7 Los Angeles Landmarks to Fire Your Creativity

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Los Angeles is home to some truly unique landmarks--the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood strip, pretty much everything Hollywood, actually. But we’re not here to talk about those landmarks. We’re here to mention those truly remarkable and weird monuments in our city that deserve attention, that will make architects and sculptors and photographers alike all sit up and pay attention. Check out these seven monuments below.

Looking out on Los Angeles over the Hollywood sign
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The Tamale-Shaped House
You’ve gotta stand out somehow. Los Angeles was once home to multiple businesses that were shaped like the things they sold in an effort to get drivers to stop and partake of their wares. With a few exceptions--Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, and the darkroom on Wilshire shaped like a camera--almost all of these landmarks are gone. Where once there used to be a thriving ecosystem of oil-can shaped diners, a bar called the Dugout that was a crashed airplane, and more, now the corn husk building on Whittier remains one of the last monuments to LA’s past where if you could--literally--see it, you could have it. Location: 6421 Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

 

Cinerama Dome
Also known as the Big Golf Ball That Shows Films, the Cinerama Dome was built in the 1960s to show widescreen films. It’s one of only three such structures in the whole world, and you can still stop by to see shows there every day--along with movie premieres, on a regular basis! Or just wander by to check out the unusual architecture and shape of the building. Location: 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

 

The Chemosphere
The flying saucer of the Hollywood Hills! The octagon-shaped home, built in 1960 by John Lautne, is held up by a 30 foot long, five-foot wide concrete pole and was once named “The Most Modern Home Built in the World” by the Encyclopedia Britannica. You can’t tour the inside but the outside is made for gazing. Location: 7776 Torreyson Drive, Los Angeles, CA

 

Spadena House aka The Witch’s House
The Witch’s House was designed by Hollywood art director Harry Oliver, who played a major role in Storybook architecture. Built in 1921, the house was originally designed to serve as offices for a film studio in Culver City but was moved to its current location in the 1930s. Location: 516 Walden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA

 

The Fork in the Road
The literal fork in the road in Pasadena--ok, not quite LA but close--was originally erected as a gag for a 75th birthday. It’s since become so popular that the 18-foot tall fork is now considered officially California art. It’s now the site of various food drives and other philanthropic events! Location: S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, CA

 

Chicken Boy
Somewhere in Highland Park, the Chicken Boy roams. Well, not quite roams per se--more like perches on top of an art director’s creative studio. The fiberglass statue was originally commissioned in the 1960s and installed along Historic Route 66. He’s become so popular there’s even a website dedicated to him, where you can buy Chicken Boy merch! Location: 5558 N. Figeroa Street, Los Angeles, CA


Garden of Oz
You can’t easily view the inside of the Garden of Oz--although there’s a legend that all the kids in the neighborhood of the Garden have a key--but you can look into it from the street. The Garden of Oz was created by Gail Cottman, and features a yellow tiled “Yellow Brick Road,” a mailbox to send letters directly to Oz, and multiple thrones. Location: 3040 Ledgewood Drive, Los Angeles, CA

 

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash