What Have They Been Smoking?

The architectural landscape of Los Angeles is extremely varied. One can find anything from buildings appreciated worldwide for their high aesthetic value or sheer boldness to areas with structures so boring in their uniformity that one feels driven to tears. These are the two ends of the spectrum; in between one can find anything from the divine to the ridiculous and the weird.

This clearly falls into the latter category:


Yes, I know that this mock-Tudorbethan style was very popular from the middle of the 1920s to the beginning of the 1930s. I also know that this little “village”, a tableau consisting of eight cottages, was built adjacent to the former Disney studios (long gone, now a Gelson supermarket sits on the site), therefore it is part of the film history of the city. Still, every time I pass this spot on Griffith Park Boulevard I have to blink and ask myself: “What did they smoke when they came up with that?”

The only redeeming fact about this architectural travesty (in my eyes at least) is that David Lynch used the cottages in his movie “Mulholland Drive.” They certainly do not appear as quaint or whimsical in this film – I doubt that Mr. Lynch is even aware that these words exist – but as a dark, disturbing and mysterious background to some scenes in one of his finest movies. An architectural nightmare turned into art, at least for a few scenes. That, too, is very L.A.

One thought on “What Have They Been Smoking?”

  1. There are a few in our subdivision which was built in the 80s. I always think they’re so out of place. Sort of like a Tara-knockoff on a bare prairie hill, just way pretentious.

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