Still Waiting

West
Monday, July 6, 2009
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Back on April 19 LA County Auditor-Controller Wendy Watanabe told the Los Angeles Times that she was investigating the January 16 firing of former LA County Planning Chief Bruce McClendon. McClendon  told the Times that he was probably fired for protecting his staff from the efforts of County Supervisors’ aides to influence zoning and development decisions in the county. Watanabe  told the Times that the results of that investigation would be released “in the coming weeks.” Well it’s now been almost three months and the results of that investigation are apparently still not available. So what’s the wait? A call to Watanabe’s office referred us to her web site, where we found no documents relating to the investigation. So until then, we’re just left to wonder what’s going on…

FOGA Cut by How Much?

West
Thursday, July 2, 2009
.

A model of Gehry's new offices in El Segundo

We knew that Gehry Partners had trimmed its staff recently due to the recession. But according to a story in Architectural Record, the cuts are much worse than we thought. Tony Illia writes that the company has reduced its staff from 250 a year ago to 112 now. That’s more than a 50 percent chop! Many of the cuts are due to the losses of projects like Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, and the delay of projects like Grand Avenue in Los Angeles. Still the firm is still set to move into roomier new digs in El Segundo (pictured above)  later this year. Should be.. spacious. Still the story says the firm is working on new projects like a Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi,  the Beekman tower in Lower Manhattan, and the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington.

Cap + Trade = Green Building?

National
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
.

The House’s passage of new Energy and Climate legislation (HR 2454: the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009) on Friday means more than just the possible institution of a new cap and trade system for the U.S. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the act includes several elements that should spur green building as well. These include: Read More

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More Regions, More Problems

National
Monday, June 29, 2009
.

Planetizen’s Nate Berg brings us an interesting report from America 2050‘s recent LA conference. The group is trying to develop a nationwide infrastructure strategy. In order to handle the U.S.’s mega problems, it’s divided the country into 11 “megaregions,” to “encourage regional thinking and cooperation on issues like transportation, energy, and water.” Read More

Saturday Night Live (At Dwell)

West
Monday, June 29, 2009
.

Food truck mania

We don’t always give props to other design pubs, but after a great weekend at Dwell On Design, how can we not? After the expo, the panels, and the awards, on Saturday night the Dwellistas hosted a wonderful evening at the Geffen Contemporary in Downtown LA that started with LA’s first ever mobile restaurant row (Apparently the Kogi taco truck has helped spawn a phenomenon), and then became a night at the movies. Read More

What Will Happen To Neverland?

West
Saturday, June 27, 2009
.

We mourned the King of Pop and watched YouTube videos of all our favorite songs….and then we wondered what was going to happen to Neverland, the Santa Barbara playground/estate that became an image of scandal. With the singer’s untimely death, speculation about a memorial park along the lines of Graceland has started. Read More

Korean Rainbow

Other
Thursday, June 25, 2009
.

Thanks to our friends at Curbed LA, we learn that LACMA has wrapped its Ahmanson Building in a rainbow of fabrics for its upcoming show, “Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from South Korea (June 28-Sept. 20). Read More

Convention Wars: Attack of the Clones

Other
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
.

Thanks to some strategic re-scheduling, it appears that this weekend has become LA Design Conference-Palooza. It all started when AIA Los Angeles decided months ago to merge its Mobius conference with the popular Dwell On Design. Both shows will be held at the La Convention Center this weekend (June 25-28). All was well with the world.. But then came more recent news that design entrepeneur Charles Trotter had rescheduled his March design show, CA Boom, for the same weekend, at the former Robinsons Department Store in Beverly Hills! Well then all hell broke loose… Read More

Winning Combination: Dumplings and Design

Other
Monday, June 22, 2009
.

Photo courtesy Masterson

What do we love more than Dim Sum? Not much… But how about design and biking and Dim Sum? This Saturday LA arts incubator De Lab (Design East of La Brea) put together this genius combination, with a bike tour that left from LA’s Highland Park neighborhood and wound up in Chinatown. Read More

Change At Wimbledon

Other
Monday, June 22, 2009
.

There’s a feeling of drastic change this year at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, home to the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Don’t worry, the players are still wearing all white and bowing and curtsying to the Queen. But when one looks upward from Centre Court they’ll see a new translucent, retractable roof, meant to keep away the rain that inevitably delays the matches every year. Read More

Ennis On the Block

Other
Friday, June 19, 2009
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Reuters today reports that Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Ennis House in Los Feliz has been put on the market for $15 million, potentially taking it out of the public realm. The textile block house, which looks a lot like a large Mayan Temple, was made famous for its role in Blade Runner and a slew of other movies and tv shows. According to Ennis House Foundation president James DeMeo, the foundation just didn’t have the ability to keep it going: “We’ve made a lot of progress, but at this point a private owner with the right vision and sufficient resources can better preserve the house than we can as a small nonprofit.” Read More

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View From The Top

Other
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
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Yesterday we took a construction tour of Gensler’s new 55-story  Marriott/ Ritz Carlton tower at LA Live, at the south end of downtown LA. A  great tour overall, with plenty of spectacular vistas and an opportunity to see the innards of what will be one of LA’s most iconic buildings (stay tuned for an “In Construction” feature on the project in our next issue). The highlight was checking out the scene from the helicopter pad on top. The lowlight was checking out the sign on the first floor noting “this job site has worked 0007 days without any accidents.” Read More

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