Monday, February 28, 2011

Architectural History of Los Angeles

In 2004, Los Angeles Magazine called this piece "a 6 by 36 foot postcard of undulating ocean waves, swirling on-ramps, and city landmarks from Griffith Observatory to Angel's Flight." At that time, the mosaic was on the edge of its 50th birthday, having been installed at Parker Center in 1955 by Joseph Young.

That year, tours of the new Parker Center were in such high demand that a policewoman worked full time leading groups through the building. 8000 folks from September through December, 1955.

Yound died in August 2007 if you want to look up his obituary on the Los Angeles Times. I blogged then, but the link is no longer good. Here's a copy from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which is where Young was born.

The above picture of the mosaic came from the Joseph Young fan page on Facebook, and there are more photos there.  And here's an interesting b&w image on idea where they got it.

I am actually on hold with the LAPD as I write this, trying to learn if the mosaic has been moved to the new police headquarters. Their hold music includes Beethovan's Fifth Symphony...quite nice.

Nope--the mosaic is still at the old Parker Center, and there are no plans to move it.


Anonymous said...

The city is planning to remove this mural.
They have issued and RFP for removal of the mural and the other building art, possibly to reinstall at the new location.
This would be a negative impact on the remaining historic Welton Becket structure and a violation of CEQA.

Vix said...

Thank you, anonymous. I'm pretty sure RFP is Request for Proposal, and CEQA is California Environmental Quality Act--a puzzle to me. What would the removal of a mosaic have to do with environmental quality?
I would like to know more.

Lassie said...

You may know that there are now three proposals the City of LA has been presented with for the disposition of Parker Center. Only 2 or the 3 are really on the table, one actually if the truth be told.
The City favors the demolition of Parker Center to make way for 2 26 story towers to house employees and services.
However there is an alternate proposal to preserve the core of Parker Center, rehab it, with an added 11 story tower. This is the "win win" proposal from the vantage point of the LA Conservancy, as the building and mural would remain.
October 2, 2014 at 10 a.m. there is a City Council meeting and the City Council will review the matter. There is currently a petition at being circulated by LA Conservancy. It is directed to Mayor Eric Garcetti and calls for the preservation of the Welton Becket building.

I am one of Joseph Young's daughters and you are free to be in touch. I reply to messages sent to me at: the Joseph L. Young Fan Page on Facebook, or: