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'The Sixties Turn 50' celebrates birth of L.A. architecture craze

October 2, 2009 | 10:24 am

L.A. architecture came into its own in the 1960s -- and the Los Angeles Conservancy is celebrating with a slick new website called "The Sixties Turn 50."

The site is full of cool photos, histories, a time line and even a contest to pick your favorite buildings. Historian John English says the LAX Theme building and other icons of the 1960s set the tone:

“That can’t be historic — I remember when it was built!” Have you ever heard someone say that about a building near to your heart? Well, as time marches on and we get older, so do the places we love — unless they’re torn down first. Relatively young landmarks of the 1960s are now coming of age and need protecting before it’s too late. In 2010, structures built in 1960 will reach the ripe old age of fifty, the widely accepted threshold for consideration as historic. The all-volunteer Modern Committee (ModCom) of the Los Angeles Conservancy has dealt with the “fifty-year hurdle” since its founding in 1984, long before the renaissance of mid-century modernism. “Early on, the idea of preserving modernist resources was hard for many people to swallow. In the 1990s, buildings of the fifties gained credibility, but people couldn’t even think about the Sixties as a preservation issue,” English said.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: LAX Theme building. Credit: L.A. Times file