What if whole neighborhoods had mass dampeners like buildings do, so they swayed in an earthquake? What if there were a giant art installation at the intersection of the 110 and 10 Freeways that aligned with the sun and the stars throughout the year? What if there were an enormous monument to the lost neighborhood of Chavez Ravine on its old footprint in Echo Park? These and other fantastic questions are answered in LATBD at USC Libraries, which closes this weekend. The exhibition was put together by BLDGBLOG proprietor Geoff Manaugh, working as a Discovery Fellow tasked with digging up cool stuff in the USC Libraries and then doing cool stuff with it.
Fans of mid-century developer Joseph Eichler, take note: a new cluster of eight houses, all built using the Desert Eichler #2 blueprint, are going on sale in Palm Springs. Built by Troy Kudlac, a Palm Springs broker and developer who buys, remodels, and resells mid-century houses under the Kud Properties umbrella, these new houses were adapted from an original blueprint, the second generation of "new" Eichlers to hit the market (buyers even receive a certificate of authenticity upon close). The first round of Eichler reboots were located in the Andreas Hills neighborhood of South Canyon. These new four-bed, two-bath A-frame models, based on designs by architect Claude Oakland, sit on what was once the Dr. Scholl's estate, and offer some of the same attractive amenities, including a pool, raised spa, and signature glass-framed atrium. Listing for $1.29 million, this particular model hit the market yesterday.
When the St. Louis Rams' triumphant return to Los Angeles was announced earlier this month, word also came down that the NFL had given the San Diego Chargers the option to leave SD and join the Rams in their fancy new stadium in Inglewood. The two teams have been meeting, presumably to discuss the matter, but have been super hush-hush about it, putting out a two-sentence statement (why bother?) basically saying they're not talking about their talks. Mum was the word until today, when it was reported in the LA Daily News that the Chargers had an agreement "in principle" to come to LA in the next year, BUT were hunkering down in San Diego for the 2016 season.
Forgive us for taking it to the loo two weeks in a row on Weekly Decor Rant but one issue in the controversial realm of bathroom design that drew particularly strong feelings from Curbed readers and editors alike was the water closet. Yep, that means a separate room with a toilet built into a larger bathroom containing the rest of the good stuff—a "toilet room," if you will.
Sure, cramped urban dwellers with tiny apartments can't even fathom entertaining the scheme, which is more common in older British houses than homes stateside. But that hasn't stopped many from coveting such a setup, especially those living with partners.
Metro's Crenshaw/LAX Line has been underway since 2014, and while we've seen brief glimpses of construction work on the some of the light rail line's eight future stations, we are now getting a look at shiny new renderings for three of the stops along the route: the Aviation/Century stop, the Leimert Park station, and the Downtown Inglewood one (which wouldn't be too far from the coming NFL stadium), all via The Source. The Leimert Park station is one of the three underground stations on the line (Expo/Martin Luther King, Jr. and Expo/Crenshaw are the other two), so the renderings offer a look at how the line will look both above and below ground.
The curator of the Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright's first house in Los Angeles, is worried that a six-story mixed-use development slated to rise near the landmark might screw up its chances at being added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage List; the Hollyhock was nominated for the honor last year, along with nine other FLW houses. The Los Feliz Ledger reports that the Hollyhock's curator, Jeffrey Herr, is concerned that the planned building, at 83 feet tall, would mess with the view from the site, which in turn would detract from what makes the house worthy of UNESCO landmarking.
New numbers out from the US Census Bureau show that the rental vacancy rate in the Los Angeles metro area (which includes Long Beach and Anaheim) dropped down to just 2.7 percent in the last three months of 2015. That's down from 3.8 percent at the beginning of 2015, says KPCC, and well below the national average of 7 percent. Los Angeles—where a majority of residents are renters and housing supplies are low—has long had a low vacancy rate, but these super-low numbers are part of a downward trend; even back in 2010, LA's vacancy rate was around 6 percent. At the end of 2015, the only "major" metro areas with lower vacancy rates than LA were San Jose, CA; Portland, OR; and Allentown, PA.
The dark wood exterior of this lowkey mansion way out on Point Dume in Malibu is balanced by the large and plentiful windows throughout the house. The six-bedroom, four-bathroom house also employs light wood on the walls and ceilings, resulting in a modern cabin vibe. All the "main rooms" have ocean views (the house comes with a beach key and use of Little Dume Beach, about a half-mile away), and the spacious master bedroom, not to be outdone, features a pretty wild skylight. The property also includes an attached guesthouse with a full kitchen, a steam room, and a combination yoga studio/gym. It's listed for$5.75 million.
Likely because of Southern California's persistent, years-long drought, coyotes have been showing up closer to civilization more and more. In Irvine, city officials are using paintballs to "haze" bold coyotes, and in Los Angeles, though they've mostly avoided human encounters, there is definitely an increased coyote presence. The number of calls to Los Angeles Animal Services about "coyote concerns" back up the anecdotal evidence, and to show the coyote hotbeds, KCET's mappedthem all.
Austin, one of the "18-hour cities" that the 2016 Emerging Trends survey suggests is a Best Bet for 2016. Creative Commons image by David Wilson.
A crashing Chinese economy, sinking commodity prices, and other factors have made the 2016 economic outlook seem somewhat dismal (just ask the candidates running for president). But one industryseems to be bucking those negative trends, and still growing after years of positive performance. According to the 2016 Emerging Trends in Real Estate, which was just released by the Urban Land Institute, the outlook for the next 12 months is rosy, with one analyst going so far as to call it "doggone good." What trends and forces are at play in this uplifting analysis? Here's a breakdown of the 10 factors that the authors of the report, Urban Land Institute and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and the hundreds of industry analysts they interviewed and surveyed, believe will shape the landscape for the year to come.
Back in October, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a draft version of their plan to refurbish their almost 400-acre West LA campus. Now, their updated plan to create about 1,900 housing units (both permanent and temporary) on the land has been revealed, says the LA Times. Some of the older buildings on the campus now would be adaptively reused as housing, meaning that with the right approvals, permanent housing could be open by next year. In addition to developing housing for veterans, the new campus would provide a variety of specialized support services to help all vets (not just the homeless ones) with everything from legal matters to mental health.
Los Angeles ends at County Line Beach. Cars perpetually round the blind corners of this strip of Pacific Coast Highway—Porsche Carreras, rented Camrys, beat up Volkswagens with longboards strapped to the roof—any of which could brake abruptly to snag a spot on the shoulder so that their driver can jump out and into the waves. On one side, County Line is rocks and rotting staircases you have to negotiate to get to the water. On the other, brush and hillsides that are prone to erosion and fire. There is also one restaurant here, at the overgrown border of Los Angeles and the rest of the world: Neptune's Net. It's a crumbling and colorful building that is mostly patio: a daytime watering hole for bikers, local surfers, and other divorcees who are married to the sea.
In 1994, artist Cheri Pann bought a small, kind of boring house in Venice, with the idea of adding a big, studio to the side. While that was getting off the ground, Pann and her artist boyfriend, Gonzalo Duran (who she'd hired to build the studio), started "fiddling around with the ugly house," they tell Houzz. Remaking the residence bloomed into a full-on, full-time project that's been evolving and growing for more than 20 years, into what is now known as the Mosaic Tile House. Pann and Duran divide the work, with Cheri making all the tiles and Gonzalo artfully attaching them (along with silverware, tools, and anything not nailed down) to every reachable surface inside and outside.