About: Alan Hess

Alan Hess is an architect and author of 19 books on Southern California and Modern architecture, including Oscar Niemeyer Houses and Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture. He wrote this for Zócalo Public Square.

Posts by Alan

Posted in Architecture and Design

Long Live Tiki, the Whimsical Soul of Midcentury Modern

3505 Artesia Blvd. in Some Los Angeles Apartments / Ed Ruscha
© Ed Ruscha

Tiki is the style that refuses to die, and its endurance tells us something about Southern California design. More»

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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