I FINALLY got it in gear and made it up to the Getty Center to see, Overdrive, the comprehensive survey of the fast-paced expansion of L.A.’s modern landscape and architecture. I was caught off-guard that it was ending as it has only been up since April.

Though it was room after room busy with charts, video, still images, blueprints, sketches, architect models, even still what might seem to some an overload of information — I still wanted more.

I realize that has to do with my general hunger for information — further insight and shadings on the story– about how the many cities within one city came to be.

Through official documents and ephemera, the show traced the visual history of the addition of freeways, subdivisions, suburbia, public housing, aerospace, apartment culture, as well as venues that housed sports teams, studios and city government — the seats of power. In a certain way you felt as if you were watching the city grow up around you as you threaded from one end of the gallery to the next.

I left with the feeling that within each of these larger topics I wished there had been space to go as deep as they went broad, which made me think on my way back down the hill to be absorbed back into the sprawl I’d been looking at from above — that perhaps the next project could be taking each of those “headings” and present an ongoing show that spotlights each of these areas.

For those of us who grew up here watching L.A. shape-shift around us, there is nothing more satisfying that seeing htat growth from a distance and in stop-motion to be able to grasp just who we are and where we’ve come from.

There are a series of videos up at the Getty site including this beautiful glance-backward at Bunker Hill:

And this of the building of Baldwin Hills Village, which is now known as Village Green:

For more video click here.


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