Views from LA City Hall

LA City HallAfter our LA Art Tour, and a little lunch at the Wurstküche (recommended!), we weren’t quite ready to leave DTLA. I’m not sure how it is that we have lived in So Cal for over 30 years and have never been inside the iconic LA City Hall. Our day had come. The only trick to getting through security was that H had to remove his small Swiss Army Knife from his keychain and “hide” it somewhere outside (next to another, larger Swiss Army Knife).

A list of instructions in about 10 languages explained that   to get to the observation deck, one must take the elevator to the 22nd floor, then find the next set of elevators to get to the 26th floor, and from there, walk up a flight of steps. A kind security guard suggested we stop first at the third floor to look at the rotunda. Very nice.

One can walk all the way around the viewing platform for some great views of the city and the mountains.

Grand Park and Disney Concert Hall are not hard to spot.

The big art piece, that looks like a spaceship, in the lower part of the photo is the Triforum.

LA Triforium

Building reflections and patterns

And, a bell.

LA City Hall Bell

And, yes, we remembered to pick up the hidden Swiss Army Knife on the way out.

Entrance to City Hall is free. Parking is not.


Renwick House Relocated

In the dark of night between Sunday and Monday, the Renwick House moved across College Ave. to make way for the new Pomona College art museum. There are photos of the move on Facebook, as well as this video from the Claremont Courier. David Allen wrote about it in his weekly column of the Daily Bulletin. Here are my before and after photos taken in the daylight.

View from Bonita Ave. looking south.

Here today. Gone tomorrow.

Ready for the house, and looking at the new west-facing Renwick House.

The sign on the door is a little understatement. It say’s We’ve Moved. I don’t think the letter carrier will be using that mail slot too soon.


Here is a past post with another before photo of the house. Here is the post about the removal of the cottages next door to the Renwick House.



Santa Barbara Architecture

We enjoyed an overnight in Santa Barbara this past weekend, giving us a chance to revisit some of the beautiful landmarks. Many people first think of the Santa Barbara Mission – the Grand Dame of the California Missions. It is particularly lovely as the sun is setting.

I particularly enjoy the County Courthouse, also in the Spanish style.

With its beautiful interiors


And views of Santa Barbara from the tower.



Cottages Demolition

img_4933One of the current controversies in Claremont concerns Pomona College’s Master Plan which involves tearing down some small white cottages across College Ave. from the campus and moving an historic Victorian House to make room for a new home for the Pomona College Museum of Art.

Although a lawsuit has been filed by a group, Citizens to Save College Ave., the demolition of the cottages has begun.

Work was hampered last week by four days of rain, but progress is evident.

Here are the cottages before demolition:

These photos show the current state of affairs:

Claremontographer in NYC: The High Line

NYC is a great city for walking. It’s so flat, img_4848and there’s so much to see. After our hot chocolate fortification at Grom, we realized that we weren’t so far from the end of the High Line, a relatively new park that I’d read about and had been looking forward to seeing.

A former elevated train line, gone into disuse in the 1980s, it has found new life as a park with the first section opening up in 2009.

We entered at the south end of the park, right next to the   Whitney Museum.

Despite the chilly temps and wind, it was quite sunny, perfect for taking photos.

The tracks are still visible in many places.


There are various sculptures

and street art

as well as great views of architecture – old and new

After returning to our hotel and then going out for dinner, we racked up over 25,000 steps our first day and slept really well that night.

Claremontographer in NYC: Greenwich Village

To combat jet lag after a red-eye, our first morning included a walking tour of Greenwich Village. We signed up with Free Tours by Foot which could be free, but up front they tell you that it’s a pay what you want at the end of the tour.

Although I expected lots of history from the Beatnik era, most of the stories were from earlier times, and after learning about the very early history of the neighborhood, I snagged a few book recommendations from our guide.

The tour included:

The Stonewall Inn where early gay rights riots happened in 1969.


The Gay Liberation Monument near the Stonewall Inn


500 square inches of land which the Hess Family refused to give up when the rest of their property was taken by eminent domain by the city.


Federalist architecture


The apartment on the top floor which has been in rent control for so long, that the man who lives there (he’s in his 80s) still pays less than $350 a month.


The narrowest building, with Dutch architecture


Cafe Wha – the starting place for many musicians, including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Springsteen. Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame waited tables there.


Washington Square

After the tour ended, we still wanted to buck up our energy, so we shared a cup of hot chocolate at Grom. It’s called hot chocolate, but it’s more like liquid fudge. The whipped cream on top just added to its decadence. Our tour guide had recommended that two people share a small, and I’m glad we followed her advice.