Friday, June 01, 2007

Wonders of O.C., Paper Fair, Cynthia Ward & Stan Oftelie

The Register's travel editor, Gary Warner, ran a contest to name "The Seven Wonders of Orange County." (It seems he specifically meant man-made wonders.) See the winners here.

I'm pleasantly surprised to see the Lovell Beach House made the list, even if it didn't get many votes. Designed by architect R. M. Schindler in 1926, this is the building that introduced European Modern architecture to the United States. Architecturally, it's probably the most important building in O.C., but hardly anybody here knows about it. It stands on the seaward side of the Balboa Peninsula. (Photo of the Lovell Beach House by Julius Schulman.)

But back to the "Seven Wonders" list... There are some strange omissions. For instance, if Disney's Matterhorn is on the list, why isn't the Calico Mine Ride at Knott's? It's 8-stories tall and has a lot more going on inside it. For that matter, why aren't the other Disney E-ticket attractions on the list? If a multi-story, underground, half-flooded building, full of audio-animatronic pirates isn't a wonder, then what is?

Attention postcard and ephemera collectors: Hal Lutsky's Vintage Paper Fair has returned to the Elks Hall (400 W Colorado Blvd) in Pasadena this weekend! “More than 90 booths on 2 floors. Features a wide variety of vintage paper collectibles as well as more than a million postcards.” Sat: 10am-6pm. Sun: 10am-4pm. The entry fee is $6.00, good for all 3 days. A $2 coupon is available online. Buying old postcards is a great way to get early images of your community.

Architectural historian Cynthia Ward has a good article about residential preservation in the Summer issue of Atomic Ranch magazine. Atomic Ranch, by the way, is a great magazine for anyone who digs Mid-Century Modern architecture and design. You can get copies or subscriptions through their website, or buy single issues at Otto or Out Of Vogue, both of which are on the 100 block of E. Commonweath Ave in Fullerton.

For those who know Cynthia, you might also be interested in this old O.C. Freakly article.

"Googiemel" has added an entry to her "O.C. Googie Architecture" blog. This particular entry -- the Islander Apartments in Santa Ana -- is notable as actually being Googie and actually being in O.C. Like me, her focus seems to drift as she spots other cool things along the roadside.

The Brea Museum & Heritage Center is working on a new and improved website. You might want to bookmark it and check back later.

Stan Oftelie will be the speaker at the June 20th meeting of the Old Courthouse Museum Society. He'll be discussing news photographer Bob Geivet, who is also the subject of the Old Courthouse Museum's current exhibit. Stan is probably best known as the head of the O.C. Business Council, the former head of the OCTA, the leader of the O.C. Bankruptcy Forum, and (earlier in life) as a Register reporter and Supervisorial staffer. Not many people know that he's also one of the best local historians in Orange County. The meeting will be held at lunchtime, June 20th, on the third floor of the Old O.C. Courthouse Museum.

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