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064. Lomo Featured Project: The Donut Hole. The Giant Donuts of Los Angeles. Lomo Building Types.

According to the LA Conservancy’s website, the Donut Hole, at 15300 Amar Road in La Puente, was constructed in 1968. Unlike the other giant donut buildings in which the donut is a sign appended to the building, the Donut Hole legitimately integrates the donut into its architecture, technically qualifying it as Programmatic Architecture, meaning that […] «Read more»

063. The Giant Donuts of Los Angeles. Lomo Building Types. Bicycle Tour.

The Giant Donuts of Los Angeles Bicycle Tour took place on March 6, 2016. Seven of us embarked on the challenge of riding a 55-mile loop through southeastern Los Angeles County with stops at eight of the ten extant donut shops that integrate giant donuts into their architecture. Six of us completed the ride, but […] «Read more»

062. Giant Donuts of Los Angeles Bicycle Tour.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, March 6, 2016, for the Giant Donuts of Los Angeles bicycle tour. At least ten extant Giant Donuts, apotheoses of programmatic architecture, remain throughout the Southland. Architecture Burger’s Smart Patrol will survey eight of them and sample their wares during a vigorous, donut-powered, 55-mile loop ride. The tour will cover […] «Read more»

061. Matchbook Delight! Part 15, The Chart House.

Today the Chart House is a chain of steak and seafood restaurants owned since 2002 by Landry’s, the owner of an empire of high-end chain-restaurant brands such as Morton’s, Claim Jumper, and McCormick & Schmick’s. Judging by the Yelp! reviews, the remaining Los Angeles-area locations are expensive and mediocre. Despite its present mediocrity, the Chart […] «Read more»

060. Mexican, Polynesian-Style. Lomo Featured Project: Arturo’s Mexican Restaurant.

Arturo’s Mexican Restaurant, located in the Harbor City neighborhood of Los Angeles at 25720 S. Western Avenue near Pacific Coast Highway, dates to 1960. The menu is that of a margarita-slinging family restaurant, and in keeping with 54 years of standing, it offers the kind of old-school, cheese-drenched options often called “gringo” or “Tex-Mex” in […] «Read more»

059. Lomo Manifesto Part 8: Kosher Modernism and Unkosher Modernism.

Click here for an index of all “Lomo Manifesto” posts. Two of the stronger ethical tendencies in Architectural Modernism are the honest expression in its use of a material’s innate qualities, and the separate expression of architectural elements with different functions. Adherence to these tendencies qualifies a design as upstanding and its designer as a […] «Read more»

058. Towards a Stucco Brutalism. Lomo Featured Project: Casa Serrana. Lomo Building Types: Apartments. Lomo Styles.

The term “Brutalism” refers to what was both a movement and a style in Mid-Century Modern architecture. The architects Alison and Peter Smithson had laid claim to the term in the early 1950s, hoisting the “New Brutalism” as an emblem of their idealistic, ethically minded brand of Modernism; Reyner Banham then asserted his critical ownership […] «Read more»

057. Matchbook Delight! Part 14, Lloyd’s of Running Springs.

Lloyd’s of Running Springs was established in 1953 as the primary nice restaurant in the town of Running Springs, a mountain community of 5,000 persons in the San Bernardino National Forest and a way station in between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake. It appears to have ceased operations within the last decade, although the […] «Read more»

056. Still Lifes of Vessels on Liquor Store Signage. Lomo Building Types: Liquor Stores.

In the post on La Brea Liquor, I asserted that “a modernizing style, connoting mature sophistication, is a good fit with selling products whose use is often considered to be a vice.” This post is a survey of a specific element by which that sense of sophistication was pursued, the representations of liquor vessels on […] «Read more»

055. Lomo Manifesto Part 7: Jaunty versus Butch.

Click here for an index of all “Lomo Manifesto” posts. As I asserted in Lomo Manifesto Part 1, architects love dichotomies. Well known examples such as Discipline and Practice, Avant Garde and Kitsch, and Duck versus Decorated Shed have been used as scalpels to cut a category in half in order to see what its […] «Read more»

