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  • By John Crandell
    Sep 4, 2014
    Review of 'Homage' by Warren Thomas ~ Most histories of Los Angeles resemble the city itself, sprawling over a large geographic area and emphasizing a set of important, but over-discussed themes—early settlement, rapid population growth, petroleum, aerospace, the movies, to name some of the most prominent. 'Homage to Downtown' avoids Los Angeles writ large and focusses narrowly in time and place—largely the approximately thirty blocks encompassed by First, Sixth, Los Angeles and Olive Streets from 1849 to 1910. And in so doing, it presents something relatively uncommon, that is, a physical history of both the natural and built environment—and of their relationship to one another. The appendices and maps listing all the buildings lining these streets in 1910 and the architects responsible for them will be invaluable to anyone looking to find traces of this not-quite-vanished past. Included are discussions of the locations of the three Plazas (a pre-1850 excursion) and the once-famous... More > “Aliso” sycamore tree, the origins of various anomalies in the original street grid, an exhaustive set of maps and photographs documenting the buildings of the district, detailed appendices and copious references. People are not neglected in their roles in the developing district-- the familiar (Wolfskill, Lummis), the not so familiar (George Hansen, Caroline Severance) and the not so familiar in a Los Angeles context (Albert Sidney Johnston and Winfield Scott Hancock). Essential to a history of the built environment, the important architects of the period are not neglected. The centers of all major cities undergo dramatic changes with time, some more respectful of the past than others. In that sense, there is something elegiac about this book, as the world it documents has largely disappeared. Mr. Crandell's remarkable work can serve as a guidebook to what remains from this period. The appendices and maps listing all the buildings lining these streets in 1910 and the architects responsible for them will be invaluable resources to anyone looking to find traces of this not-quite-vanished past.< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9780976937203
Edition
First Edition
Publisher
Visions of L.A.
Published
October 14, 2010
Language
English
Pages
398
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
2.54 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.5 wide x 11 tall
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