The L.A. That Might Have Been

A spiraling, 1,290-foot tower built of magnesium. A rapid-transit system with hundreds of miles of subways and elevated tracks. A comprehensive network of parks, beaches, and open spaces linked by greenbelts and parkways. These are just a few unrealized visions for Los Angeles featured in an upcoming exhibition at the Architecture and Design Museum, "Never Built: Los Angeles."

Curated by Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell, the exhibition draws on plans preserved in the region's archives to present an alternate history -- and an alternate present -- for a place where inspirational solutions to the city's problems have often been downscaled, defeated, or altogether forgotten.

Goldin and Lubell organized the show geographically, reconceiving the floor of the museum space as a map of the city. Stand at Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, for example, and in place of today's Civic Center -- often criticized as empty and disconnected -- you will see Lloyd Wright's vision for "an acropolis for the city" that seamlessly integrates administrative buildings, public space, and rapid transit.

Scheduled for a July 11 opening, "Never Built: Los Angeles" is currently seeking community funding through a Kickstarter campaign and was as of this writing close to its goal.

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