054. Lomo Featured Projects: Carson Plaza and Circus Do-nuts. Lomo Field Trip: Carson Street, Torrance.

One sunny morning in July, I took a lomo field trip down to Carson Street in Torrance, where a couple of projects had caught my eye previously on a quick drive-by. On route via Crenshaw Boulevard, I passed a couple of minor landmarks from the 1960s fast-food boom. This improbably well preserved Baskin-Robbins ice cream […] «Read more»

053. Matchbook Delight! Part 13, The Kettle.

This matchbook for The Kettle shows another nice utilization of two-color printing. Gradients were not an option and thus the print technology encourages a flattening aesthetic – in this case, a traditional iron kettle is abstracted into a skewed shape that brings to mind a fat, cute animal, just the kind one likes to eat. […] «Read more»

052. Snacks of the Lomo Future.

Foodstuffs may seem outside the scope of the Lower Modernisms, but they can be a designed product, the culmination of the coordinated efforts of many, with artistic, commercial and cultural impacts often analogous to those of buildings. The term “Modernist Cuisine” refers to a technical and scientific approach to food preparation and brings to mind […] «Read more»

051. Lomo Manifesto Part 6: Wondering what that Term “Modernism” Means.

Click here for an index of all “Lomo Manifesto” posts. Defining the Lower Modernisms as those categories of design endeavors that are Modernist in style and intent but fall short of the standards of legitimate Modernism begs the question of what the vague and overused term “Modernism” means in this context. As the foregoing definition […] «Read more»

050. Lomo Featured Project: Taco House. Lomo Styles: Vernacular Pompidou.

Although its subject was both populist and endangered, our recent post on the topic of Noyes-pattern Mobil service stations veered into corporate High-Modernist territory through a blurry border-crossing where High and Low meet. Today’s featured project, Taco House at 215 West 8th Street, better reflects the standards of humility to which the Lower Modernisms project […] «Read more»

049. Matchbook Delight! Part 12, PSA Hotel Islandia.

I liked the look of this matchbook, with its jaunty, pre-Starbucks mermaid logo and friendly logogram, rendered in orange in a chubby-serifed variant of the Cooper typeface that I used for the Matchbook Delight! logo above. I had to do a little web-browsing to learn the very 1970s story behind this hotel. The “PSA” of […] «Read more»

048. Lomo Featured Project: the Mobil Service Station. Lomo Styles: The Perfect Building. Lomo Building Types. Patron Saints. Endangered Lomo.

The architect and industrial designer, Eliot Noyes, earned his spot on the roster of the Patron Saints of the Lower Modernisms – despite living a classy and tasteful life in the American Northeast rubbing elbows with the rich and powerful, Noyes worked ceaselessly to expand the scope of Modernism in a downward direction. Early in […] «Read more»

047. Lomo Manifesto Part 5: The Vogue for Lowbrow Things.

Click here for an index of all “Lomo Manifesto” posts. The Lower Modernisms, to the extent that they represent the lowbrow alternative to High Modernism, are a culturally relevant subject for the same reasons that everything lowbrow is presently in vogue. Hipster culture celebrates working class culture, albeit in detached, ironic, and often offensive and […] «Read more»

046. Lomo Featured Project: Erwin Street Commercial Center, Van Nuys.

The Erwin Street Commercial Center (ESCC) at 15500 Erwin Street, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, is a diagram building of unexpected rigor and quality. It resembles an architecture student’s design project – specifically, it looks like about three-quarters of my own studio projects, which had a tendency to expose their structural frames and adorn their exteriors […] «Read more»

045. Matchbook Delight! Part 11, Stardust Hotel and Casino.

The Stardust was an epic work of the Lower Modern, a hotel-casino that exemplified the “Decorated Shed” advocated by Venturi and Scott Brown in Learning from Las Vegas. The graphic elements of this matchbook, rendered in cleverly harmonizing hues with a three-color print process, echo the forms of YESCO’s great 1960s electrographic sign. There are […] «Read more»

044. Lomo Manifesto Part 4: Lomo versus Pomo (Part B), The Pomo Quantum Leap.

Click here for an index of all “Lomo Manifesto” posts. It was not so long ago that the dominant architectural-historical narrative held that Modernism was dead, succeeded in the evolution of avant-garde movements by something called Postmodernism. During those dark years, the conquering Postmodernist overlords strode the lands like kings. Meanwhile the persecuted Modernists struggled, […] «Read more»

043. Lomo Featured Project: the Perfect Building behind 5900 Wilshire Boulevard. Lomo Styles: the Perfect Building.

Behind William Pereira’s 30-story tower at 5900 Wilshire Boulevard stands a much less conspicuous building, its appearance uncommunicative and purpose inscrutable. It might be an exhaust shaft for underground parking, or point of egress from an exit stair, or it might contain an emergency generator. The mystery only enhances the perfection of this specimen of […] «Read more»

042. Lomo Manifesto Part 3: Lomo versus Pomo (Part A).

“Lomo Manifesto” is my term for posts on the general theme of “why The Lower Modernisms of Architecture Are Important Enough to Bother Thinking About.” Click here for an index of all “Lomo Manifesto” posts. These posts might get a little shaggy around the edges – rather than refine them to perfection, in the spirit […] «Read more»

041. Matchbook Delight! Part 10, Royal Tempe Sands Hotel.

This small chain of Sands Hotels has a nice logo – over a bundle of stripes, a shape like an abstract crown that also brings to mind chefs’ hats and caravan tents. The backside features a bullet list of their hotels with hand-drawn starbursts in place of asterisks. The script of “Sands” contrasts with the […] «Read more»

040. Lomo Featured Project: Henry’s Tacos, Studio City. Endangered Lomo.

Standing at the corner of Tujunga Avenue and Moorpark Street in Studio City/North Hollywood since 1961, Henry’s Tacos is a taco stand in the literal sense of the term – you conduct your transaction standing at a window. The tacos are “gringo” style. The crunchy taco shells are fried prior to filling, like the ones […] «Read more»

039. The Polynesian Gabled Apartments of Rosemead Boulevard. Lomo Styles: The Polynesian Gabled. Lomo Building Types: Apartments.

Located at 4501 Rosemead Boulevard in the city of Rosemead is the Bahooka Family Restaurant, a true cultural treasure resembling a tiki bar times ten, filled with fishtanks, and serving ribs and family foods in addition to sugary drinks. Bahooka is at the approach, presumably by more than mere coincidence, to a cluster of apartment […] «Read more»

038. Lomo Featured Project: Dinah’s Family Restaurant, Westchester. Concluding the 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series with the “Zombie Googie” ride. Endangered Lomo.

After exhausting over the course of the year the better part of Los Angeles County’s Googie coffee shops still in operation, the 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series came to its logical conclusion on December 17th with the “Zombie Googie” ride, a tour of the extant remains of Googie coffee shops no longer in […] «Read more»

037. Matchbook Delight! Part 9, Jai Alai at the MGM Grand Hotel.

The date of this matchbook can be narrowed down to between the years 1974, when they began playing Jai Alai at the fronton in the new MGM Grand Hotel, and 1980, when a disastrous fire broke out in the unsprinklered hotel, killing 85 and putting an end to the “fastest game in town.” It has […] «Read more»

036. Lomo Featured Project: The Islander Apartments. Lomo Styles: The Polynesian Gabled. Lomo Building Types: Apartments.

The eye-catching Islander Apartments is at 7000 South La Cienega Boulevard in the city of Inglewood – perhaps you have seen it on your way to the airport. The Islander may be the best, which is to say, possessed of the most densely-packed exuberance, of small apartment buildings in the “Polynesian Gabled” style. Yet another […] «Read more»

035. Lomo Featured Project: Rod’s Grill, Arcadia. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, November Ride.

Four hearty riders participated in the November edition of the Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, traveling some 23 miles through damp and rain to visit Rod’s Grill, at 41 Huntington Drive in the city of Arcadia. Allegedly built in 1956, Rod’s Grill is a fine specimen of the Googie coffee shop and remains in […] «Read more»

034. Lomo Featured Project: Green Valley Circle Apartments, aka the “Monster Mansard.” Lomo Styles: The Gourmet Mansardic. Essay by Russ Holthouse.

Editor’s Note: Today’s essay is the second contribution to the Lower Modernisms project by Russ Holthouse – his first post was on the topic of Popular Modernism. Russ and I visited the GVCA together on October 30, 2011, and share credit for the photography. I consider the GVCA to be a tremendous find (and please […] «Read more»

033. Matchbook Delight! Part 8, Caesars Palace.

This matchbook looks as though it must be at least 1500 years old, with its edges oxidized like ancient parchment. But do not be fooled, it is all part of the illusion! The letterforms that make up the “CAESARS PALACE” logogram are inspired by Roman inscriptions, i.e., this kind of thing. The characters are made […] «Read more»

032. Lomo Featured Projects: Cafetales formerly known as Sheri’s Restaurant, Inglewood, and Brolly Hut, Inglewood. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, October Ride.

