adg lighting - architectural detail group


new york architecture

New York Is An Excellent Example of Diversity at Its Best

In New York City, every building has its own unique style and character, along with its special purpose for being there. Each building stands proudly along its diverse neighbors without an ounce of competition or animosity. We’ll start our discussion of New York’s great architecture with the UN Building, also known as the United Nations Headquarters, located on the East River between 42nd Street and 48th Street.

The United Nations opened its doors in 1952 and is a symbol of hope for post-war peace. Ever so fitting, it represents the very first example of International Style architecture. It is made up of three individual buildings, with a 39-story tower that houses the offices of the UN Secretariat. This building’s complexity and brilliant design is by Brazillian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The UN headquarters will always be a prominent landmark in the New York City skyline.

The Dakota is one of the most prominent and luxurious co-ops in all of New York City, and if the stunning cathedral-like structure doesn’t impress you, the stories behind the Dakota will. The Dakota was built on the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West in 1884. This monumental building gave us the setting for the classic Roman Polanski movie Rosemary’s Baby. Although the Dakota is not a place of worship, after John Lennon died in front of the building some felt a spiritual connection to the property.

Another great example of New York’s diverse architecture is reflected with the 100 Eleventh Avenue building. A residential building resembling a tower, it stands tall at the intersection of 19th Street and the West Side Highway. French architect Jean Nouvel calls his 23-story building a “vision machine.” The way the windows are placed gives the illusion of a Gustav Klimt mosaic. 

Regardless of the taste of the individual, one can’t help but admire the creativity of these architectural geniuses. Diversity works beautifully when it’s a fair playing field, and that’s why we all love New York.


Palm Springs Mid Century Modern Architecture

Palm Springs Architecture Was A Classic From the Beginning

Palm Springs has the most extensive collection of modernist architecture in our free world. During its heyday, which was during the 1950s and 60s, the very elite and wealthy, which included celebrities, would have villas built in this up-and-coming paradise. So Palm Springs became a haven for the likes of masters such as John Lautner, Richard Neutra and Albert Frey, who have built their best architectural works in this area. 

‘The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

— Pablo Picasso

Features such as overhanging roof planes and shaded verandas are central to this style of architecture, as they evoke a time of an era gone by.

The Kaufmann House by Richard Neutra, circa 1946, is considered the perfect example of desert modernism. The Kaufmann House was designed for Edgar J. Kaufmann by Neutra. The interior includes five bedrooms and five bathrooms, and is in the shape of a cross with living quarters in the center. The four exterior axes create a series of outdoor areas around the property, which includes a large pool.

Of course, Palm Springs wouldn’t be Palm Springs without the mention of old blue eyes, Frank Sinatra. He commissioned E. Stewart Williams to design and build Twin Palms in 1947, which was Williams’ first project. This fabulous villa measures 4,500 square feet, has four bedrooms and seven bathrooms. The inside of the property is long and has flat, slightly sloped roofs.

Another example of modernist architecture in Palm Springs includes the Rey House II by Albert Frey. Completed in 1964, it has a simple steel structure on a concrete podium, and is topped with corrugated aluminium. It also comes complete with a sliding glass door for outside entry, and shade is provided by the overhanging roof.

These are just a few modernist villas worth mentioning, but there are more to see. They represent now only a style of an era gone by evidence that once upon a time, houses were built on a poetic notion.


Los Angeles Architecture Architect Adg

Los Angeles Is Synonymous with Modern Architecture

With examples such as the Schindler House built in 1922 in West Hollywood, the Fitzpatrick- Leland House built in 1936 on Laurel Canyon, and the Mackey Apartments built in 1939 on South Cochran Ave, Los Angeles has been the mecca of modern architecture for almost 100 years.

The modern movement, or modern architecture defined in simple terms, is based on new groundbreaking, and many times avant-garde technologies of construction. The materials used are also part of the allure, for along with its clean lines and minimalist concept is the use of such materials as glass, steel, and reinforced concrete. The mantra of modern architecture is form follows function, which accounts for such innovative shaped buildings and creative living spaces.

Los Angeles is still going strong in the new crop of architects that are making their way into neighborhoods and city streets by way of their uniquely constructed building and living concepts.

Are you curious about how to see all the new modern masterpieces in Los Angeles architecture all at once? A book published by Prestel available on Amazon titled “New Architecture Los Angeles” does a fantastic job of chronicling the new modern architecture starting from the year 2000.

Akin to designing and building a piece of architectural genius, this book is also a collaboration of text written by Brooke Hodge, whose resume includes Director of Exhibitions and Publications at the Hammer Museum; Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, and most recently was named Palm Springs Art Museum’s first Architecture & Design Director.

The pictures in this book are breathtaking and taken by architectural photographer Mike Kelley.  

Some examples of the new modern architecture include: the Formosa 1140, built in 2008 on North Formosa in West Hollywood and designed by Lorcan O’ Herlihy Architects (LOHA); the Wilshire Grand Center, built and designed by AC Martin in 2017 and located on (surprise) Wilshire Blvd. in Downtown LA; and the Vespertine, built in 2016 in Culver City by Eric Owen Moss Architects.

Los Angeles is just one of those cities which happens to have a psychic architectural past…just one of the many mysteries of living in LA.

Hot off the Press!

