© 2009 LisaNewton

A Building that defines Public Art


After a lot of time and work, Travelin’ Local has formed a California non-profit corporation– Mapping Los Angeles Public Art, aka “MLAPA.” In addition, we’ve submitted our application to the IRS for our 501c (3) tax exempt status designation.

Because the stated mission of MLAPA is to initiate, compile, and complete a fully digitized, documented, cataloged, indexed, and photographed virtual map of all of the Public Art located throughout Los Angeles County and its surrounding areas, I’ll be featuring all of the future public art posts in excerpt format here on Travelin’ Local, with a link to MLAPA. From that point, you’ll be able to click the link to finish the story.

Our envisioned cultural catalog, has never been attempted, nor has anybody or entity ever come close in our project’s depth, breadth, coverage, and use of technology, photography, and other planned knowledge management systems to create a visual and written compendium of all of our Public Art. To be sure, it’s an important educational, artistic, and historic reference of our city’s physical surroundings.

In today’s foundational MLAPA story, we’re featuring the Home Savings of America building.

Located at the corner of Figueroa and 7th streets, is a one-building public art tour de force. I could have easily spent an hour there just looking at the myriad and meticulous details, colors, and shapes that adorn and define this structure. With that as the backdrop, let’s discover the Home Savings of America building together.

When the Home Savings of America building was originally built in 1988, $450,000 of the building’s costs were dedicated to public art. That equaled to 1% of its total construction and development budget.

As pictured above, the building’s façade hosts two mosaic tile murals by Joyce Kozloff. To balance and maintain its indigenous theme with its architecture, the two forty-foot-high by ten-foot wide Italian glass murals, on the building’s exterior, feature 16th Century decorative artifices, and are a derivative from the chateaux gardens at Villandry and Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley. Rounded lunettes at the top of each illustrate Ms. Kozloff’s vision of Los Angeles– one depicts two angels and the other, a festoon of oranges.

Glass Passage

These large sculptured glass windows by the celebrated New York artist, Patsy Norvell, were installed on the ground floor. Ms. Norvell’s glass panels are spectacular architectural ensemble pieces in which their intricately carved leaf and vine motifs create richly luminescent effects. Its named "Glass Passage," as each window is covered with an arch detailed in gold leaf.

City Above

Above, the ceiling at the Metro Rail portal, at Seventh and Figueroa, was painted by Los Angeles artist Terry Schoonhoven. It features a large panel surrounded by five smaller panels, that generously provide viewers with a tipped perspective of the sky, and Los Angeles’ urban scene. Mr. Schoonhoven’s work is entitled "City Above."

For a detailed up close look at this extraordinary building, Travelin’ Local has prepared a slideshow presenting its aesthetic details. To be able to walk one city block, and see this much public art and architectural beauty–steeped in both modern and past history– gives true meaning and defines Los Angeles as being truly one of the great cities of the world.

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  1. By A Building that defines Public Art | Travelin' Local on October 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm

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