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route 66 adventure travel

Route 66: Part History, Mostly Romance

To hear someone mention Route 66, your mind automatically goes to a place that starts in Chicago, Illinois, then goes through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before it ends at the corner of Olympic and Lincoln boulevards in Santa Monica, California. 

Route 66 exemplifies Americana at its best, and an era that was somewhere in time. Route 66 covers a total of 2,448 miles in its entirety. Beginning in 1916, the legislation for a public highway started named the Federal Highway Act. Revisions began in 1921 and continued until 1925, when the government created a plan for a national highway to be constructed.

From 1933 to 1938, thousands of unemployed young males from surrounding states were put to work as laborers on road gangs to pave the final stretches of land that needed to be the extended highway. Route 66 helped us mobilize our manpower. 

As time went on, urban culture began to lay down its foundation that would contribute to the mystery and romance of this historical highway. Gas stations, cafes, and small general type stores popped up, providing an attentive audience for the popular highway.

By the end of the war, roadway travel along Route 66 was at its heyday. The roadside architecture represented the region that happened to be in that particular section of the highway. The material used to build the food stands, gas stations and motels included brick, wood, and stucco; many used canopies to cover the seating areas. This all added to the character of the different sections.

As time went on, Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments to extend its usefulness and appeal. Then in 1985, Route 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System. However, some states have adopted significant sections of the former highway into their state road networks. These sections are called Historic Route 66 and are alternate routes, but maintain much of that allure. 

Today you can still see the cocoons of what’s left of roadside motels, gas stations, and tourist-type attractions. If you truly believe, you might see a 1962 Corvette Convertible drive by and disappear into the romance of Route 66.

To hear someone mention Route 66, your mind automatically goes to a place that starts in Chicago, Illinois, then goes through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before it ends at the corner of Olympic and Lincoln boulevards in Santa Monica, California. 

Route 66 exemplifies Americana at its best, and an era that was somewhere in time. Route 66 covers a total of 2,448 miles in its entirety. Beginning in 1916, the legislation for a public highway started named the Federal Highway Act. Revisions began in 1921 and continued until 1925, when the government created a plan for a national highway to be constructed.

From 1933 to 1938, thousands of unemployed young males from surrounding states were put to work as laborers on road gangs to pave the final stretches of land that needed to be the extended highway. Route 66 helped us mobilize our manpower. 

As time went on, urban culture began to lay down its foundation that would contribute to the mystery and romance of this historical highway. Gas stations, cafes, and small general type stores popped up, providing an attentive audience for the popular highway.

By the end of the war, roadway travel along the romantic highway was at its heyday. The roadside architecture represented the region that happened to be in that particular section of the highway. The material used to build the food stands, gas stations and motels included brick, wood, and stucco; many used canopies to cover the seating areas. This all added to the character of the different sections.

As time went on, the iconic roadway underwent many improvements and realignments to extend its usefulness and appeal. Then in 1985, it was officially removed from the United States Highway System. However, some states have adopted significant sections of the former highway into their state road networks. These sections are called Historic Route 66 and are alternate routes, but maintain much of that allure. 

Today you can still see the cocoons of what’s left of roadside motels, gas stations, and tourist-type attractions. If you truly believe, you might see a 1962 Corvette Convertible drive by and disappear into the romance of Route 66.

 

hollyhock house architecture

Hollyhock House and the Genius of Frank Lloyd Wright

The Hollyhock House was just named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The mission of UNESCO is to build peace and harmony through the contribution of important information among nations of the world through scientific knowledge, communication and education to further multicultural respect and universal collaboration.

It is the epitome of creative genius — the Hollyhock House was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Originally commissioned by oil heiress Aline Barnsdall in 1919, it was named after her favorite flower, the Hollyhock.

Nestled in the hills of East Hollywood, the Hollyhock was planned as a performing arts complex and and to also serve as a home for the heiress and her children.

Part of the creative genius of Frank Lloyd Wright was his spontaneity, and he encouraged that in others. He even coined the phrase, “Freedom to make one’s own form.” Although the Hollyhock House was built to its entirety in 1921, it was never quite finished.

The house took years of restoration, which included extensive research on the detailed history and exact craftsmanship so that it would be brought back to its original glory in which it was intended. Now the Hollyhock House stands with massive structural improvements to its foundation, but the design and other important details have been kept to its original integrity.

The Hollyhock House was Frank Lloyd Wright’s contribution to California Modernism. Wright had a reputation for never having the most practical choice. In staying with the integrity of the original design, a more convenient, less fragile approach could not be taken, because that would change the entire architectural feeling of that space, which would have invalidated the purpose of their intent, which was to stay 100% true to that period and design.

