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Showing Off Our Own

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The Architecture and Design Museum continues to showcase Los Angeles’s finest with "34 Los Angeles Architects." The exhibition opens tomorrow with a reception at 7:00 PM, 8560 W. Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood (exhibition remains on view through February 22, 2005). According to the A + D Museum, the exhibition contains "a wide representation of an open-ended view of modernist architecture in the fertile architectural ground of Los Angeles – a cutting edge 21st Century City." Participants include local firms whose impact is beginning to register beyond Los Angeles, such as Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Lorcan O’Herlihy, Michael Maltzan, Neil M. Denari, and Marmol Radziner. O’Herlihy created a diamond-shaped "tower" within which the presentations are installed. Hmm, it sounds like you gotta see it to understand how this scheme works.

LAist wishes this surfeit of vision and ingenuity could create a solution to the contested Belmont Tunnel site at Second Street and Glendale Boulevard near Downtown, where the City delivered a stop-work order yesterday. Graff art and railway history advocates contacted the Department of Building and Safety when contractors set their bulldozers to work without obtaining a grading permit.

Given the fact that open space, public art, and affordable housing are both scarce and crucial commodities within any major city, competing interests have defined the site since plans to develop 276 units (55 of which will be affordable) were announced. The Cultural Heritage Commission recently approved Historic-Cultural Monument status for portions of the site, but it was conferred selectively so as to preclude the establishment of a dedicated graffiti art park.

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A tunnel reuse project would have been an apt companion piece to the LA Forum for Architecture and Urban Design’s Dead Malls and Big Box Reuse competition. We hope a resourceful compromise which balances art and affordable housing is produced for the Belmont Tunnel site, yet we remain skeptical.