DispL.A. Case #30: A Guide To Architecture In Southern California (1965)


The history of Los Angeles as told through 232 objects.

 Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781. Between now and the 232nd anniversary, we are gathering the stories behind iconic objects that help explain our city. Los Angeles is older than Chicago, Atlanta or Washington, D.C. In fact, when L.A.’s founders were gathering at El Pueblo, New York City was still occupied by the British army. We have a long story to tell, let’s take a look back and see where the city came from. Feel free to add to this exhibition. Email your ideas to [email protected]


Almost fifty years ago architectural historians David Gebhard and Robert Winter wrote their first edition of A Guide To Architecture In Southern California. The tiny paperback was published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was the first serious attempt to not only admit there was serious architecture here, but to also attempt a survey of it. That first book was filled with hand-drawn treasure maps to the designs of Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright and Greene and Greene, and inspired generations of architecture buffs to expand on their work, creating libraries of scholarly research on these otherwise forgotten titans. Their book grew larger and larger with each new edition, including even more photographs and directions to more off the beaten path oddities in the hefty 543-page version available today. The “bible” of L.A. architecture is on the bookshelf (and maybe even in the glovebox) of anybody with an interest in the built environment of Southern California and is indispensable to anyone trying to understand this place.


DispL.A. Case #29: Redlining Maps

DispL.A. Case #28: Drive-In Movie Speakers

DispL.A. Case #27: L.A.’s First Neon Sign

DispL.A. Case #26: Larry Flynt’s Golden Wheelchair

DispL.A. Case #25: Black and Grey Tattoos