ADG Lighting Founder Featured in Architectural Digest

Our founder Gerald Olesker was interviewed for Architectural Digest for this feature on how the trade war is impacting design businesses

adg architecture lighting Read the Article




Armour-Stiner House Reemerges

The Armour-Stiner house set its mark as an architectural landmark. Year after year, the Lombardi family were visited by strangers wanting to see their house. It seems that an eight-sided Victorian house that looks like a Roman Temple isn’t an everyday occurrence, so the Lombardi family has recently decided to educate the public by opening its doors and conducting tours of this great piece of architecture from America’s octagonal phase.

There was a point in time, about 160 years ago when all the rage was octagonal homes. This interesting eight-sided style of real estate was short-lived, but did leave its mark in American architecture.

There are only about one thousand homes built during this wild and odd phase. The Armour-Stiner House is in a category all its own mostly because of its design. It was designed in the shape of a Roman temple. The original architect remains unknown, but between 1872-1876, Joseph Stiner, who was a tea importer, had a dome added and had the house enlarged.

In the 1970s, when architect Joseph Pell Lombardi bought the house it was in a terrible state of collapse. According to Joseph Lombardi’s son, Michael, who is the property manager of the Armour-Stiner House, the place was literally crumbling.

Much of the house had awful water damage, and the beautiful detail had been painted over. Painting over any detail on any original architecture is akin to throwing away the only picture you have of your mother.

It took the Lombardi family 40 years of research to restore small but significant details to its original beauty. One such detail mentioned were the birds on the salon ceiling, as well as the exquisite detail in the Egyptian revival room.

When restoring stunning architecture of long ago, it is important to understand the significance of the detail that was included in the original design.

The Lombardi family stated that restoration of the house is a work in progress and will probably never finish, as they keep finding new things to fix. As their goal is to restore the Armour-Stiner House to its heyday in the 1870s, they have even carefully scraped away paint that once had covered up great detail. The kitchen has the original cast iron stove.

With strangers wanting to stop by and view the odd-shaped house year after year, the family decided to conduct tours which are deemed to be educational as well as interesting for the art history enthusiast and spectator alike. The Armour-Stiner House is located in Irvington, New York.

From the ADG Factory Floor

 Oakland leaf crown gilded for a client…


by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


Sea Ranch Architecture Explored

The Sea Ranch is located on an extraordinary site along the Pacific Coast Highway, along a ten-mile stretch of the rugged cliffs near San Francisco. It reflects the earliest innovations in environmentally conscious designs.

It all began with the site acquisition by developer Al Boeke. The site was originally a working sheep ranch. Boeke and his partner Richard Neutra had a vision to do something different and make an impact with the development. The Sea Ranch project quickly grew with a roster of architects which included Lawrence Halprin, Joseph Esherick Obie Bowman and others. Halprin’s master plan would define the design aesthetic and disrupted the design standard of the time, which was cookie-cutter planned communities after World War II.

The driving influence of the Sea Ranch was based on the life experience of Halprin, who had spent childhood summers on a kibbutz near Haifa, Israel. His vision was that people would live “lightly” on the land, just as the indigenous people of the region had. Some felt that the Sea Ranch was a reflection of the laid-back utopian West Coast lifestyle. The truth be told, the project was purely about design and the relationship to the land. The project details were about certain tastes, light and color, while being sensitive to the local culture, climate and place. Through the design, the Sea Ranch design left open the meadows and set back the buildings from the bluffs, creating a communal landscape. The structures were clad in unfinished wood, which was allowed to fade to gray with skylights in the roofs to capture the views of the redwood forests. The design team made the buildings part of the landscape instead of buildings that just sat on open land.

The Sea Ranch will continue to influence architects, designers and visionaries for decades to come.   

From the ADG Jobsite

Weathered beauty…


by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting


Robert Winter Architecture

Robert Winter, The Godfather of LA Architecture Passes

“Robert Winter was in the last of a group who lived and breathed the built world of Los Angeles, the people who experienced the development of midcentury modern architecture before there was a term for it.”

Paddy Calistro, Publisher Angel City Press

Robert Winter, the most renowned Los Angeles architectural historian and the Arthur G. Coons Professor of the History of Ideas, Emeritus, at Occidental College, Los Angeles passed at the age of 94. His writings have shined a light on the region’s architectural treasures and helped define the city’s built environment. Lovingly known throughout the architectural industry as “Bungalow Bob,” he was particularly known for his contributions to the history of the California branch of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Winter was present at the creation of the Craftsman Revival in the early 1970s — a revival that, as he has famously noted, has gone on far longer than the relatively short-lived Craftsman period itself.

He was born in Indianapolis in 1924 and attended Dartmouth University and Johns Hopkins before accepting positions at UCLA and Occidental College, where he taught for more than three decades. Robert Winter was eagerly known for his architectural writing, authoring or co-authoring numerous publications over the years. His most recognized work was his collaboration with David Gebhard, titled An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles, which became a ‘must-own’ reference guide for architects and architectural enthusiasts since the first editions in 1965.

Robert Winter lived in The Batchelder House, which is a historic home built in 1910 and located in Pasadena. It is known as an important center of Pasadena cultural life and was designed and built by Ernest A. Batchelder, a prominent leader of the Arts and Crafts Movement.  The house is a large bungalow style home, with the woodsy design elements of a Swiss chalet.

From the ADG Jobsite

Install in progress at an auto museum in Ohio…

IMG 9819

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG