Frank Gehry, William Pereira and SoCal architecture


Is this a good building?

Is Frank Gehry, who designed it, a good architect?

How would we answer that?

What is good or bad architecture, really?

INTO this NY Review of Books piece by Ingrid Rowland which explores these questions.

gehry bilbao, credited to flickr user Iker Merodio

FullSizeRender (29)

Whoa.  FullSizeRender (30)

I can only find one of those three “exquisite little paintings” on the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum’s very decent website.  The Annunciation:

el greco annunci

El Greco was rad, my goodness.  FullSizeRender (31)


Here, Rowland talks about Gehry’s house in Santa Monica:

FullSizeRender (32)Let’s have a look, photo from Google Street View:

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Maybe the most eye-opening part of this piece to me though was Rowland talking about earlier SoCal architect and Gehry mentor William Pereira.  This guy designed so many buildings that I see every day!  5900 Wilshire

5900 Wilshire, for example.

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Pereira’s Oscar was for Reap The Wild Wind:

Did he design boats or something?  The history of Irvine is topic for another day, but here’s some of Pereira’s work on the UC campus there:

murray krieger hall

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The Theme Building of LAXtheme

(Wikipedia doles out the credit a bit more generously:

It was designed by a team of architects and engineers headed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman, that also included Paul Williams and Welton Becket. The initial design of the building was created by James Langenheim, of Pereira & Luckman.

Luckman was no slouch himself, he went on to do Boston’s Prudential Tower:



Wikipedia asks me to credit user RhythmicQuietude with the photo

Luckman did the Forum here in LA as well:


A modest sentence from his Wiki:

Then in 1947, President Truman asked him to help feed starving Europe.

Here’s Pereira’s ziggurat for the Chet Holifield Federal Building:

chet holifield

which is of course modeled on Chet Holifield’s head:

chet holifield

More Pereira from UC Irvine:

library at uc irvine

The Disneyland Hotel:

CBS TV City:


dope tumblr Jet Set Modernist has some good classic pics of CBS TV City in all its Mad Men era glory.

Not sure which of these buildings in Newport Beach Pereira did, but they all have a style we might call Pereiraesque:

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 2.04.09 PM

Wiki asks for attribution to user: WPPilot

More more! :

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Here’s the Assyrian-revival tire factory turned Outlets:

And the Patriotic Hall I always wonder about when I see it south of the 10:

Bob Hope Patriotic Hall

You can see Frank Gehry in the first few minutes of Kate Berlant’s episode of The Characters:



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