adg lighting - architectural detail group

Monthly Archives: June 2018

Jack Laxer

The Passing of Architectural Photographer Jack Laxer

Jack Laxer spent the past six decades making his name as the most prolific and iconic architecture photographer of the 20th century.  He made his name focusing on the photography of Googie architecture, specifically in Los Angeles. His artistic talent and creative eye captured the essence and feel of the mid-century modern movement in and around Los Angeles. 

Googie architecture is a form of modern architecture and originated in Southern California in the late 1940s. It was a popular form of architecture with gas stations, coffee houses and motels. It later became known as mid-century modern architecture, which represented the populace style. Googie architecture features include upswept roofs, geometric shapes and very bold use of glass, steel and neon. Jack Laxer captured the style and form of the movement throughout the Los Angeles region.

His photographs of California modern architecture have been published in magazines and books, displayed in museums, and included in educational programs since the 1950s. He photographed the homes of Lucille Ball and Harold Lloyd with the Stereo Realist camera.      

He captured the architecture of Southern California in vivid color, sometimes even in three dimensions. He was 3D before 3D was cool. His subject matter perfectly embodies the spirit of modernism, both as an artistic movement as well as an everyday reality in postwar Los Angeles. 

Jack Laxer passed away in Culver City at the age of 91. He not only photographed Googie architecture, but found artistic inspiration in backyard parties, chemical molecules and other bits of life that brought us all joy. In 2009, he was awarded the Modern Master award by the Los Angeles Conservancy and had the honor to be a featured speaker at the Googie World Expo.      

His amazing views offer a full-color, 3D glimpse into a world that no longer exists, even as we drive by it every day.

From the Factory Floor

Finishing the powdercoat for these Belair beauties!
IMG 8450
by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

southern California, architecture

The Crazy Architecture of Southern California

Southern California is home to the movie capital of the world. Creativity and imagination is what inspires our culture and our economy. The environment of make-believe allows entrepreneurial spirits to create environments and products that allow us to get lost in our imaginations. These inspirations could not be lost on the architectural world in our region. A British traveler noted after a visit to Southern California in the 1930’s that either “we had lost our minds or he had stumbled into a fantasy universe.” So was the influence of mimetic architecture in Southern California.

The practice of mimetic architecture, also known as novelty or programmatic architecture, is a style of building design popularized in the United States in the first half of the 20th century. It is characterized by unusual building designs that mimic the purpose or function of the building, or the product it is associated with. Mimetic architecture was particularly popular between the 1920s and 1950s, as cars became widespread and freeways were built across America. Some roadside architecture started to be seen as a means for advertising to passing cars. For example, a roadside restaurant might be designed in the shape of a giant hot dog, a coffee shop in the shape of a coffee pot, or a fruit stand in the shape of a piece of fruit.

“If, when you went shopping, you found you could buy cakes in a windmill, ices in a gigantic cream-can, flowers in a huge flowerpot, you might begin to wonder whether you had not stepped through a looking glass or taken a toss down a rabbit burrow and could expect Mad Hatter or White Queen to appear round the next corner.”

British tourist visiting LA, 1930’s

From the iconic Brown Derby, to the numerous wigwam hotels that dotted the region, to giant donuts, ice cream and hotdogs, Southern California have been replete with some of the finest examples of mimetic architecture. While none of these buildings were terribly important in the historical value of the region, others were iconic landmarks that will remain etched in our historical memories and evoke the culture and feel of the Southern California lifestyle.

From the ADG Jobsite

Screen Shot 2018 06 06 At 3.32.43 PM

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

SaveSave