So through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius lives on and continues to inspire. Check out Gerald’s sketch of the Hollyhock House below from his Mused book, and read more about ADG Lighting’s connection to Frank Lloyd Wright!

Hollyhock ADG Lighting

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
HERE

 

 

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Finds New Home in Historical Los Angeles Architecture

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is slated to open in the Fall of 2019 and is bringing new life to the mid-city region of Los Angeles. It will inspire and attract fans of the cinematic arts from around the world. But this iconic venue will not just attract movie fans to Los Angeles; it will attract the interest of architects and designers to visit one of the most recognizable architectural landmarks in the City of Angels. The museum will be in the old May Company building in the Miracle Mile in the Fairfax District.

Completed in 1939, the May Company building was the finest example of streamlined modern architecture in the region and was heralded as the western gateway to the Miracle Mile. The enormous gold-tiled cylinder at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard was a beacon for all. The May Company department store was seen as the height of luxury and convenience in Los Angeles.  

The building’s architect was Albert Martin Sr., who also designed the Million Dollar Theater and the Los Angeles City Hall. Starting in 1908, Martin started his own firm and designed some 1,500 buildings in Southern California. The May Company building was his final notable project in the region. In 1959, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce recognized Martin for his contributions to the development of Los Angeles, by awarding him its annual “Man of Achievement” award.

Without doubt, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be located on hallowed ground in Los Angeles. Its home will have been painstakingly restored to its original glamorous detail. For both the movie buff and the architectural aficionado, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will not only be a home, but a rebirth of one of the finest examples of streamlined modern architecture in the city. It will be a partnership that will revive the spirit of a grand time gone by.        

From the ADG Job Site

One of our modern lanterns set in the landscape…

adg custom lighting

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG

Francois Perrin Architecture

Francois Perrin Defined Architectural Boundaries

Architect Francois Perrin, known as the center of gravity of Los Angeles architecture and united the design community, passed away after a long battle with cancer at age 50. As the founder of Air Architecture, the Paris-born architect worked in Southern California while remaining professionally active in France. Francois Perrin will forever be known for his creative and inventive approach to materials, and for his ability to rethink everyday life through his work.

Born in Paris, Francois Perrin would eventually settle in Los Angeles, where his design practice, Air Architecture, was well known for creating materially inventive spaces filled with ethereal physical qualities that transcended everyday experiences. His architectural projects were widely published. His Venice Air House from 2006, an addition to a single-family home that used trapped air visible through clear polycarbonate siding as a form of insulation, was well known. His Hollywood Hills house from 2012 was designed as a series of terraces that simultaneously disappeared into and were hung off of a steeply-sloped site. In 2004, the Francois Perrin project The Weather Garden changed the courtyard of Materials & Applications in Los Angeles using netting, a wooden platform, and palm tree saplings.

In 2019 at the French Consulate in Beverly Hills, Consul General bestowed on François Perrin a knighthood, Insignia of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

From the ADG Factory Floor

Yes, we make furniture! This piece went to a client in San Francisco

adg-custom-furniture

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

 

Paul Williams Lax Architecture

Paul Williams and Los Angeles Architecture

When exploring the greater Los Angeles area, some of the most remarkable architecture was from the creative vision of architect Paul Williams. He was a major contributor to the architectural landscape of the city that lives on today.

Paul Williams was a master of many styles, from English Tudor to Spanish Colonial and the casual California ranch style. He dedicated his work to enhancing people’s lives by designing architecture with the local climate and light in mind. A-listers such as Denzel Washington and Ellen DeGeneres have lived in Williams’ homes. Hotel heir Barron Hilton currently lives in a distinct Bel Air home, which Williams and interior design partner Harriet Shellenberger originally designed for businessman Jacob “Jay” Paley. The Paley Residence became widely known for its magnificent pool, featuring sandy beach areas, beautiful imported mosaic tile work and an overall emphasis on outdoor living spaces reflective of a Southern California lifestyle. Even though he quickly became known as the architect to the stars, he was also involved in the conceptual design and redesign of many iconic L.A. landmarks such as the LAX Theme Building, the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building, the Shrine Auditorium, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the First African Methodist Episcopal Church.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he became the first black member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and over the course of his lifetime participated in nearly 3,000 projects. In December 2016, Williams was posthumously awarded the 2017 AIA Gold Medal. He was the first African-American architect to receive the prestigious honor.

The iconic work of Paul Williams cannot be understated, and proper respect must be paid to his innovation and creativity. Janna Ireland just authored a fine narrative pictorial in Curbed Los Angeles on the work of Paul Williams. It is a great narrative of the life and times of Paul Williams, accompanied by a pictorial history she has documented over the past three years.

From the ADG Jobsite  

The Garden lantern…

adg-jobsite-custom-lighting

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting