Edited by Tom Marble

After the Second World War, cities devastated by the conflict had to rebuild themselves. Los Angeles, devastated by self-inflicted Urban Renewal, began the rebuilding process soon after. This issue examines the several ways in which corporate architects adapted modernism to reconstitute the civic realm of Los Angeles.


The Well Traveleds
by Tom Marble

William Pereira
by Scott Johnson

Westward Transitions
by Daniel Paul

Built by Becket
by Alan Hess

Victor Gruen Today
by Daniel Herman

Embracing Late Modern
by Kazys Varnelis

About the Contributors:

Daniel Herman is an architect in Los Angeles. He is currently a project architect at DMJM. He has previously worked in the offices of Frederick Fisher in LA and SOM in New York. He also maintains a small independent practice, Chung/Herman, with his partner Linda Chung. He is a regular contributor on architecture for Artforum and has written for Architecture, Interiors, Metropolis, and ArtByte. He contributed seven essays to the Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping (Taschen, 2001), including “Three-Ring Circus,” “Jerde Transfer,” “High Architecture” and “Mall.”

Alan Hess is the author of Palm Springs Weekend and the architecture critic for the San Jose Mercury News. His landmark books include Googie and Viva Las Vegas. He divides his time between Detroit and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Scott Johnson is a prolific designer of residential, commercial and institutional building projects, including three high rise buildings in Century City, California; the Opus One and Byron Wineries in the Napa Valley and Santa Barbara County, respectively; Rincon Center in San Francisco; and the new Capitol Area East End in Sacramento. Johnson worked at The Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, Mass, the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices of Skidmore Owings Merrill and the office of Philip Johnson and John Burgee in New York City. Joining Pereira Associates in Los Angeles in 1983 as Principal and Design Director, he and William Fain acquired the firm now known as Johnson Fain in 1987. In addition to designing nearly 100 built projects in the past 16 years, Johnson has also taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, the USC School of Architecture, and the UCLA School of Art and Architecture. Active in the arts community, he is a Founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and serves as a board director of the Collage Dance Theater, the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and a member of MOCA’s Drawings Committee.

Tom Marble is a native Angeleno who studied architecture at UC Berkeley and Yale before working for a variety of firms throughout Southern California. Over the last ten years he has designed buildings, planned communities, written screenplays, and created public art – all part of an ongoing project that explores how architects and urban thinkers help form the urban mythology of a place like Los Angeles, and how that mythology in turn forms and informs their work in that city. Tom opened his own architecture and urban design practice in July 2001.

Daniel Paul just graduated from the California State University Northridge with a Masters Degree in Art History. Working under Merry Ovnick, his thesis was titled, “The Aesthetics of Efficiency: Contexts and the Early Development of Late-Modern Glass Skin Architecture.” He is the Vice-Chairperson of the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee, and is currently an Associate Historian with Design Aid Architects. He has also heavily researched art environments by the self-taught, and oversaw Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village in Simi Valley for many years.

Kazys Varnelis received his Ph.D. in the History of Architecture and Urbanism from Cornell University in 1994, and has taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He has lectured in numerous venues in both North America and Europe and his work has been published widely both in the US and abroad. With Robert Sumrell, he founded AUDC, an architectural research collaborative in 2001. His teaching and research focuses on late modernism, architecture and capitalism, and the impact of recent changes in telecommunications and demographics on the contemporary city in general and on Los Angeles in particular. He is editing Simultaneous Environments, a book on contemporary architecture and urbanism in Los Angeles.