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Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis (California Architecture and Architects) Hardcover – November 2, 2004


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Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis (California Architecture and Architects) + Edward A. Killingsworth: An Architect's Life
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Product Details

  • Series: California Architecture and Architects (Book 25)
  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Hennessey & Ingalls (November 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940512394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940512399
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bobby June on December 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
And the way it's shown and told by the authors keeps all senses open and curious. The only thing I can't decide is if it's a coffee table book, a book to read and shelve or a book to explore with. Whichever way, it's full of history, current and future information regarding the LBC and its strong stance as Los Angeles' right hand wo(man).

Visually, the homes, businesses, halls, bridges, centers, theaters, lofts, apartments and high rises chosen are the book's draw. Stunning architechture from all sorts of times. Each place chosen gets a spread.

Textually, probably one of the strongest points made in the book (from my slant, at least) is the city's ability to survive and prosper. Without this, forward motion seems like it would have been limited to that of a typical metroville. The book points to all sorts of drama the city went through and is still playing with. From it's hay-day to its current hardcore stance, I learned about its cash and about why its diversity is. I'm not a writer but it seems written very well and flows nicely. They even got some props from some big architect heads in the beginning pages.

And talk about drama, the authors even school the city (and give it love, too!) regarding a number of directions that it has taken architecturally in recent years. "All-deco" got heckled. Good, because I live (t)here and we need more chaos. More modernity. More of everything. Not just one style. The authors will have had a hand on this steering wheel if we see change in the city's direction over the coming years.

Aside from its well placed critical stance is a writen attitude of optimisim and growth. A book supporting a city whose ability will soon shine.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark B. Brandt on January 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A very long over due look at Long Beach. My only complaint is that the address is not listed for buildings no longer there- just "demolished". For those of us who were not around when some of the buildings were, it would be nice to have the former address to to see what has taken the former buildings place. Other than that a great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raphael D. Mazor on July 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's a ton of useful information about many of the important structures around Long Beach. You'll see many you've often driven by and wondered about. Plenty of info to get you oriented about the history of so many striking buildings.

I don't agree with the review that describes the layout as "ugly". You only get one photo per building, but it's generally nicely composed. (The color choices for the maps in the back are indeed garish, though.).

A few odd things about this book, or things I'd do differently:
-There are a few surprising omissions, and such as Rancho Los Cerritos or Rancho Los Alamitos. I can't imagine why anyone would neglect the oldest buildings in Long Beach from a book like this!
-I'm not sure why there are so many entries for "never built" buildings. I think one or two might be ok, but they don't really say anything about the architectural fabric of Long Beach, other than to point out that we are a city full of "go-nowhere" ideas.
-Not much info on efforts to preserve Long Beach's architectural heritage.
-Not much emphasis on the architectural styles that characterize the city (e.g., craftsmans, spanish style bungalows), focusing more on showpiece buildings that stand apart.

So, if you care about Long Beach history or architecture, (or about Southern California in general), this book is a must-have, as there is nothing else like it. The flaws are pretty minor, and it's a great resource to browse through. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Lambert on November 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This work provides a thorough look at the architecture of Long Beach's past, including many sites that no longer exist. It's an historical yet fresh perspective on a city I've visited several times and on a city I now see in a completely different way.

Although I don't live in Long Beach I would think that this would be especially facinating for anybody who does.
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Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis (California Architecture and Architects)
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