The tireless work of Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, who was dedicated to the often-misunderstood delicate desert landscape, was critical in establishing Joshua Tree as a national monument. She paved the way for its continued preservation today.
Muscle Beach started near the Santa Monica Pier as a haven for Southern California fitness advocates, frequented by some of the most well-known names in fitness today. In spite of a wildly popular reception, politics drove it to relocate to Venice.
From bad-guy shooters to gold and silver bonanzas, there’s much that has been lost from the once-thriving mining town of Bodie. There’s still more that's left to protect in the ghost town that survived the Wild West.
Urban environments are a necessary part of our culture and evolution — and so is the desert wilderness. It allows us to remember a part of ourselves as we journey into this forgotten realm of imagination and fantasy.
Early Hollywood film production pioneer Carl Laemmle dreamed up a city that’s now become the billion-dollar empire known as Universal Studios. Once doubted as “Laemmle's Folly,” its famous behind-the-scenes studio tours still operate today.
In the early 1960s, Walt Disney proposed a Polynesian-themed restaurant featuring a musical floor show with trained birds. With technology purchased from the nuclear weapons program, mechanical performers would make Disney’s vision a reality.
For the Fantasyland episode, I met Imagineer Bob Gurr, sat down with Walt Disney Archives director Rebecca Cline and went through photos of Universal's original studio tour with Jeff Pirtle. We also transported back in time for a tour of the...
The benign climate of Los Angeles, the excellent highways, the desire to escape into an immersive, alternate reality and the skills of Hollywood designers were material causes of our architecture of fakery. Risk-taking entrepreneurs had the...
The New Deal and a surge in arts funding led to the creation of public works of art throughout the country. In Southern California, muralist Edward Biberman offered an evocative interpretation of Venice with "Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice."
The only ghosts in this episode are the dreams of the past — visions of wealth, of new cities, and of new ways of living that failed. One of our stops was at Zzyzx, where we found echoes of a radio evangelist named Curtis Howe Springer among the...