many of the same arenas.

Here’s a look at the places around Los Angeles that shaped Olympic history more than 30 years ago.

This story is the third in a series on the 2028 Olympics that looks at what Los Angeles can learn from hosting previous games and focuses on the issues the city will face over the next decade.

Casey Wasserman, who is chair of LA 2028’s organizing committee, is also a board member at Vox Media, Curbed’s parent company. Vox Media board members have no involvement in Curbed’s editorial planning or execution.

See inside Mandy Moore’s luxuriously remodeled midcentury modern home

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Photos by Trevor Tondro.

If you love terrazzo, get ready to lose your freaking mind

When This Is Us star Mandy Moore and her soon-to-be husband musician Taylor Goldsmith purchased a diamond-in-the rough midcentury modern early last year, they set to work on liberating the Pasadena house from some unfortunate 1990s additions that robbed it of its original charm.

Moore engaged architect Emily Farnham and interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel to totally remake the residence. The remodeled house, featured in a home tour by Architectural Digest, is a glamorous array of en vogue terrazzo—which is everywhere, from the bathroom to the kitchen—and marble.

The house also incorporates restored elements dating to the home’s origins, including the brick walls and fireplace, as well as a dashing copper fireplace hood.

“The interiors don’t feel like they’re lost in time. There are plenty of nods to the ’50s, but there are also lots of pieces that just read as fresh, organic, and modern,” Samuel tells AD.

Though the renovation looked intense from some of the photos that Moore posted to her Instagram, Farnham describes the work as “basic subtraction, as opposed to a complete gut renovation.”

The result, Moore says, is her dream house. “It still amazes me. We saw the potential of this house and brought it back to life.”

Read more at Architectural Digest.

More empty house pics by @stephenschauer ……

A post shared by Mandy Moore (@mandymooremm) on Feb 20, 2018 at 11:20am PST

Organic modern in the Silver Lake hills by Harwell Hamilton Harris listing for $1.3M

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The woodsy 1939 modern sits in the hills east of the Silver Lake Reservoir

Coming available for the first time in nearly two decades is an organic modern designed by the brilliant Harwell Hamilton Harris in 1939.

Located across the street from R.M. Schindler’s How House in the hills east of the Silver Lake Reservoir, the home, known as the Edwin Hawk House, is similar in concept and materials to Harris’ Blair House, completed the same year.

Measuring 1,201 square feet, the Hawk House is clad in redwood siding, and designed as a series of cubes that unfold from the inside out, with the living room, dining area, and kitchen on the entry level, and the home’s two bedrooms and one bath on the lower level.

Features include walls of glass, hardwood floors, banks of one-lite French doors, a brick fireplace, built-in shelving, a brick patio, and a spacious balcony deck offering picture-postcard views of the Reservoir and surrounding hillsides.

On a 6,507-square-foot lot with two-car garage, the pedigreed property will hit the MLS tomorrow with an asking price of $1.295 million. Open house is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Housing planned for former Norms site on Pico in Rancho Park

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The now-demolished Norms at 11001 West Pico Boulevard.

89 residential units, including affordable housing

It’s official: A vacant site on Pico Boulevard that once housed a funky Norms diner is slated for redevelopment as housing.

A developer filed plans Wednesday with the city of Los Angeles to build a residential project with 89 units—10 for extremely low-income households—at the site on Pico between Westwood and Sepulveda boulevards.

Prior to its 2015 sale, the Rancho Park site had been marketed by commercial real estate brokerage CBRE as ripe for retail development: “The properties would be suitable for a wide range of retail, office and residential uses. New apartment and retail developments are located across the street.”

The Norms closed in late 2016, and the site was cleared last year.

The project developer is listed as 11001 West Pico Blvd, an LLC with connections to NMS Properties. The same LLC also owns an adjacent parking lot at 2360 Camden Avenue.

Another Norms, over on La Cienega, is expected to have a different fate. The bold Googie diner is planned to be incorporated into a still-in-the-works development of the site that will include mixed uses and retail.

See the 77-story Bunker Hill tower that wants to be LA’s tallest

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At 1,107 feet tall, the tower would be seven feet taller than the Wilshire Grand.

“Who doesn’t want bragging rights?”

Move over Wilshire Grand: A planned 77-story skyscraper wants to be the tallest building in Los Angeles and west of the Mississippi. That’s no accident.

Unlike the Wilshire Grand—which was, purportedly, not intentionally planned to be the tallest tower in the city or beyond—this skyscraper was definitely intended to a record-holder, says Jeff DiMarzio, whose firm DiMarzio Kato Architects is designing the project at Figueroa and Third in Bunker Hill.

“Who doesn’t want bragging rights?” says DiMarzio.

At 1,107 feet, the building would rise just a bit higher than the 1,100-foot-tall Wilshire Grand. Unlike the Wilshire Grand, the building at 333 South Figueroa would not use a spire to help it reach superlative heights.

The project calls for converting the 13-story hotel building on the site into 224 market-rate apartments.

Planning documents first spotted by Urbanize LA indicate that the existing two-story podium and event space would be demolished and replaces with the skyscraper, which would hold 599 hotel rooms, 242 condos, nearly 37,000 square feet of amenities, and almost 29,000 square feet of commercial space.

The redeveloped property would contain condos, apartments, hotel rooms, and event space.

“The [new] building had to be compatible with the existing property” and the elements already on the site.

Considering the needs of the property, architects essentially “broke the building into geometric halves and tapered it up to the skyline,” DiMarzio says.

