Hey friends! I can’t believe a month has passed since we took a trip to Los Angeles! We went to LA at the end of June to celebrate our 10th anniversary, just the two of us, no kids, and it was one of the most wonderful trips I have ever taken. Neither of us had ever been there before, and we knew it may be years- if ever- that we have an opportunity to go back, so we crammed in as many adventures as possible, and we saw as many sights as we could fit into 7 short days. It’s all just too much to share in one post, so I decided to break it down into 3-4 different posts.
Today I will be sharing three awesome places we visited that are definitely worth seeing if you ever go to LA. Two of them are architectural landmarks, and one is the most amazing bookstore on the planet! Unfortunately, I lost some of my pictures of the trip- long story, and due to my ignorance with my new Macbook, I thought I had uploaded them to my computer and it was safe to delete them from my phone, but they deleted from my computer too when I did, GASP! Luckily we were able to visit an Apple Store while there, and a very nice gentleman helped me to ensure that will not happen again! I did not take my good camera with me on the trip, so all of the pictures I will be sharing were taken on my iPhone.
The Bradbury Building
The first place I want to share today is the Bradbury Building, which is located in downtown LA. The building I am standing in front of in the picture above is the Bradbury Building. We really wanted to visit downtown LA while we were there, and I can’t say that our experience in the downtown area was stellar. It was hot that day, and most places we walked smelled like urine- disgusting! It was bad people! We also ended up on skid row accidentally and I nearly had a heart attack. Luckily, it was fairly uneventful and we were safe, we only had to deal with some of the people there asking us for money. But trust me when I say be very careful if you are walking around the downtown area not to end up on skid row because it really sneaks up on you and it is not a safe place to be.
The Bradbury Building was built in 1893 and is a National Historic Landmark. LC is the one who wanted to visit this building, and I didn’t really know anything about it other than the fact that it has been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and music videos. On the outside it is very unassuming, but on the inside, there is this!
I have to say I was blown away when I entered this building! I had no idea the treat that was in store on the inside! The building was designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival Style You first enter a narrow lobby, which is pictured below. But then suddenly it opens into a bright naturally lit awe inspiring center court, which you see in the picture above.
The five-story central court features glazed and unglazed yellow and pink bricks, ornamental cast iron, tiling, Italian marble, Mexican tile, terra cotta, and polished wood, capped by a skylight that allows the court to be flooded with natural light, creating ever-changing shadows and accents during the day.
The building has operated as an office building for most of its history. And since 1996, it has served as the headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department’s internal affairs division. Wouldn’t this be a beautiful place to have to come to work every day? If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend that you take the time to visit the Bradbury building, you won’t be sorry, especially if you love architecture!
The Last Bookstore
There is one more place we visited in downtown LA that is definitely worth seeing. My husand and I love to go to bookstores, especially him. We had read about this particular bookstore when we were planning our trip, but we actually happened upon it while just strolling around the streets of downtown LA, and what a treat it was! Unbelievable! It’s called The Last Bookstore, and it is a must see if you are a fan of books. And if you aren’t a fan of books, you just might be after visiting this place. The Last Bookstore is California’s largest new and used book and record store. It is housed in a 22,000 square foot space, and it is amazing!
When you enter the building this counter space is one of the first things you see, and it sets the tone for the rest of the store. So many books everywhere! And so many cool things they have done with the books, I just couldn’t get enough.
I was enthralled by this tunnel they constructed with books, and the little window below was adorable too!
I kid you not when I say that there was something interesting to look at and picture worthy at every turn. I mean just look at the distressed bookshelves and the color coded books. I could have stayed in this store all day.
And there is also an upper mezzanine level that houses the Spring Arts Collective Gallery Shops, one of the most unique art galleries in LA. I am no expert on art by any means, but all I can say is wow! So many beautiful things there! The gallery space is curated by 5 different artists, and I was able to meet and talk to one of the artists, named Liz Huston, who was so kind. And she was actually sitting there making art, which was fun to watch. I couldn’t buy a full size piece of her art that day, but I did purchase a fine art greeting card from her, and the title of the artwork is called So Long As You Wish It. It is pictured below, isn’t it beautiful? You can even order from her at her website, and have the art shipped.
All images © 2008-2014 Liz Huston
The Hollyhock House
The third place I am sharing today is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House in East Hollywood, LA. I am a big fan of Frank LLoyd Wright, so I really wanted to see this house. We didn’t go inside because we didn’t have time, but just the outside was amazing. And jaw dropping views from every vantage point as well. We actually attempted to go there one evening and it was so crowded we couldn’t find a parking space, so we went back another day.
This house was designed by Frank LLoyd Wright and was built for oil heiress, Aline Barnsdall, during the years of 1919-1921. It is also a National Historic Landmark.
The house is arranged around a central courtyard with one side open to form a kind of theatrical stage (never used as such), and a complex system of split levels, steps and roof terraces around that courtyard.
You know a place must have amazing views when there are artists scattered about the lawn with their easels! I had never been someplace before where I saw artists at work like that, so it was a thrill for me.
In the next two pictures you can see the Hollywood sign in the background, towards the left.
I am so glad we found time to visit the Hollyhock house while we were in LA. I only wish we had time to go inside. But maybe next time.
That is a wrap for the three sights worth seeing in LA. Have you been to LA before, and if so have you visited any of the sights I mentioned here today? I would love for you to share in the comments! I love your comments and I read every one! Thanks for joining me today for my first post about our trip to LA. I do hope you will stay tuned in for the next one! I haven’t talked a lot about our travels on the blog, but that is an element that I want to start posting about more often. Have a great Thursday friends!
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