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los angeles, historic architecture, adg

Los Angeles Celebrates the Return of the Pup

Who says you can’t teach an ‘old dog’ new tricks! Thanks to the 1933 Group, the iconic Los Angeles Tail O’ the Pup will be coming back into service very soon. The Pup was one of  the finest examples of mimetic style architecture that dotted the landscape of Los Angeles. It is one of the last surviving buildings in this style within the SoCal region.

The Tail O’ the Pup was designed by architect Milton Black in 1946 and opened to a typical Hollywood welcome of search-lit, star-studded fanfare that only Los Angeles can offer. During the 1980’s, it was scheduled for demolition, despite being a highly popular eatery and a regular feature location for TV, film and commercial programs. This effort met with a loud outcry from the Los Angeles community. As a result, the Pup was moved from its original location at La Cienega and Beverly Boulevards, to the nearby location it last occupied on North San Vicente boulevard.

In December 2005, the Pup was evicted and moved to a storage warehouse in Torrance. It was subsequently declared a cultural landmark by the city of Los Angeles. While the owners tried to find the right fit for a new ownership partner for the Pup, the structure was donated to the the Valley Relics Museum, where it waited on restoration. Recently, the Blake Family (owners) found the right partner for the Pup in the 1933 Group.

Currently, the 1933 Group is seeking the right street-facing location in either West Hollywood or Hollywood and is committed to bring back the menu people crave. They know they have one of the coolest, most iconic bits of Los Angeles culture and they want to totally respect that history.

From the ADG Jobsite    

New chandelier for a modern home, in collaboration with Details a Design Firm.

adg, custom lighting, architecture

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

yugoslavia, architecture, custom lighting

Yugoslavia and the Lost Art of Socialist Architecture

When the iron curtain descended on Eastern Europe after World War II, the citizens of Yugoslavia found themselves suffering from the aftermath of global combat and yearning for the promised comfort of socialism. Stalinism had taken hold and made promises of work, food and housing as a right of every citizen. What these new socialists didn’t understand was there was a huge gap between what their leaders felt as ‘quality’ services and what the people thought was quality. Those promises didn’t keep their citizens warm in Eastern Europe and there was a dire need for apartment buildings to properly shelter their comrades. Im most of the eastern bloc, architects and planners were told by the state how to design and what they should design. There was no room for creativity. It was all up to the vision of the state. This was not the case in Yugoslavia. 

Yugoslavia was led by Marshal Tito, who had a vision that greatly differed from other iron curtain leaders. Even though he was a brutal dictator and led with an iron fist,  he had a unique world vision and took advantage of realistic political opportunities. Yugoslavia was located between east and west, and had a multiethnic population with a multiplicity of architectural traditions.  This allowed Tito to allow local control and architectural ideas start flowing from the bottom, not the top. Architectural opportunities emerged out of Tito’s political opportunism.

Socialists Explore Architecture in Yugoslavia

Architects were able to take advantage of Tito’s socioeconomic policies and build structures that were significantly more creative, innovative and truly support the needs of the people of Yugoslavia. This greatly separated the creative design of Yugoslavia under socialism and the cookie-cutter designs of the remainder of the iron curtain.   

Check out the MoMA exhibit titled Toward a Concrete Utopia:
Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980
.


Hot off the Press

Check out our latest feature in the LA Times!

Antwerp, Belgium, Historical Architecture

The Historic Architecture of the Antwerp Central Railway Station

Widely considered the finest and most beautiful railway station in the world, the Antwerp Central Railway station has reigned supreme since 1905. The original construction occurred between 1895 and 1905 as a replacement for the original terminal building. Louis Delacenserie designed the stone class terminal with a vast regal dome over the main waiting area.

Louis Delacenserie was a Belgian architect from Bruges. His father was a merchant and building contractor from Tournai. At the pinnacle of his career, Delacenserie made use of a rather eclectic Neo-Renaissance style for the station, which reflected the economic and artistic theme of the city in the 16th century. Some aspects of the station, like the use of colors and materials, were clearly influenced by art nouveau architecture.

During World War II, the station suffered damage to the train hall by German V2 flying bombs without destroying the structural viability of the building. The impact of the bombing can still be seen today in a lasting wave-distortion in the roofing of  the main hall.  By the mid-twentieth century, the building had deteriorated far enough where there was serious consideration for demolition. Ultimately, the decision was made to save her and a major restoration was undertaken.  This was completed in 1986. In 1998, a large-scale reconstruction project began to adapt the grand station from a terminus to a through station and to accommodate high-speed rail. This project was completed in 2007 and the grand station was awarded a Grand Prix at the European Union Prize for Culture Heritage/Europa Nostra Award in 2011.

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Antwerp Central Railway station is a ‘must-see’ if you are traveling anywhere in Europe. The style and design of this elegant building is a classic and is so rarely seen anywhere in the world. It reflects the vision and elegance of the times in Western Europe. With proper care and attention to the great value of the structure, it is hoped that caretakers can properly preserve her for future generations to enjoy the splendors.

From the ADG Jobsite

New home waiting for custom lighting from ADG…

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

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Flathead Co Whitefish Main Street FLW 8

The Spiteful Destruction of a Frank Lloyd Wright Building

Over two months ago, a real estate developer in Whitefish, Montana, demolished the Lockridge Medical Center. This building was the only structure in the state of Montana designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This demolition also sets a dubious record as being the only Frank Lloyd Wright building destroyed in over 40 years.

The Lockridge Medical Center was designed by Wright in 1958 for three doctors, T. L. Lockridge, John T. Whalen and Bruce C. McIntyre. The construction on the Lockridge Medical Center started in 1961 and was completed in 1963, long after Wright’s death in 1959. It was occupied by the doctors for only a single year. The 5,000 square foot building was a low, single-story horizontally oriented structure. It was built of brick and cast concrete, which featured Frank Lloyd Wright’s typical horizontally-raked mortar joints, with interior and exterior brick.

The developer who purchased the site in 2016, stated that his vision was to demolish the building and construct a 3-story commercial retail space. At the time of the purchase, they were unaware of the historical significance of the building. Once the information became available to the developer, they were unimpressed with the historical value and pressed on with their plans. The goal of the new commercial space was to capitalize on visitor traffic from the nearby Glacier National Park. Activists and historical preservationists quickly engaged with the developer to halt the development plans, and proceeded to raise $1.7 million to purchase the property. At the end of the day, as pressure built from local and national interests, the developer demolished the property in one overnight event.

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The outcry was swift and loud, causing a significant backlash in the architectural community. In the spirit of the recent Oscar-nominated movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” a billboard quickly appeared in the town. The billboard attacked the destruction of the historical building and the reprehensible act of the developer. The identity of the person(s) posting the billboard remains unknown. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Montana Preservation Alliance, two groups that actively fought to save the structure, have disavowed any knowledge of the posting.

We admire the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright. We were honored to have worked on the Mat House in Reseda, California, designed by Frank’s son Lloyd Wright and known for its distinctive angular, thatch-like roof. The house was granted historic landmark status in 1996.

From the Showroom Floor

A view from Frog Pad, our newest showroom location in Austin, Texas!

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting