Walt Disney Studios | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Walt Disney Studios

Dwarfs add character – seven, to be exact – to this Postmodern sandstone temple at the Team Disney complex. The tongue-in-cheek cuteness of the dwarfs is combined with exaggerated geometric forms and classical, Greek temple shapes that define Postmodern architecture. Where the Greeks used caryatids (columns shaped as statues of toga-clad women) to support the triangular pediments of their temple roofs, architect Michael Graves used seven, nineteen-foot-tall terra cotta dwarfs from Walt Disney's film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

In the 1930s, the Snow White film had provided Walt Disney with enough money to purchase the Burbank lot, where the building was constructed in 1990. For decades, studio lots were secured enclaves to protect famous personalities and secretive projects from public view. In the late 1980s, Disney began to change this practice with buildings that are visible, though not accessible, to the public. Disney chairmen Michael Eisner commissioned several high-profile architects to build hotels, offices, and amusement parks for the company.

Michael Graves won the commission for the Team Disney building and two hotels at Disney World in Florida. As an entertainment company, Disney and Eisner embraced Graves' whimsical Postmodern style, admitting, "The fact is, we're the only company who can get away with it. If you saw seven dwarfs holding up a building anywhere else in the world, you'd think it was like plastic reindeers or something."

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Warner Center

A 1.5 square-mil planned community first envisioned as a mass-transit oriented neighborhood with residences, shopping, park, hospital, Metro rail, and a small cluster of skyscrapers some call "the downtown of the valley."
Belmont High School. Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Belmont High School

Belmont High School garnered national attention for the role it, along with four other Los Angeles high schools, played in the East L.A. Chicano Student Walkouts (Blowouts) of March 1968. In the 1990s, Belmont High was one of the nation's largest schools with over 5,000 students.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Barton Choy Residence

Sitting one address apart in Silver Lake, these two wooden plank-paneled houses' acute angles, use of steep lots, and dramatic façades proclaim the work of innovative architect Barton Choy.