Wilshire Grand building will put Los Angeles back in the skyscraper business as city aims to rejuvenate its centre
Hundreds of spectators lined the streets in downtown Los Angeles Saturday for what might seem a lacklustre event in a city known for its entertainment: a parade of trucks poured a load of concrete into a hole. But this was no ordinary hole. It's the site of the future Wilshire Grand, a 73-storey building filled with offices, retail and hotel rooms that will, when it opens in 2017, be the tallest building in the city, and the eighth tallest in the US.
A countywide effort to transform vacant lots into wildflower fields.
Fritz Haeg is looking at a house on Google StreetView and contemplating its front yard. Haeg is an artist who's perhaps best known for his works converting grassy suburban front yards into so-called "edible estates" of vegetable gardens. But it's not an edible garden he imagines for this front yard. It's a field of wildflowers.
How police and media helicopters navigate the crowded airspace of L.A. when a suspect's on the run.
It's the sort of escapade Los Angeles has long been known for: a man in a stolen car with an AK-47 drives dangerously through the streets of rush-hour L.A. with a tail of about 8 police cars directly behind, and even more following a short ways back. The driver had allegedly carjacked the vehicle from its owner earlier that day – a slightly less concerning crime than the homicide he allegedly committed in July. The car's electronic tracking system had alerted police to its location and a chase ensued for more than an hour – at relatively low speed – through the city.
Technology is changing the ways cities and drivers park their cars.
They're in the ground all over the country, in parking lots and city streets. They're small and unobtrusive little guys, like small discs flat on the ground or the reflector bumps like you might drive over when crossing lanes. These are simple devices with a straightforward task, and they're about to have a huge impact on the way drivers in U.S. cities park, just by knowing when cars are parked over them and when they're not.
The automobile is undoubtedly the dominant mode of travel in Los Angeles. But to write off the city as made up entirely of car-driving, bumper-to-bumper rush hour commuters is clearly an over-generalization. A growing group of Angelenos is finding ways to make transit, cycling, and walking (and, often, a combination thereof) relevant and viable in their daily lives.
A year of reading about Los Angeles with LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne.
Last January, Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne kicked off a year-long project to explore his city through its literature. He picked 24 – plus three more reader suggestions – of the “most significant books on Southern California architecture and urbanism.” The Reading L.A. project covers the city's growth, development, design, infrastructure and culture, including well-known titles like Reyner Banham’s 1971 Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, as well as less prominent books like David Brodsly’s 1981 L.A Freeway: An Appreciative Essay.
The city's new green bike lane has hit costly speedbumps.
The city of Los Angeles recently followed the lead of cities like San Francisco and New York by altering two of its streets and adding new bike lanes, part of a pilot program that included painting the entire width of the lanes bright green. These new lanes have been welcomed by the bicycle community and by ribbon-cutting local politicians as a bold green sign of the city’s efforts to become a safer and friendlier place to bike.
How Los Angeles shut down miles of streets and got flooded with bikes.
Ten miles of street might not seem like a lot in sprawling, spreading Los Angeles. But temporarily closing those 10 miles to car traffic – a seemingly sacrilegious idea in car-dependent L.A. – is creating a disproportionately large and, frankly, positive impact in the city.
Facing budget cuts, transit agencies building new rail projects are struggling to make the trains run on time—or at all.
Public transit needs public funding. And that goes way beyond the fare box. Local, state, and federal dollars are the lifeblood of public transportation projects in the United States. But with the country in recovery from the recession and states cutting back programs to close budget holes, support for public transit looks to be grinding to a halt.