08.18.09 Department of Water and Power Building
There are many drawbacks to being an L.A. resident (smog, traffic, no good BBQ), but one big score for the pleasures of the city is the ritual of going to pay your electric bill at this site. It's been argued that Frank Gehry was blessed with the best possible site downtown on which to place his Disney Concert Hall, but I disagree. Officially known as the John Ferraro building, A.C. Martin, Jr.'s 1965 landmark hovers at the edge corner of Bunker Hill and serenely floats over its landscape (thanks to the reflecting pool ground plane that covers the parking garage below). The place feels right in the nexus of the city and quietly distanced from the hustle and bustle at the same time. Its quiet, somber institutional feel, its tall lobby - with the famously uniform floors that are even better at night - takes you back to a time where institutions were entities of progress and respectful largesse, made material by buildings like these designed with a deep sense of civic pride.
at 6:04 PM