Loving That '80s Architecture

A new LA Conservancy series spotlights newer buildings.

It's one of the age-old conversation-starters among people devoted to preservation: How much time has to pass before a building is worth saving?

Perhaps it isn't phrased exactly in that manner, but the question lingers. Is a building constructed in 1930 intrinsically more historic and preservation-ready than a building built, say, in 1988? Especially if, because of tastes and opinions, the later building is seen as something average and not out-of-the-ordinary?

The LA Conservancy will explore some of these thoughts in its newest series, Curating the City. The organization, which has done much to fight for and save Southern California's early architectural heritage, will put a focus on more modern structures, specifically buildings from the 1970s and 1980s.

Picture a building from 1985. Do you see glass? Towering pillars? Do you hear the "Miami Vice" theme playing in the background? We kind of do.

Tours, panels, and films will be a part of the spring-into-summer series.

It's a provocative topic for history lovers, and people tied to place, because it asks if we do, in a way, lean toward older, more unusual buildings from a bygone era while passing over the newer structures that are more common and therefore might seem to not need our care.

It's part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA.

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But before the series even kicks off in April, we could all take a moment and try and see, as if for the first time, a '70s- or '80s-era structure we pass all the time and never notice. Could it be a gem in a century, something our great-grandchildren are fighting to save? Count on this happening, for sure, because the past tells us it will.

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