There is no one architectural style that defines Los Angeles. However, because a great number of world-renowned architects have created buildings in Southern California, LA is home to numerous architecturally important structures. These are just some of the top architectural landmarks near Los Angeles.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
With its soaring stainless-steel panels, the exterior of Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall has been likened to everything from a clipper ship to a blooming flower to origami. Some people say the experience of hearing a performance in its main hall wrapped by undulating walls and billowing ceilings made of Douglas fir, is like being inside a cello or violin. — Visit California
The next time you take in a performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, take the time to really appreciate the stunning Frank Gehry architecture. This relatively new structure has already earned its place as one of LA’s most recognizable landmarks.
The building is designed to expand the interactive, social aspect of education. We focused on creating with the broader community in mind—both in terms of public space and sustainable design. –Thom Mayne, architect of ELA
The eye-catching 10-story building on Sunset is a fully self-contained campus for Emerson students. The structure contains student housing, classrooms, practice rooms, a multi-purpose event space, and more!
A unique destination, the Getty Center incorporates the modern design of architect Richard Meier, with beautiful gardens, open spaces, and spectacular views of Los Angeles. Unique design elements, beautiful gardens, and open spaces. Richard Meier’s Getty Center harmoniously unites the parts of the J. Paul Getty Trust, and makes them accessible not only to Los Angeles but to the world.
Architect Richard Meier designed the iconic Getty Center to be a suitably beautiful home for the truly remarkable artwork displayed within. The sleek, modern architecture is contrasted against the beautiful gardens on the grounds of the property.
Our Beloved Clubhouse began its life as a beautiful, private home built in 1909 by Rollin and Katherine Lane. Rollin was a very successful lawyer, banker and real estate investor who helped build Hollywood through property development and participation on the historic Hollywood Board of Trade. He also invested heavily in the early development of the nearby San Fernando Valley and in California’s San Joaquin Valley, helping to make it one of the most agriculturally productive areas in the United States.
Originally a Chateau-style private residence, the building is now home to an exclusive nightclub and clubhouse for the world’s magicians. The building is an LA cultural touchstone and became a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1989.
The dome, reaching over seventy feet in height, is a highly visible Sunset Boulevard landmark on the outside and an incomparable cinematic environment on the inside. Its smooth curves and sweeping interior features highlight the organic side of modern design, evoking the arc of the night sky. — LA Conservancy
In the mid- 1960s, Cinerama had a bold new plan for its movie theaters. The company’s trademark dome theaters, inspired by geodesic domes, began to spring up all over America. In later decades, many of these theaters would be torn down, but the Cinerama Dome in LA was spared. It lives on as a time capsule of mid-60s innovation.
Hollyhock House is Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Los Angeles project. Built between 1919 and 1921, it represents his earliest efforts to develop a regionally appropriate style of architecture for Southern California. Wright himself referred to it as California Romanza, using a musical term meaning “freedom to make one’s own form”.
All of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses are worth visiting, but I am especially fond of his first LA structure, known as the Hollyhock House. No longer a private residence, architecture enthusiasts can visit the property which now serves as a functioning arts complex.
The thirteen-story tower is notable for its circular plan and ninety-foot aluminum spire with a beacon that blinks out H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D in Morse code. — LA Conservancy
The 60-year old circular office building is another LA landmark. Countless famous musicians have recorded in the Capitol Records Tower, from Frank Sinatra to the Beach Boys. It is an LA structure filled with history.
Steeped in the glamour of another era’s rich and famous, the Bullocks Wilshire building is a stunning, masterly crafted Art Deco treasure that occupies a special place in Los Angeles history.
Originally designed to be a luxury department store, this Art Deco LA building is now home to Southwestern’s law school and law library. Because it is not a public use building, you will need to schedule a tour to enjoy the building’s interior.
The Stahl House story starts in May 1954 when the Stahls purchased a small lot above Sunset Blvd. Over the following two years C.H. “Buck” Stahl and Carlotta Stahl worked weekends constructing the broken concrete wall that surrounds the buildable portion of the lot. During these working weekends, the design and vision for the Stahl House began to take shape. In the Summer of 1956, Buck Stahl constructed a three dimensional model of their dream home. It is with this model they interviewed and hired Architect Pierre Koenig in November 1957. On April 8th, 1959 the home was inducted into the Case Study House program by Arts & Architecture magazine, and assigned the number 22. Construction of the house began in May 1959 and was completed a year later in May of 1960.
The Case Study House #22, otherwise known as the Stahl House, marks an important benchmark in California architecture. The modernist home designed by Pierre Koenig is an iconic representation of 20th century LA architecture. The home has been used as a set in numerous films, TV shows, and music videos.
Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles, a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of southern California’s most popular attractions. The Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin. The Observatory is the best vantage point for observing the world-famous Hollywood Sign.
The iconic observatory sits on land donated by California industrialist Griffith J. Griffith. Griffith Park is meant to be a free urban park available to the public, and Griffith hoped the observatory would be as well. The Greek and Beaux-Arts building was constructed by the WPA and opened to the public in 1935. Entrance to the observatory is still free to this day.
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