The October installment of the Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series was nominally destined for Cafetales, a Pupusería on La Brea Avenue in Inglewood, but the ride, relatively well attended with 11 riders, expanded into a miniature Tour of Inglewood. This city is a remarkable place for enthusiasts of the Modern. Much of the existing […] «Read more»

031. Lomo Featured Project: Rae’s Restaurant, Santa Monica. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, September Ride.

On the gloomy 24th day of September, four participants of the Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series earned their stripes and cruised over to Rae’s Restaurant, at 2901 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. A humble but righteous little shop, Rae’s was designed by A. L. Collins in the 1950s (1952 according to Googie Redux; 1953 […] «Read more»

030. Lomo Featured Project: Buttonwillow Rest Stop. Lomo Building Types: Washroom Buildings.

With so few details, the picnic canopy at the Buttonwillow Rest Stop off of northbound Interstate 5 is nearly a perfect building, a mini-Barcelona Pavilion in which Less is More. As conceptually introduced in Lomo post #003, such humble buildings as these, despite the integrity they may possess as modernist design, are ordinarily excluded from […] «Read more»

029. Matchbook Delight! Part 7, House of Prime Rib.

The House of Prime Rib, a hella old school establishment in San Francisco, was established in 1949. This matchbook, probably from somewhere around 1970, has a pleasing character. Printed in two colors on a yellow-cream coated card stock, the book features “House of Prime Rib” in Old English lettering in red on a circle configured […] «Read more»

028. Lomo Featured Project: Bob’s Big Boy Broiler formerly known as Harvey’s Broiler and as Johnie’s Broiler, Downey. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, August Ride.

The August installment of the Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series paid a visit to Bob’s Big Boy in Downey. This location of Bob’s is both a heritage coffee shop and a brand new one, as it was reborn from the carcass of the mostly and illegally demolished Johnie’s Broiler, originally known as Harvey’s Broiler. […] «Read more»

027. Sunset for Santa Barbara Plaza. Lomo Featured Project: Santa Barbara Plaza, also known as Marlton Square. Endangered Lomo.

Part I: Introduction Santa Barbara Plaza is the name of a big mid-Century shopping center in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles, designed in 1950 and built out in the years between 1950 and 1965. It occupies a site of about 20 acres in an irregular quadrilateral bounded by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (which […] «Read more»

026. Lomo Featured Project: Chip’s Coffee Shop, Hawthorne. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, July Ride.

The July edition of the Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series took us straight down La Brea to Chip’s Coffee Shop in the city of Hawthorne. Chip’s was built in 1957 to a design by architect Harry Harrison, and aside from the addition of a patio at its south end, appears to be pretty close […] «Read more»

025. Lomo Featured Project: Camelot Golfland. Lomo Styles: Ye Olde England and others. Lomo Building Types: Amusement Architectures.

Camelot Golfland, located at 3200 East Carpenter Avenue in Anaheim just off of the 91 Freeway, is one of the foremost miniature golf venues in Southern California, and probably the whole world. It features five 18-hole courses, an arcade that looks like a giant castle, an architectural waterslide, and a Lower-Modernist landscape design of overall […] «Read more»

024. Matchbook Delight! Part 6, SEITA Chamois.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I have learned that SEITA was the Service d’Exploitation Industrielle des Tabacs et Allumettes – the French national tobacco monopoly. It appears that “Chamois” was a trademark for matches that they distributed. This was among the only foreign matchbooks in the collection I inherited, so evidently the collector was not a frequent […] «Read more»

023. Lomo Featured Project: Bob’s Big Boy, Burbank. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, June Ride.

The destination for the June Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series was the Bob’s Big Boy restaurant on Riverside Drive in Burbank. The oldest remaining of the Big Boys, it is a fine specimen and nicely preserved. Designed in 1949 by Wayne McAllister, stylistically it is a bit of a hybrid between the “streamline moderne” […] «Read more»

022. Lomo Featured Project: Fosters Freeze. Lomo Styles: The Gourmet Mansardic. Lomo Building Types: Fast Food Restaurants.

American fast food restaurant chains hit their major growth spurt in the middle of the century and were a building type intrinsically suited to the Lower Modernist mode. A playful architectural style that was inexpensive, easily replicated and recognizable matched the needs of these restaurants trying to establish the familiarity of their brands and implant […] «Read more»

021. East German Beverage Labels.

Last year while on vacation in Berlin, Carmen and I stopped in at Intershop 2000, a store selling vintage goods from East Germany. The store is named after the East German Intershops, a chain of state-run stores within East Germany that sold goods from the West to those who had access to foreign currency. These […] «Read more»

020. Matchbook Delight! Part 5, Sambo’s Pancakes.

Though little remembered today, Sambo’s was a chain of coffee shops that rivaled Denny’s in ubiquity – there were 1,200 restaurants in 47 states as recently as 1979. The restaurants were named after its founders Sam and Bo, but their branding imagery derived from a turn-of-the-century children’s book called The Story of Little Black Sambo. […] «Read more»

019. Lomo Featured Project: Mel’s Drive-In on Ventura Boulevard, formerly known as Kerry’s. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, May Ride.

At the corner of Ventura Boulevard and Kester Avenue in Sherman Oaks, Mel’s Drive-In (formerly known as Kerry’s) exhibits a striking profile. Having seen it on the street before I knew what it was, I took it at first for a retro reproduction of a Googie coffee shop, only discovering later that it was built […] «Read more»

018. Lomo Featured Project: Skip’s Liquor and The Swamp Cooler, North Shore, California.

The townlet of North Shore, California, is best known as the home of the North Shore Yacht Club, Albert Frey’s 1962 Nautical-Modern building on the Salton Sea. Until last year a derelict and dangerous wreck, this building was quite nicely renovated and reopened in 2010 as the Salton Sea History Museum. Feeling a sense of […] «Read more»

017. Introducing the Dingbat.

The dingbat apartment building was the predominant form of multifamily housing constructed in Southern California between 1950 and 1970, a typology that as such probably accounts for the majority of all buildings in Los Angeles that can reasonably be considered to be Lower Modernist – modern in style and intent, but failing to meet the […] «Read more»

016. Lomo Featured Project: Norm’s Restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, April Ride.

Please pardon the last month’s unintended weblog hiatus. Carmen and I have been busy with the scramble of moving house, to another unit in the cozy Village Green, itself an interesting place but not quite Low enough nor quite Modern enough to be a suitable subject for the Lower Modernisms. Before the LoMos project can […] «Read more»

015. Lomo Featured Project: Astro Family Restaurant formerly known as “Donly’s” and “Conrad’s”. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, March Ride.

On March 26, seven enthusiasts participated in the third Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, riding the 11 miles from the Village Green to visit the Astro Family Restaurant at 2300 Fletcher Drive in Silver Lake. This coffee shop, formerly known as “Donly’s” and “Conrad’s”, was designed in 1958 by architects Armét and Davis. It […] «Read more»

014. Matchbook Delight! Part 4, Flamingo Hilton.

I present the first of many Las Vegas casino matchbooks in my collection, this one from the Flamingo, historically the greatest of all the Las Vegas resorts. We can presume this matchbook is no older than 1974, for according to Wikipedia, that was the year in which the Flamingo was renamed “The Flamingo Hilton”. It […] «Read more»

013. Lomo Featured Project: La Villa Basque. Introducing Endangered Lomo.

La Villa Basque is a sprawler, comprising coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and banquet hall in one big boxy building. Named in honor of the Basque heritage of City of Vernon founding father John Leonis, La Villa Basque was built by his grandson, owner Leonis Malburg, next door to the Leonis Malburg Building at the corner […] «Read more»

012. Lomo Featured Project: Ben Franks aka Mel’s Drive-In. 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series, February Ride.

On February 19th, the second outing of our 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series took us to Mel’s Drive-In, formerly known as Ben Frank’s, at 8585 West Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Ben Frank’s was designed by architects Lane and Schlick and built in 1962. In form it follows neither […] «Read more»

011. Lomo Featured Project: The Baldwin Hills Motor Inn. Lomo Styles: The Gourmet Mansardic. Lomo Building Types: Motels.

