Posted by Chris Nichols on January 21, 2003 at 14:35:36:
LA CONSERVANCY MODERN COMMITTEE PRESENTS
BUILT by BECKET: A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
-- Event at the Cinerama Dome celebrates the legacy of LA architect Welton Becket --
On Tuesday, March 4, 2003 the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Modern Committee presents a salute to the legendary Los Angeles architecture firm Welton Becket & Associates and its founder Welton Becket. The firm’s indelible mark on the Los Angeles landscape includes such icons as Capitol Records, the Music Center, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Bullock's Pasadena, the Beverly Hilton and Century City. These buildings helped form the architectural and social identity for the booming young city of Los Angeles in the Mid-Century era.
This once-in-a-lifetime centennial event, to be held at Becket's landmark 1963 Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, reunites members of the firm’s original staff, including Capitol Records designer and retired dean of Woodbury university Lou Naidorf, with contemporary critics and historians who will put the Becket legacy into perspective. Alan Hess, author of Googie and Viva Las Vegas, will explore the Becket firms' lasting impact on Southern California. "Welton Becket's greatest buildings are as much a part of Los Angeles as Christopher Wren's are of London. They cannot be divided from the way we see or think of L.A." says Hess. Rare memorabilia from the Becket family archive and vintage films will also be on display for one night only.
Welton Becket was born in Seattle, Washington in 1902. He received an architecture degree from the University of Washington in 1927 and also studied at the famed Ecole des Beaux Arts. In 1929 Becket began his architectural career as a draftsman at a small Los Angeles firm, and in 1933 he formed a partnership with his Washington classmate Walter Wurdeman. In 1935, Wurdeman and Becket created their first great L.A. landmark, the Pan Pacific Auditorium. Throughout the following decades Wurdeman and Becket, and the successor film Welton Becket and Associates (formed in 1949) turned out many world-famous Los Angeles icons as well as numerous important structures around the country and the world. At the time of Becket's death in 1969, Welton Becket and Associates was the largest architectural office in the world.
Included in the ticket price is a lavishly illustrated booklet featuring a self-guided driving tour of over twenty Becket buildings in greater Los Angeles. The following Saturday, March 8, the Conservancy will present a docent-led tour of four of these classic buildings including the pristine 1964 Music Center Complex downtown and the lavish interiors of the recently refurbished Bullock’s (Now Macy’s) Pasadena.
Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Tickets include the lecture, film screening, reception, booklet and March 8 tour. To order tickets call 213-623-2489.
The Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee is a volunteer group formed in 1984 in response to the rapid destruction of a generation of postwar buildings. The Modern Committee plans tours, exhibitions and lectures, researches and nominates buildings for landmark designation, and serves as an advocate for Modern design.
Los Angeles Conservancy
Contact: Jane McNamara