Just Above Sunset
Volume 5, Number 10
March 11, 2007

Wilshire Mixer

 The world as seen from Just Above Sunset -

"Notes on how things seem from out here in Hollywood..."

Mid-Wilshire is an architectural giggle. Halfway between downtown Los Angeles and Beverly Hills to the west, the blocks around Vermont have a little bit of everything.  The area is heavily Korean now, but full of surprises.

The landmarks in these few blocks -

The Bullocks Wilshire Building -

    Designed by renowned Los Angeles architects John and Donald Parkinson, the Bullocks Wilshire building operated as a luxury department store for more than 60 years. In 1994, Southwestern purchased the aging Art Deco structure, and set out to convert it into a dynamic academic venue, while retaining its historic character.

Bullocks Wilshire was built for John J. Bullock - founder of the exclusive Bullocks Wilshire Department stores. Clients at this store included Mae West, Alfred Hitchcock, John Wayne, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable.

The Bullocks Wilshire Building
The Bullocks Wilshire Building

See Hollywood Lived Here regarding The Talmadge -

    When Joseph Schenck, then the president of United Artists and later the co-founder of 20th Century Fox, presented the 10-story, 48-unit residential palace as a gift for his wife, silent-film actress Norma Talmadge, it was praised as the finest apartment building west of New York. He not only named the building after her but moved them both to a top-floor pied--terre. The Talmadge was, and still is, one of the grandest of the Art Deco and Art Nouveau buildings erected during a construction boom between 1923 and 1929.

3278 Wilshire Boulevard

The Talmadge -3278 Wilshire Boulevard

Just across the boulevard - something fancy. Rococo emerged in France in the early eighteenth century as a continuation of the Baroque business - but not as heavy and dark. The usual words used to describe it are opulence, grace, playfulness, and lightness - carefree stuff, not heroic battles or religious figures. The word Rococo is apparently a combination of the French rocaille, or shell, and the Italian barocco, or Baroque style. You do get a lot of shell-like curves and odd flowers and figures. Anyway, when the term was first used in English, sometime around 1836, it was a colloquialism meaning "old-fashioned" - and by the mid-nineteenth century it was, as everything had turned all neoclassical. Rococo hit Hollywood big-time in the late twenties, when the film industry really took off, at the tail end of the silent film era.

Actually, this is a subset of Rococo - Churrigeresque detail - floral and scrollwork cast and attached to the building - in the manner of the Spanish architect Churriguera.

Churrigeresque detail - floral and scrollwork cast and attached to the building - in the manner of the Spanish architect Churriguera
Churrigeresque detail - floral and scrollwork cast and attached to the building - in the manner of the Spanish architect Churriguera
Churrigeresque detail - floral and scrollwork cast and attached to the building - in the manner of the Spanish architect Churriguera
Churrigeresque detail - floral and scrollwork cast and attached to the building - in the manner of the Spanish architect Churriguera
Churrigeresque detail - floral and scrollwork cast and attached to the building - in the manner of the Spanish architect Churriguera
Churrigeresque detail - floral and scrollwork cast and attached to the building - in the manner of the Spanish architect Churriguera

The big Presbyterian church is now the Korean Presbyterian Church, next to the Talmadge, with another glass-walled skyscraper behind that.

Korean Presbyterian Church, Wilshire Boulevard

Glass curtain walls can be nice.

Palm tree reflected in glass curtain wall - Wilshire Boulevard

The neighborhood now - same block -

Korean Consulate, Los Angeles, Wilshire Boulevard
Ginseng boxes in window - Wilshire Bouelvard

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me.

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

[Wilshire Mixer]

Last updated Saturday, March 10, 2007, 10:30 pm Pacific Time

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 - Alan M. Pavlik

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