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Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies Paperback – March 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In one volume [Banham] does the near-impossible: He makes us see this fragmented city [of Los Angeles] as a breathing whole.”
(Ariel Swartley Los Angeles Magazine 2009-03-01)

“Still as penetrating now as when Banham completed his observations on the city in 1971.”
(La Observed 2009-04-24)

“Banham wrote like a blissed-out lover, surrendering to his feelings of derangement and wonder while keeping his eyes wide-open.”
(Los Angeles Times 2009-06-21)

“Banham's book has remained au courant.”
(Palisadian Post 2009-06-18)

About the Author

Reyner Banham (1922-1988) was Sheldon H. Solow Professor of the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Joe Day leads deegan day design llc and serves on the design faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Second Edition edition (March 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520260155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520260153
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By James B. Garrison on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though Banham's book was written in the early '70's, it remains a cogent view of a metropolis that has changed yet remained the same. It is a place, yes a real place, that is defined by geography and the various cultures of its inhabitants to a unique degree. Architecture is but a backdrop to Banham's larger point about the inter-relationship of people to the natural and built environments. The perspective of 35 years only sharpens the observations made by the insightful author.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
Reyner Banham's writing is intelligent and entertaining. He has taken LA to heart and reveals how its "four ecologies" have affected its contemporary appearance and character. You'll not only learn how LA's architecture came to be as it is, but learn a great deal about the history and personality of the city as well. I read this book to get to know LA better. I couldn't have picked a better one.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By David Schweizer VINE VOICE on July 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Los Angeles. There were a few years there when Los Angles was the center of the world. 1965-1985, give or take a few years. Oh yes, even the Brits were raving. David Hockney had declared LA the best place to paint ("Splash") and Reyner Banham declared LA the city of tomorrow. Things were cooking and I was there. Then things started to go wrong. Spielberg and the boys from USC took over Hollywood and turned the city from a culture center into an amusement park. The pollution started to get too dangerous to laugh at. The gangs took over much of the fringe. There was Rodney King, O.J., riots, earthquakes, fires, gang warfare. All in all, the city was destroyed. Who knows what Banham might make of the place now. This is a great little book.
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Format: Paperback
Although I've never been to Los Angeles, I conceived a great affection for the city by reading this book. Banham was a wonderful writer, a man utterly without European prejudices regarding the United States and southern California. To better understand the city and its modes of life, he learned to drive. He grasped that Los Angeles depends on mobility, rather than central organization. The illustrations are wonderful--one in particular, the magnificent interior of the Bradbury building of 1893 I found inspiring. A very beautiful book that belongs in every library.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John W. Ehrlich on April 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful introduction to the roots of L.A. and how it came to be what it was in the arly 70's, and amazingly still relevant for the 21st century.
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I had to buy this book for school and Amazon had a great price. The ideas the author presents are interesting and his writing style is definitely interesting. I definitely recommend it for people who live in LA.
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