Los Angeles has plenty of amazing buildings designed by famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank O. Gehry, Renzo Piano, Richard Meier, Rudolph Schindler, and they're scattered all over town. Although it's debatable what makes a piece of architecture significant or interesting, wether its Art Deco, Craftsman or modern architecture, these structures create visual impact and some even have historic significance. There are so many, it's hard to narrow it down, but these are our top choices of buildings we would love to scan and archive.
1. Richard Meier's Getty Center looks like two completely different buildings, depending on your vantage point. You usually see views of the squared-off travertine stone facade or inner fountain, but we love the curves of the main entrance, covered with off-white enameled aluminum panels.
2.The unassuming brown brick exterior of the Bradbury Building in Downtown LA doesn't hint at its spectacular interior. This is not a building that you can appreciate from the outside. You have to take the time to park and go inside, where intricately carved wood and wrought iron filigree are lit from above by a domed atrium.
3. The Capitol Records Building near Hollywood and Vine was designed by architect Welton Becket in 1956 to resemble a stack of vinyl 45 records. It is one of the most recognizable structures in the city. The 13-story tower is on the Los Angeles Register of Historic Places.
4. Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles was designed to look like a ship sailing down Grand Avenue with it's giant silver sails unfurled. One of the best things about Disney Concert Hall is you can climb up and down its stairways and walkways as if it were a real life M.C. Escher painting.
5.The Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, was designed as a prototype for what was supposed to be a series of dome cinemas around the country, based on R. Buckminster Fuller's geodesic design, but the rest were never built. Built in 16 weeks using 316 interlocking concrete panels, the theatre opened in 1963 with a curved 86-foot wide screen. The 76-foot high dome can seat almost 1000 people.
6. The Sunset Tower Hotel is a historic Art Deco hotel on the Sunset Strip that was once home to a who's who of Hollywood celebrities from Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe to Iggy Pop. Bugsy Siegel's former apartment is now the Tower Bar.
7. The Chateau Marmont is a favorite celeb sighting haunt and perhaps best known as the location where John Belushi died in 1982. This 1929 hotel, modeled after a French chateau, has seen more Hollywood secrets than most, and its storied history still draws the curious.
8. If the Playboy Mansion's walls could talk, they would recount a bestselling memoir of raucous parties thrown by its owner, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and plenty of naughty debauchery (most notably in its famous 'grotto.'). The Gothic-Tudor style mansion in Holmby Hills became famous in the '70s for its exclusive and wild parties.
9.The Stahl House (also known as Case Study House #22) is a modernist house designed by architect Pierre Koenig in the Hollywood Hills of LA. It was made famous by a Julius Shulman photograph showing two women leisurely sitting in a corner of the house with an eventide panoramic view of the city through floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
10. Grauman's Chinese Theatre, now renamed TCL Chinese Theatre, is rarely mentioned in lists of top Los Angeles architectural sites, but Raymond M. Kennedy's 1927 movie palace is arguable the most famous and definitely the most visited architectural landmark in the city.