Downtown in Detail: Close-Up on the Historic Buildings of Los Angeles

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9781883318918: Downtown in Detail: Close-Up on the Historic Buildings of Los Angeles
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Until the late 1970s, Downtown Los Angeles was simply a relic to treasure, a symbol of suburban progress by its own demise. As businesses moved out of what was once the heart of the city, many Downtown buildings suffered the swing of the wrecking ball. But suddenly, up stepped the conservators of history, the people who cared that their city had a vivid past -- and magnificent buildings were saved. Now, through the lens of master photographer/historian Tom Zimmerman we see scores of reasons why. We see the stories the buildings tell, up close, and, yes, very personally. In Downtown in Detail, Zimmerman finds the unique vantage points from which to capture architectural details that are the highlights of buildings, the ones that are often undiscovered. He finds the sculptures, tiles, clock towers, gargoyles and bas-relief panels that historic architects used to define an era.

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In Downtown in Detail, Tom Zimmerman goes inside and finds long-forgotten penthouses, windows that provide more than light, and stairways that really might lead to heaven. These same details have been hidden by progress, by the advent of skyscrapers that locked us in elevators, and by the pace of life that drew our eyes down to the cold reality of cracks in the sidewalk instead of up, up and away to the dreams of those master designers. Zimmerman takes us back to those dreams with photos as dreamy as they come.

In the words of Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy -- a woman who spends her every day saving the historic sites of Los Angeles -- "This book is much more than a window into the past. The vast majority of buildings pictured are still here, right now. I hope you'll take these photos as inspiration to go Downtown and see them firsthand . . . in Tom Zimmerman's remarkable photographs, we see the details that are there, waiting for each of us to rediscover, enjoy, and preserve for future generations."

About the Author:

Tom Zimmerman is a native of Los Angeles whose photographs are in the permanent collections of the United States Library of Congress, National Trust for Historic Preservation, California State Library, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles Conservancy, Brooklyn Museum, Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive, and Fortress of Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has taken historic recordation photos of the Ambassador Hotel, Olympic Swim Stadium, Tom Gilmore's Old Bank District in Los Angeles, Santa Fe Repair Yards in San Bernardino, State Armory in Santa Barbara, the last orange packing plant in Irvine, and hundreds of others. He is the author of Paradise Promoted: The Booster Campaign that Created Los Angeles 1870-1930.

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