Some of Los Angeles’ most iconic building types are appreciated, but for all practical purposes, banned.
We live in and among them. Much of the time, they are so familiar that they fade into the background. In other circumstances, we notice and celebrate them as a crucial part of Los Angeles. We even protect some of them as monuments to the way things used to be. But, paradoxically, we also ban them. What are they? They are our buildings, the places where we live and work and shop.
Welcome to the forbidden city that lies within Los Angeles.
L.A.’s forbidden city consists of the many buildings that we inhabit, use and care about but that are illegal to build today. Some of Los Angeles’ most iconic building types, from the bungalow courts and dingbats common in our residential neighborhoods to Broadway’s ornate theaters and office buildings, share this strange fate of being appreciated, but for all practical purposes, banned.