1925 Banham 1971

Reyner Banham Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, Pelican: NY, 1971 (1976), 256 pp. 1976, 1971, 1955, 1925

     "'My brother, who is in the piano-business, tells me that Santa Monica uses more pianos than any other city of its size in the County. That means that Santa Monica has indeed become a home city, and is no longer simply a summer or winter pleasure resort,' wrote Marshall Breeden in 1925 of the prototype of all Angeleno beach cities  . . .

     "But an air of health and pleasure still attaches to the beaches, partly for good physiological reasons, and partly because the cultivation and cult of the physical man (and woman) is obviously a deeply ingrained trait in the psychology of Southern California. Sun, sand, and surf are held to be ultimate and transcendental values, beyond mere physical goods: . . . The culture of the beach is . . . a symbolic rejection of the values of the consumer society . . ." p. 38

     [Once pointed out, this situation was quickly corrected. KR]

     "There is a sense in which the beach is the only place in Los Angeles where all men are equal and on common ground. There appears to be (and to a varying degree there really is) a real alternative to the tendency of life to compartmentalize in this freemasonry of the beaches, and although certain high schools allegedly maintain a 'turf' system that recognizes certain beaches as the private territories of particular schools, it is roughly speaking possible for a man in beach trunks and a girl in a bikini to go to almost any beach unmolested-even private ones if they can muster the nerve to walk in. One way and another, the beach is what life is all about in Los Angeles.

[This neglects the history of segregated beaches. Was the Venice black ghetto a function of oil leased lands?]

     " . . . the beach runs from the Malibu strip at the western extremity to the Balboa peninsula in the south . . . Craig Ellwood's Hunt house of 1955 at Malibu and Rudolph Schindler's epoch-making Lovell house of thirty years earlier at Newport Beach . . . Between the two the beach varies in structure, format, orientation, social status, age of development, and whatnot, but remains continuously The Beach." p. 39

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017