Museum of Contemporary Art | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Michael Locke

Museum of Contemporary Art

When the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) opened its permanent quarters at California Plaza in 1987, Bunker Hill was a multi-level landscape of sprouting skyscrapers. In addition to private donations, funds for MOCA came from a 1.5 % allocation of budgets from Bunker Hill development projects required to go towards public art.

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki created a contrast to the extreme heights of the Bunker Hill glass-and-steel high rise towers by designing MOCA as a sunken, red sandstone-clad space. The entrance is marked by an arch leading to a subterranean terraced courtyard. Under and around the courtyard are the public galleries. Only four of its seven levels are above the street level.

Administrative offices are located at the level of Upper Grand Street under a barrel-shaped roof. Isozaki chose forms and shapes for the building that were vaguely traditional, but mostly abstract. East Asian traditions were referenced with the play between positive and negative (building and courtyard) space. At its opening, critics derided the building's windowless, blank wall along the Grand Street sidewalk, but

Isozaki deliberately designed the building to face inward towards the California Plaza development.

MOCA remains an oasis of low-rise tranquility with a deliberately different layout from traditional museums.

Photo courtesy Spectra Company

Lopez Adobe

The oldest standing adobe structure in San Fernando was once home to one of the area's most prominent families.
Koenig House #2
Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Koenig House #2

The second Mid-Century Modern home Koenig designed for himself and his wife Gloria, reflecting his personal philosophy that industrial methods and materials could be used to produce inexpensive, distinctive, and environmentally friendly homes.
Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Bunker Hill Steps

The ties between downtown L.A. and its Bunker Hill origins have been tenuous at best. The Bunker Hill Steps, built in 1989, aimed to remedy that.