Saturday, October 26, 2013

LA Arts District Tour

What do you know about the Arts District?

If you're like me, not a whole lot. I suppose there's artsy stuff there, right?

Well, yes.

But art and beauty may be in the eye of the beholder.

Or . . . maybe you can't judge art by the cover?

I say that because the lovely ol' warehouse to the right is one of the venues of the Los Angeles Conservancy's Art District Tour on November 10.

The building is the Pickle Works, more properly the James K. Hill and Sons Pickle Works.

When it was built in 1888 of brick, it was the California Vinegar and Pickle Company, and for 19 years it got enlarged because, I guess, back then we ate a lot of pickles (some of us still do.)

Then it got trendy and carried the name Citizens' Warehouse and Art Dock. So it's on the tour--but only the exterior.

Other stops on this self-guided tour are the Angel City Brewery, where you must be over 21 to go in, the Southern California Institute of Architecture shown at left (formerly a Santa Fe Train Depot), and the American Hotel, a seedy-looking-but-beloved, nay, legendary home for artists, built in 1905.

You will also see artist home/workspace lofts on 3rd St, in a 1910 building that once housed the  Southern California Supply Company. Then there will be private lofts to view, elegantly decorated, in the Toy Factory Building, the Challenge Dairy Building, and the National Biscuit Building, all built in the mid-1920s but all deeply refurbished and modernized.

This tour seems ideal for the voyeur in all of us who wonder what our lives would be like had we taken the plunge and bought into one of these lofts a few years ago (before or after the Great Recession, depending on your derring-do).

Well, I wonder, and I thought about it. One of these buildings was offering a Mini-Cooper with loft purchase for a while.

That's the National Biscuit Building to the right, and on top of the wing that juts out is a beautiful long pool for doing laps. It's also called the Biscuit Company Lofts.

Here's the facts on the Conservancy's tour:

Sunday, November 10 from 10 am to 4 pm

Cost is $10 children, $15 students, $30 for Conservancy members and $35 for non-members. All non-refundable.

The tour may take 4-5 hours and you may have to move your car once (or not; I guess it depends on how far you want to walk). Docents will be at the various locations to talk about the sites, and there are some possible restrictions, so please check out the website.

1 comment:

Laurie Avocado said...

I just found this post. I was following the 1st St. Viaduct widening project and saw the billboard stating that the Pickle Works/Citizens Warehouse building would be preserved, though one end of it had to be sliced off. Time went by, the bridge was widened, and the building still stands with one end boarded up. I haven't found any information regarding its future. Have you?

Laurie