Eye Mid-Century Gems from the Inside

The Hammer Museum's A. Quincy Jones exhibit gets a pair of tours.

Before the "Mad Men" era was called the "Mad Men" era it was known by a few other terms, like "mid-century swank" and "early '60s cool" and "the time when a lot of us grew up" or the "time when a lot of our parents grew up" and "a period when buildings had a palpable swagger that could be detected from the very curb."

Architect A. Quincy Jones is one of the visionaries to thank for that curb-detectable style. His airier floor plans and atomic-age lines were copied far and wide, and Southern California's distinctive Southern-California-ness sprung from many of his structures.

The Hammer Museum is feting the USC professor's architectural legacy with both an exhibit and two tours highlighting some of his best and most style-encapsulating work.

The tours, set to roll on Saturday, June 22 and Saturday, June 29, will take in different sphere's of the legend's portfolio. The June 22 event will visit the Mutual Housing Association in Crestwood Hills -- think buildings built from 1946 through 1950 -- and the June 29 tour will take in some Holmby Hills works and the home of the architect in Century City.

Each tour is $150 and $115 of your ticket is tax-deductible.

Consider it a Saturday celebrating a person who gave SoCal its structural oomph in the swingingest part of the space age. Also consider it a way to play lookie-loo for a day, not just from the street but up-close inside some mid-century landmarks.

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