Building Monuments out of Fantasy – A History of Themed Environments in Los Angeles

Photo Friends of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) consistently presents engaging programs that highlight photographs from its extensive collection. The latest installment of LAPL’s LA in Focus series is no exception.

While I’m not crazy about the title of this lecture (it’s called A City of Fakes, which to me just plays on tired LA stereotypes), the subject matter is certainly interesting. The talk by Zed Adams and Eric Lynxwiler will use images from the Library’s collection to examine “…the history of L.A.’s most distinctive contribution to 20th century architecture and design: the themed environment.”

What’s a “themed environment” you ask? Buildings such as the Coca-Cola bottling plant shaped like a cruise liner, the Mayan Theater and the legendary Clifton’s cafeterias fit the bill. Join Adams and Lynxwiler as they explore how Angelenos have lived, worked and played in these and other fantastical structures.

Adams is assistant professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City, while Lynxwiler is an urban anthropologist who hosts the Museum of Neon Art’s Neon Cruise, leads tours of the Broadway Theater district for the LA Conservancy and is co-author of Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles and Knott’s Preserved: From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott’s Berry Farm.



When: Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Where: Taper Auditorium, Central Library, located at 630 W 5th St, Los Angeles

Cost: Free and open to the public. Reservations not required

More Information: Available on the Photo Friends Blog