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Travel Suggestion
Guide & Map
for California


"It's all good, from Diego to the Bay..."



Alta Loma - preserving the home and studio of Sam Maloof, one of this country's greatest furniture designers and woodworkers: The Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts.
Berkeley - Bernard Maybeck, at his Craftsman / Gothic / Eclectic best: The First Church of Christ, Scientist.
Berkeley - The greatest work of architect Harwell Hamilton Harris and one of the best examples of American Modernism, The Havens House, is now open for tours.
Desert Hot Springs (near Palm Springs) - For a night or a week of mid-century lodging, stay at Hotel Lautner (originally the Desert Hot Springs Motel), designed by that vastly underrated master of modern architecture, John Lautner.
Escondido (suburban San Diego) - The last work by acclaimed artist Niki de Sainte Phalle, Queen Califia's Magic Circle Garden.
Fresno - I've been to a ton of folk art environments and this is one of my favorites: The Forestiere Underground Gardens. Folk Art Environment Trivia #1: Author T.C. (Coraghessan) Boyle wrote a short story on the Gardens.
Hesperia - Rumi Dome, a creation of architect Nader Khalili and the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture.
La Jolla (suburban San Diego) - Space, time & architecture become one: Louis Kahn's Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
near Lee Vining - The surreal tufa (calcium carbonate) formations at Mono Lake
Los Angeles - The ghost of Warren at the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel.
Los Angeles - A storefront of wonders on Venice Boulevard: The Museum of Jurassic Technology.
Los Angeles - Big, controversial, kinda clunky, and not very engaging with downtown: architect Rafael Moneo's Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
Los Angeles - I'm not a Gehry fan, but I did take a ton of photos of the joint: Walt Disney Concert Hall. (I have to admit, it was more than OK. The main hall was pretty amazing.)
Los Angeles - One of the greatest private collections of post-1945 modern art, and you can now tour its home in Beverly Hills: The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation.
Monterey - The Monterey Bay Aquarium; besides being one of the best aquariums in the world, a fine work of architecture.
Niland - Leonard Knight's hand-built monument to the Word of God: Salvation Mountain.
Oakland - The unequaled Art Deco splendor of The Paramount Theatre.
Oakland - From the photos, it looks we may have a new Bay Area architectural masterpiece: The Catherdal of Christ the Light. (Could it be a return for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to their glory years?)
Rancho Palos Verdes - Excellence by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank: The Wayfarers Chapel.
Rancho Mirage - What you won't find in town now is architect Richard Neutra's 1962 Maslon House. It was demolished in the spring of 2002 by Minnesota developer Richard Rotenberg. He was gonna build something bigger. Nice way to go down in history, dude.
Redding - What will $23,500,000 get you these days? It will get you a pedestrian bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava. Hasn't Calatrava done these same bridges before? Yeah....but they're way over in Europe. Does the design really make any structural sense? Uhhh....I dunno....probably not. Is it worth paying a visit to and taking a ton of pics?? Well heck yeah.
San Francisco - The Diego Rivera Mural at City College
San Francisco - The Diego Rivera Mural at the San Francisco Art Institute.
San Francisco - Is it a Mayan tomb or a mesmerizing Art Deco lobby? The 450 Sutter Medical Building.
Santa Barbara - Charles Moore considered the 1929 Santa Barbara County Courthouse "the finest 20th century example of public architecture in the United States". Charlie was indeed correct.
Santa Paula - In 2003 a memorial sculpture was dedicated to one of America's worst (and unfortunately forgotten) man-made disasters, the 1928 collapse of the St. Francis Dam. Fundraising plans are now underway for a larger national memorial.
Stanford - The Hanna "Honeycomb" House by Frank Lloyd Wright. Seriously damaged from the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, but now reopened.
Watts (Los Angeles) - The Watts Towers of Simon Rodia. Folk Art Environment Trivia #2: Simon Rodia is on the cover of Sgt. Pepper. (He's just to the left of Bob Dylan.)




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