LA’s Quintissential Public and Corporate Spaces: John C. Austin

Los Angeles is perhaps best known for its residential architecture, especially those mid-century greats that put modern 20th-century architecture on the map. However, our hometown also has a rich history of beautiful public and corporate architecture, most of which still survives today.

We’ll start by taking a look at architect John C. Austin, whose work changed the face of LA forever.


The Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory was a WPA project of the early 1930s and so, of course, was designed by Austin in iconic Art Deco style. The center opened in 1935 and remains a popular SoCal destination to this day.

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City Hall

The famous Los Angeles City Hall was designed in 1928 by John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin, Sr., and John Parkinson. For 30 years, it remained the tallest building in the city, and is still an important constituent of the Los Angeles skyline. The landmark building has been featured in scores of movies and television shows, from Superman to Dragnet.

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Shrine Auditorium

Designed in collaboration with G. Albert Lansburgh and A. M. Edelman, Austin and his associates created the building in a unique Moorish Revival style that paid homage to the Arabic temple that once stood in its place. From its opening in 1926 until the early 2000s, the auditorium hosted such glamorous events as the Academy Awards, the Grammys, the American Music Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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April 16th, 2015|0 Comments

Dealer Spotlight: The Design Republic in Shanghai

What began as a small architecture studio founded by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu has grown into a self-labelled “commune” of design, collaboration, and retail shopping. The community of architects and designers designs both residential and corporate environments throughout China, and now offers an expansive showroom of contemporary and modern designer objects.


Their design collective space is jaw-dropping, inside and out. It’s well worth the visit for anyone in the Shanghai area, even if it’s just to gawk at the amazing architecture and interior layout. Find out more on the Design Republic website.

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April 15th, 2015|0 Comments

A Glimpse into the Recently-Reopened Hollyhock House

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House was his first design to be built in Southern California, and is his vision of the architectural equivalent of California living, or “California Romanza,” as he termed it.


It recently reopened after several years of closed renovation, to reveal a beautifully-repaired and preserved home that is a wonderful example of FLW’s early ideals and styles. Take a photo tour of the renovated house below, or see it for yourself during visiting hours:

  • Thursday – Sunday 11am-3pm.
  • Admission: $7 for adults
  • $3 for students & seniors with ID
  • Free for children under 12 when accompanied by a paying adult.
  • Click here for more info.


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Photos by Elizabeth Daniels, courtesy of Curbed LA.

April 14th, 2015|0 Comments

Inspire Me Monday: Sonoma’s Sea Ranch Community

“The Sea Ranch was conceived amid the infant “ecology” movement sparked by Rachel Carson’s 1962 anti-pesticide exposé, “Silent Spring.” Its guiding ethos of “living lightly on the land” was defined by Sea Ranch’s celebrated designer, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. He would inspire a revolutionary new approach to environmentally sensitive land-use planning and architecture that a half-century later is still studied and admired around the world.”  –Meg McConahey,

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All photos courtesy of Sonoma Magazine and The Sea Ranch Organization.

April 13th, 2015|0 Comments

Saving the Kraigher House

The Kraigher House, built in 1937, is one of the only Richard Neutra designed homes in the state of Texas, and indeed, the only modernist house in the city of Brownsville. It was built in classic International Style and exemplary of Neutra’s early work. However, due to many years of neglect and abandonment, the house was listed as on of the 11 most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2004.

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Photo courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The community stepped in, however, and advocates from Preservation Brownsville and Cite Magazine brought the impending demolition of the building to the attention of city officials. Thankfully, the City of Brownsville bought the property before it could be destroyed. In 2013, the Kraigher House was completely restored by the University of Texas in Brownsville. Don’t you love a happy ending?

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Photos courtesy of KC Modern.

April 9th, 2015|0 Comments