The West Hollywood Library opened this past weekend to a lot of fanfare. There was a grand opening day of festivities and a book fair and lots and lots of signage for these events around the city. We stopped by the library yesterday to take a poke around to see what we thought of it. The library is a structural beauty, but it is a little small.
Living in Los Angeles, many of us are probably living the California modern lifestyle, whether we know it or not. Blurred lines between indoor and outdoor living, an appreciation for bright, saturated colors and openness to cultural influences around the world. These are all hallmarks of design that grew as a consequence of California’s history and, dare I say it, climate.
Matt Weiner, the brain behind Mad Men, spoke with New York Times Magazine and gave them a peek inside his gorgeous Spanish Colonial house. His house is as spectacular as you would expect it, but not as spectacular as our self-control which had to work extra hard not to describe the piece with the word “mad” (this Newsbite was almost entitled “Take A Look At Matt Weiner’s ‘Mad’ House!”).
Los Angeles may have a very recent history and may not have a lot of ways for us to get in touch with the past. We don’t have very many historical relics or monuments that tie us back to the city’s building blocks nor do we have an Ellis Island type of mass entry to the city. Instead, we have people who tricked in to build buildings and institutions whose faces tell the story through the style they are and neighborhood they were in. Some are still so new that you can speak with neighbors or even residents who have been tied to the location since it was built. If you wander the hills of Beachwood Canyon or Franklin Canyon, this is all too apparent as tiny storybook houses recall the neighborhood’s trend that birthed them in the 1920s. But, what about the office buildings and apartment buildings that have been forgotten? They’re too expensive to maintain but too precious to demolish: what happens to them?
The Los Angeles Times has a glowing review of the new West Hollywood Library. The library opens this Saturday, October 1, and looks really, really great. We’ll be sharing our thoughts on it soon but, for now, get a preview of one of the city’s coolest new architectural spots.