Documenting one of the most creative and influential periods in Southern California architecture, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens this fall presents “Architects of a Golden Age: Highlights from The Huntington’s Southern California Architecture Collection.” The exhibition will be on view in the West Hall of the Library from Oct. 6, 2018 to Jan. 21, 2019.
About 20 carefully selected original drawings and plans depicting elegant, powerful, whimsical, and iconic buildings will tease out the story of a place and time (1920 to 1940) that was ripe for architectural innovation—with rapid growth and the arrival of new talent from other parts of the U.S. “Architects of a Golden Age” feature renderings that helped bring into existence some of the most extraordinary buildings in the greater Los Angeles area, including Downtown L.A.’s Union Station, Mayan Theater, Stock Exchange building, and Chinatown structures, as well as seminal examples of the California Bungalow.
Highlights of “Architects of a Golden Age” include a charcoal presentation rendering of the façade of L.A.’s Union Station, designed by Edward Warren Hoak, that illustrates his blend of Spanish, Mission Revival, Southwest, and Art Deco styles; and, from the massive collection of the Morgan, Walls & Clements firm’s papers, a highly detailed drawing of the Mayan Theater on Hill Street. The incredibly detailed sketch maps out the ornate 1927 building’s façade, with its stylized pre-Columbian reliefs by Mexican sculptor Francisco Cornejo (1892-1963).
As a sort of epilogue to the exhibition, visitors can feast their eyes on a large rendering of a luxurious living room of the post-World War II era. Designed by architect A. Quincy Jones and interior designer William Haines in 1952, the Sidney and Frances Brody residence (in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles) brings the exhibition narrative to the edge of the next aesthetic that was influenced by the Southern California lifestyle—mid-century modern. “William Haines’s simply gorgeous interior for the Brody living room is the pinnacle of what can be achieved with California innovation as it enters the modernist period,” said Chase. “It beautifully brings the pre-war history of architecture in the region to an uplifting sendoff.”