I love cars and I love Los Angeles for being a city of cars and over the last decade or so, I have been intrigued by LA's love affair with the automobile. However, my interest in this story is primarily about this car culture's manifestation within the city's built environment, especially its “surface streets” (ordinary city streets), where there was once a time when people actually depended on them and these streets once allowed a unified mental image of an urban texture to be retained.
Now at a moment in time, when optimism about the car is focused on removing the driver from the process, these images capture an era where the car and the act of driving were celebrated, and it makes me wonder if we are the last generation of "true" motorists.
These architectural styles trace historical and stylistic cross-currents reflected in the urban condition of Los Angeles and thus prompt us to consider - What architectural message will be received by self-driving cars? And if this experience is not on the visual spectrum, how will we know when we have arrived?