Inspiring local architecture

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Bruce Goff (1904-1982) - was responsible for some of the most iconoclastic architectural designs of the mid-twentieth century. Masterpiece in Los Angeles—and his last project— is the Japanese Pavilion at LACMA and the Al Struckus house in Woodland Hills just amaze me. I which I could even come close to his imaginative ideas. They inspire me to think of space and volume in whole new ways. No detail is left for others. Totality is realized.

I grew up in laurel canyon in the Hollywood hills in Los Angeles during the 1950’s and 60s. I lived on Wonderland Park Ave. on my street lived Jerry Brown, Governor, with Linda Ronstadt. His neighbor was Dr. Tim Leary. The people who designed Disneyland lived there. We were the first integrated neighborhood in California. We were all just people, no defined color issues. My neighbor ran the Renaissance Fair, antiwar and women lib movements to freedom. I was just a kid. Our homes were mostly a Mid-Century designed neighborhood with the new look of the 50’s. Our neighbors had Craig ELWOOD AND Koenig homes. Garrett Eckbo designed Jerrys home gardens. Music of all types was everywhere. I think living in this environment affected me more than I will ever know. The kids from the canyon in most part ended up with careers of self-employment with their own firms. Many became artist of all kinds. Maybe me, also. Architecture of a community has a lasting impact on one’s life. Work to make your impactful.

My father-in-law bought a house in Topanga canyon. When I saw it I was very excited. Every inch of space, material and nature was enriching. It reminded me of Falling water by Frank Lloyd Wright which I had visited and was just blown away by. I ask my boss; Robert Marks, architect; if he knew the house. It was his best friends design and construction, earl weir. I had a strong connection to the home in many ways. Hanging out watching all the lines of the construction, the branches of the Oaks, the flow of the water way, nature all felt so relaxing and comforting. You could be one with the world whether you were in or out of the stone, concrete, redwood, and glass structure. I know where the inspiration had come from and who that person was.

I was the best man in Michael Gardner, structural engineer’s, wedding. The Place was the Wayfarers Chapel a Christian church in Rancho Palos Verdes, California designed by Lloyd Wright set in a redwood Forrest over the ocean on a very steep hillside. Walking around what some call the Trinity Chapel or "The Glass Church" and its grounds feels organic, soulful, peaceful, and energies me to be a better person. This is what architecture and nature are supposed to do. it turns out that my Mentor, Robert Marks Architect, was the site superintendent on this project. My world keeps getting smaller.

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