My most outstanding discovery while in LA (not new, but new to me) was the RETNA-covered complex of buildings in DTLA at 7th and Alameda (former American Apparel factories). I drove past them on my way to the opening of the new ICA LA Museum. All I could think about while at the ICA opening was how I could make my way back to the RETNAS. Amazing work.
- The buildings (dating from 1917) are being converted into a shopping and office campus with 100 shops and 15 new restaurants called ROW DTLA (great link, check it out if real estate and/or retail is your thing!!).
- Owner Atlas Capital Group will convert the remaining 1.3 million feet of industrial space upstairs, originally designed by architect John Parkinson (known for Union Station, City Hall, and the Coliseum), into creative offices and lofts.
- Architect for the conversion is wHY out of Culver City (has become the go-to for creative repurposing, also did the Marciano Foundation Building)
- Smorgasburg LA (from Brooklyn) is set up there on Sundays.
When it comes to more traditional shopping, the liveliest retail corridor in LA is Venice’s Abbot Kinney. And once again, part of what makes it so dynamic is the profusion of commissioned street art found on store exteriors, restaurants, galleries, houses and fences all around the area.
Also noticed lots of witty signage around town (favorite may have been Alfred Tea’s “Can’t We All Just Get Oolong!” (pic below).
See below for photos (along with artist info where available).
VENICE/ ABBOT KINNEY