Today’s featured project is the Baldwin Hills Motor Inn, a fine and well preserved specimen of a Lomo style that we shall call The Gourmet Mansardic, located at 3020 South La Brea Avenue near Jefferson Boulevard in Los Angeles. According to the assessor’s records, The B.H.M.I. was built in 1948 with a major addition in […] «Read more»

010. Matchbook Delight! Part 3, May Co. Department Stores.

May Company was one of the great American department store chains until 2006, when the brand was entirely subsumed by Macy’s. The now extinct May Co. brand will be remembered by architectural historians for its great late-Streamline Moderne store at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, designed by A.C. Martin, which is now a part […] «Read more»

009. Lomo Featured Project: La Brea Liquor. Lomo Building Types: Liquor Stores.

If there were such a thing as a protypically Lower Modern building, La Brea Liquor might be it, in terms of both building type and style. As I have argued previously, the Lower Modernisms is a plural term because it encompasses a plurality of styles, so there cannot really be one prototype to stand in […] «Read more»

008. Lomo Manifesto Part 2: Russ Holthouse on Popular Modernism.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post, continuing the dialog about the significance of the Lower Modernisms and contextualizing them as a subset of Popular Modernism, was contributed by Russ Holthouse. Russ is a Los Angeles-based architect, a fellow enthusiast and student of Modernism, and an old friend of mine. -JAB I think what you’ve described as “The […] «Read more»

007. Matchbook Delight! Part 2, Eaton’s Restaurant and Hotel, Arcadia, Calif.

Today’s installment of Matchbook Delight! features a book from Eaton’s Restaurant and Hotel, formerly of 1150 West Colorado in the city of Arcadia – part of Route 66. A little internet search-engine research helps us find a historic postcard of the Eaton’s site, a sprawling roadside rancho with a googie-izing sign out front and a […] «Read more»

006. Lomo Featured Project: Pann’s Coffee Shop. Introducing the 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series.

Kyle Pfister, Garrett Belmont and I, three bicycle-riding architects who live in the Village Green, have undertaken the 2011 Googie Coffee Shops Bicycle Ride Series. Approximately one Saturday per month we will convene a bicycle ride originating at the Green and visiting one of the Southland’s remaining Googie coffee shops; ride distances may vary from […] «Read more»

005. Alan Hess, Champion of the Googie. Introducing: The Patron Saints of the Lower Modernisms.

The Patron Saints of the Lower Modernisms are those individuals who have lowered the bar for what qualifies for membership in the sanctified realm of Modernism proper, and thereby expanded the domain of what is considered Modernist. I praise them for their efforts and hope they can take such a characterization rightly as a compliment. […] «Read more»

004. Introducing Matchbook Delight! Curly Jones Family Restaurant.

This post introduces an ongoing series of featured lomo matchbooks to be called, “Matchbook Delight!” Last year I bought a large collection of matchbooks at a yard sale, kept the ones I liked, and gave away the rest. Most of those I kept are from the 1960s and 1970s and are Lower Modernist in style; […] «Read more»

003. Lomo Featured Project: The Washroom Pavilion at Huntington Beach Central Park. Lomo Building Types: Washroom Buildings.

The gemlike perfection (architecturally speaking) embodied in this little washroom pavilion in the Huntington Beach Central Park comes as a surprise to me, although this perfection might well be overlooked by its users. It is a gratuitously rigorous and refined work of high-modernist architecture, despite its humble program. The expression and detailing strongly convey the […] «Read more»

002. Lomo Manifesto Part 1: Why The Lower Modernisms of Architecture Are Important Enough to Bother Thinking About.

Architects love dichotomies, and one dichotomy central to architectural discourse is the distinction between discipline and practice. The practice of architecture involves the everyday dramas of construction contracts, “value engineering,” waterproofing details, and building codes. The Discipline of Architecture, in contrast, involves the high Shakespearean romance: design as an intrinsic ideological Good to be pursued […] «Read more»

001. Introducing AB1006: The Lower Modernisms

Architecture Burger project AB1006, code-named “The Smartpatrol Blog,” is an effort to investigate, analyze, and define “the Lower Modernisms”. I hope to refine my conception of that term along the way, but here is a working definition of the Lower Modernisms: those categories of design endeavors that are Modernist in style and intent, but fall […] «Read more»