9 Groovy L.A. Landmarks You Need to Know
From an Italian-style business building downtown (used as a film set) to a singularly beautiful rocky beach in Malibu (used as a film set), there’s so much of Los Angeles you still haven’t seen. These sites are all protected as national historic landmarks, so they really need to be on your radar. And social media.
In 1893, a gold-mining millionaire built one of the West Coast’s great structures—an office building that’s got wrought iron, polished wood, Italian marble stairs and enough skylights to make it look part soaring cathedral and part Parisian alleyway. Bonus: It was a stand-in for dystopian Los Angeles in Blade Runner.
Neutra VDL Research House
Architect Richard Neutra built this then-revolutionary Modernist home for himself in 1932. Walking through it today is like touring Design Within Reach’s greatest hits.
The main house, built in 1844, is one of the oldest in the Los Angeles. We’re fascinated not only by the colonial structure (with its own ghost) but also by the Chumash Indian hut that’s been erected on the Calabasas grounds.
Pico Canyon Oilfield
The start of Cali’s oil boom is in this Santa Clarita field; this gusher started in 1876 and continued to produce oil for 114 years. Now it’s a ghost town named Mentryville, which includes hiking trails visited by the occasional mountain lion, fox and badger.
Who says Historical Landmarks have to be man-made? This showstoppingly beautiful Malibu beach has earned its place with a storied past that includes stints as a whaling spot, a nudist beach and (on film) Tony Stark’s rad home.
An Italian immigrant construction worker spent 33 years of nights and weekends to build a mini city of 99-foot-high towers out of rebar concrete and 7 Up bottles. Outsider art was never the same.
Great architect Frank Lloyd Wright build this dramatic interpretation of a Mayan temple (concrete, leaded glass and a grand fireplace included) in 1921. Note to architects: concrete + earthquakes = hella repairs
In the 1920s, this place led a nationwide craze called the Little Theatre Movement, in which brainy, challenging works were mounted. Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams and other names beloved by high school English teachers all premiered work here. Al Pacino and Judith Light are performing February 3 through March 19.
Manhattan Beach Pier
An octagonal Mediterranean-style building sits at the end of this 928-foot pier that, in the 1940s, was a mecca for a new sports craze: surfing.