The architect says the gradually narrowing building is sort of like the “sliver towers” that are cropping up in New York, but on a slightly shorter scale.

“The building is simple [and] elegant” with a composition of low-e glass (which reduces the amount of ultraviolet light that passes through it) and steel.

The main body of the high-rise is hotel space—a “mini convention hotel” with plenty of ballroom space, says DiMarzio. Above the hotel are condos, which gradually increase in size as the floors rise.

The topmost floors of the building would hold two single-floor penthouses, one two-story penthouse, and a rooftop lounge and bar that’s expected to be open to the public, says DiMarzio.

The project’s developer, Shenzhen New World Group, has owned the hotel since 2010, when it bought the property for roughly $60 million.

The redeveloped property will be across the street from a site which Jamison Services plans to turn into a 41-story residential tower.

Looking into the development and the entrance to the boarding school.
The view from South Figueroa.

One of Long Beach’s oldest and grandest homes is for sale for $3.2M

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The landmarked house was built in 1890.

The 19th-century residence is on the market for the first time in 25 years

Here’s your chance to own one of the oldest and most distinguished houses in Long Beach.

Built in 1890, the handsome Bixby Ranch House—a city landmark—was constructed for developer George Bixby, whose name is shared by the Bixby Knolls neighborhood around the house. It originally served as the headquarters for Bixby ranch operations.

Having once been surrounded by farmland, the home outdates pretty much everything else in the area.

It was designed by brothers Almeric and Ernest Coxhead, who adorned the exterior with cedar shingles and brick, to go along with elegant gables and bay windows. Interiors include coffered ceilings, hardwood floors, built-in shelving, multiple fireplaces, custom-carved pillars, and dramatic moldings.

Featuring 6,978 square feet of living space, the house boasts eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms on top of a large formal dining room, a den, and an office space.

The residence sits on .7 acres and is surrounded by neatly landscaped gardens and a pair of reflecting pools enclosed in a very tranquil-looking courtyard.

On the market for the first time in a quarter-century, the house is listed for $3.195 million.

Living room
Den with built-in seating
Dining room
Office with fireplace
Side of house
Pond alongside house
Backyard
  • 11 La Linda Drive [Matthew Berkley, Scott Lander, Barbara Lamprecht | Deasy/Penner]

Inglewood residents sue to block Clippers arena

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Construction at Hollywood Park, near where the Clippers arena would be built.

They want affordable housing instead of an arena

Trying to halt plans for a new Clippers arena on public land, a group of residents filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Inglewood on Tuesday.

The lawsuit seeks to make the land available for affordable housing, rather than the NBA team. The Clippers want to build a new home court on the city-owned site, which is located directly across the street from an under-construction NFL stadium and a massive new mixed-use community at Hollywood Park.

“Our city has been moving in the wrong direction,” says Uplift Inglewood member Woodrow Curry III. He says city officials of favoring “billionaire sports owners” over working class residents facing rapidly escalating housing costs.

The mayor’s office did not return messages seeking comment.

Last year, the Inglewood City Council entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Murphy’s Bowl, a company owned by the Clippers, setting the stage for development of a new basketball arena on a multi-acre site owned by the city.

Under the terms of the California Surplus Land Act, cities planning to sell or give away public land must first seek out proposals for affordable housing construction on the site.

Attorneys for Uplift Inglewood say Inglewood skipped this step when it moved forward last year with plans for the basketball arena.

Aerial view of construction at Inglewood NFL stadiumAll images courtesy Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District
Aerial view of construction at Inglewood NFL stadium.

Inglewood rents are still lower than those in the greater Los Angeles region, but prices are climbing quickly. The average cost of an apartment in the city is now $1,250 per month, up nearly 6 percent over a year ago, according to CoStar.

The suit also alleges that Inglewood has been ignoring other state laws that mandate construction of new affordable housing. For instance, when the city’s community redevelopment agency shuttered in 2012, local leaders were obligated to replace any affordable units demolished as part of past redevelopment projects.

According to a 2015-16 report, the city still has 112 units to go to fulfill this obligation.

That may not be enough to meet demand from residents. According to the Department of Housing and Community Development, Inglewood—along with most California cities—is falling well short of regional housing goals.

To meet these state-monitored goals, Inglewood will need to add 567 units of housing affordable to residents earning very low to moderate incomes by 2021. Since 2013, none of these units have been built in the city at all.

Representatives of Uplift Inglewood say a lack of affordable housing construction amounts to discrimination against lower earning residents.

“This lawsuit is about more than a wonky housing violation,” said Public Counsel attorney Antonio Hicks at the press conference. “It’s about residents being forced out of their homes by skyrocketing housing costs.”

Sunny Streamline Moderne in the Hollywood Hills asks $1.25M

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Signature features include steel casement windows, portholes, fluted glass, curved walls, and a magnesite staircase.

Located in the Cahuenga Pass not far from Universal Studios, this jaunty 1936 residence is believed to be the work of Streamline Moderne master William Kesling.

Closely resembling Kesling’s Adams House in Silver Lake, the three-bedroom home sports many original elements, such as horizontal steel casement windows, portholes, fluted glass, curved walls, three-quarter sawn oak floors, and a magnesite staircase. The home’s kitchen and baths, however, appear to have undergone a rather zany makeover at some point in the ’90s.

On a lush, .32-acre lot, the property also features a bonus studio with half-bath, an outdoor bar, a fiberglass hot tub, multiple decks and patios, and a detached two-car garage.

It’s listed with an asking price of $1.249 million.

 
 

© “2018” BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS. CalBRE 00954065

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