one of the reasons i moved to los angeles is because i wanted to spend more time looking around the gigantic west. because, to state the obvious, the west coast of the u.s is very different from the east coast.
i grew up on the east coast, and the east coast is great, but it’s generally fairly small and cute and subtle. then you go out west and everything is gigantic and un-subtle. the east coast has cute colonial towns. the west coast has bizarre sprawling megalopolises. the east coast has hills. the west coast has giant mountains. and when i moved to l.a i vowed to explore the weird and beautiful and baffling areas around l.a. and top of my list (well, near the top of my list), was mt baldy.
like many people i first heard about mt baldy when leonard cohen moved there, to live at a zen monastery near the top of mt baldy. i assumed that mt baldy was some remote and mythical place, far, far away from los angeles. but, as is often the case, i was wrong. mt baldy is an hour away from l.a.
so today i drove up to mt baldy with some friends. we drank coffee at the mt baldy lodge. we had sandwiches in one of the 18,000 state park hiking/camping areas. and i took pictures of this little stone house.
i took pictures of this house because it’s perfect. it might not be architecturally significant, but it fits into it’s landscape about as perfectly as a house can ever fit into a landscape. and even though its an hour away from los angeles in 2013 it feels as if it’s fallen through a time portal (as does, fantastically, most of mt baldy) from 1935.
it doesn’t employ new or cutting edge building materials or building techniques. it wasn’t inspired by marcel breuer. but it’s amazing and perfect in it’s own way.
so, here’s a little stone house surrounded by trees in the middle of mt baldy.
it would be odd to have a fully functioning public pool in the middle of a big city.
it would be nice, but it would be odd.
and then i guess it would be even odder to have a fully un-functioning pool in the middle of a big city.
just a big hole in the ground, unceremoniously surrounded by a cheap chain link fence.
but there, right in the middle of hollywood, is a giant moribund pool surrounded by a cheap chain link fence.
which is odd.
‘how is it architecture?’
well, someone built it and it looks amazing, especially in the middle of the city.
and the twisty turny blue fiberglass slide in the corner is a pretty remarkable structure in it’s own right.
i guess the giant empty pool in the middle of the city begs some questions.
like: ‘what happened?’
i mean, it would seem as if a functioning gigantic pool in the middle of the city might be pretty popular.
so let’s look at hypotheses as to why it’s empty and in pool prison:
- they ran out of water and/or pool toys.
- aliens landed here and this is now a black ops government site like area 51.
- it’s actually a piece of installation art, possibly by ai weiwei. maybe the pool is actually filled with invisible sesame seeds.
- it’s a pool for mimes.
in any case, it’s a big amazing photogenic hole in the ground in the middle of a huge city.