Revisiting Early L.A. Reviews

Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne begins a year-long series reading and reviewing 25 books all about L.A.

The first two books in his series are Louis Adamic's "The Truth About Los Angeles" from 1927 and Morrow Mayo's 1933 book "Los Angeles". The books represent dated yet still relevant perceptions of the city.

"Adamic, perhaps best remembered as a historian of the labor movement, finds plenty to poke fun at in Los Angeles -- which he calls 'a young city, crude, wildly ambitious, growing' -- but saves his harshest disdain for its newest arrivals, the Midwestern refugees lured to Los Angeles by cheap rail fares and the promise of sunshine and leisure, many of them churchgoing retirees content, as he puts it, to 'live in bungalow courts and eat in cafeterias.'"

Full Story: Reading L.A.: Louis Adamic and Morrow Mayo


Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95