Sunday, December 28, 2008

The L.A. Times Looks at Architecture

Define MODERN: characteristic of present and recent time; contemporary; not antiquated or obsolete.

The fact that people have stolen the English language, perverted it, and then packed it in a box wrapped up in a glistening sheet of stupid, with a big, fluffy moron bow, riles me. But, such is the nature of journalists, one of the three DUMBEST professions. It looks like architecture is slowly creeping into the list, too. The list may have to be expanded to include the FOUR dumbest professions.

The Los Angeles Times decided to conduct a panel to select the Best Houses of All Time in LA. The results were as to be expected since there has not been one single bit of smartie-covered goodness from LA in many decades.

Since LA is chock full to the stupid brim with "Progressives," we should be able to find some very good architecture, right? Because "Progressive" means forward-thinking, these houses should all be such futuristic masterpieces that our little backwards-thinking brains shall not be able to comprehend their design because they are so ahead of their time.

WRONG. Here's the slideshow.

Of the ten, the most recently constructed were two built in 1969. Also, most of the houses are no longer occupied and BOTH Frank Lloyd Wright houses were NEVER lived in. One house, the Dodge House by Irving Gill, sucked so bad as a residence that it was torn down in 1970 to make way for multi-family housing.

By the way, of all of the "houses" that made the list (picked by architects), the Gamble House by Greene and Greene is just about the only one that even resembles a house. The rest are just big blobs of kit-parts slapped together in some crazy fashion that makes them some kind of abnormality.

My favorite part of the whole post is this quote regarding Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House (slide 21):
Barnsdall did not live here long, deciding when it was finished that Hollyhock was more a monument than a home, but she might have approved its use today as a public arts center.

To the writers of the LA Times, "not long" must mean less than one night. Even in Southern California where it supposedly never rains, Aline Barnsdall never spent one full night in the house because the roof leaked so badly that she couldn't stand the water. This was discovered during construction and since Wright was in Japan working on the Imperial Hotel (demolished) at the time, he couldn't be worried to correct his record-shattering incompetence.

That said, if you are planning on building a residence and want the name of a good architect to help you in that endeavor, keep this list handy. Having this list allows you to make certain that you do not hire anyone who is associated with any of the houses on this Top Ten list. Oh, do not hire the people chosen for the panel either. Luckily the folks that built the houses on the list have all been dead for many, many years, only Ray Kappe still breathes and was a panelist, too!

Just so you know that I don't despise every single architect in the world and all of their work, this house should have been on the list. This is the view from inside the Venice House by Antoine Predock. MORE PHOTOS AND DESCRIPTION HERE. This was one of two buildings that I specifically wanted to see when I was in LA for my honeymoon. I took a bunch of photos of the house, yet left the roll of film in my rental car when I returned it. Because I am a moron, too.

I did a case study on the assembly for this window in college. I picked up the phone, called Predock's office and actually had a conversation with him regarding the house, which is now owned by Eero Saarinen's daughter. Not only did he discuss the reason that he made the window this way, but he also put me in touch with the architect in his office that actually did the drawings, Fed-Exed me the details of the window (at his expense!) plus took the time to call me back to make certain that I received the package.

Yes, there are people in my chosen field that actually are competent, they are just rare.

Please take the time to comment.

One more little list-y thing. If you recall, I reviewed the newest Batman fiasco and stated that I couldn't even remember the character played by Heath Ledger? Well, obviously someone can remember his part, he is NUMBER THREE on the all-time greatest movie characters list. This list was obviously created by the very same idiots that made the Top Ten LA Homes list. Also, most people that have a memory that is capable of going back further than breakfast, remember that Jack Nicholson played the Joker in Batman, the original of this current serial trainwreck. I remember that character. Heath Ledger's? Not so much.


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I can only find one statement in your most recent post to agree with.

You're right, you are a moron.

Paul Mitchell said...

Wow, Anon, you pick one thing to agree with me on, and you are wrong on that one, too. Your journalism professors must be so proud.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I can only find one statement in your most recent post to agree with.

You're right, you are a moron.