perfect little jewel


when i was growing up in new york and connecticut i imagined california as looking like this. palm trees and architecture that looked nothing like the center hall colonials of connecticut or the tenements and skyscrapers of nyc.

and then when i first started coming to l.a i was amazed that this was a CITY but that people primarily lived in houses. and granted, many of the houses in l.a are kind of ugly and beige.

but then there are these perfect little jewel box mid century houses, reminding me of my post-adolescent l.a/california visions. and i guess one could argue that architecturally these mcm houses aren’t as arbitrary as norman castles or swiss chalet in the desert.

i mean, architecture like this opens itself to the outdoors but keeps the sun at bay when necessary. and it has the quasi-privacy screen, sort of saying ‘well, we like our privacy, but it’s ok if you peek a little bit’. the paradox of exhibitionist privacy.



i was walking around my neighborhood the other day and i saw this perfect little jewel box of a mid century house. which is a phrase i use often. for good reason, as there are a lot of jewel box mid century houses here.

i assume this is a renovation of an older mid century house, but what struck me was the amazing little pavilion box on the roof.

more houses should have amazing little glass pavilion boxes on their roofs. that’s my architectural prescription for today. well, generally i think that roofs are under appreciated and under-utilized.

why aren’t roofs covered in solar panels and chairs and plants and bowling alleys? these are valid questions.

you look at the cost of real estate and you see all of these flat empty roofs and you wonder, simply, ‘why don’t people do more with their roofs?’ like, by way of example, putting up an amazing little glass pavilion.

also this looks like a really nice house, generally, and kudos to the owners for not tearing it down and building a beige crap shack.



i’ve always loved abandoned buildings. even when i was really little i loved buildings when they were left alone, succumbing to entropy.  then, as i got older, i started breaking into abandoned buildings just to see what they were like. 

normally, to state the obvious, you find abandoned buildings in remote, desolate, and out of the way parts of the world (like, by way of example, the salton sea).  but in l.a you find abandoned buildings right in the middle of the city.  which might not speak to well to the financial health and well being of the city, but i love abandoned buildings so i don’t think too hard and long about what they represent other than strangeness and beauty. 

this particular abandoned gas station is remarkable as it’s also architecturally significant.  a perfect little jewel box of an art deco or moderne gas station.  i still feel strange writing ‘moderne’ but apparently it was a real thing.

in any case, here’s a beautiful abandoned gas station.  maybe somehow it will remain a beautiful abandoned gas station, further succumb to entropy, and not get turned into something terrible.