Register now for a Friday Field Trip!

If you are interested in joining us for one of our Friday field trips, visit the event registration table to sign up (all field trips are free of charge to attendees of the Nov 14-15 meeting).

Bus Trip Pickup Locations and Times

Morning Bus Tour: Culver City Downtown Cultural Corridor
Pickup Location: Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Blvd, Culver City CA
Pickup Time: 0900 (9am) Friday, 16 NOV

Afternoon Bus Tour: High-Tech, Adaptive Reuse Architecture
Pickup Location: Continued from Morning Tour *OR* meet at Eric Owen Moss Architect Building, 8557 Higuera St, Culver City CA
Pickup Time: 1500 (3pm) Friday, 16 NOV

Field Trip Descriptions

We have arranged local field trips and tours for Friday, 16 November, the day after the 2-day DMDU annual meeting concludes. The field trip program is in keeping with the main theme of the conference – understanding the complex issues of major urban regions. We will continue to use Culver City, surrounded on all sides by the City of Los Angeles (if you don’t count Ladera Heights which is unincorporated Los Angeles County), as a microcosm for the study of different drivers framing the greater Los Angeles basin.

The first two field trips, those of Culver City’s cultural corridor and of the Hayden Tract creative space, will be conducted successively rather than concurrently. This means that participants may, if they choose, sign up for both tours. The third, a bicycle tour of the Ballona Creek wetlands, will not be coordinated with the other two owing to its length. But, participants may plan their own program to do a curtailed version of the bicycle tour and so join one of the others being planned.

Tour I: Culver City Downtown Cultural Corridor

The Culver City Downtown Cultural Corridor tour focuses on the issues and possibilities of an urban core re-inventing itself. This 2-3-hour bus and walking tour will traverse the city throughout the morning and end with lunch on our own at any of several excellent eateries. We will begin at the Wende Museum with a brief tour of this unique museum of the Cold War and its beautiful gardens, housed in an elegantly adapted National Guard Armory from the same historic period. Then we will make a brief stop at the City Hall Courtyard and then visit the historic Culver Hotel, the upcoming Culver Steps project and the Culver Studios “Gone With The Wind” mansion. Then on to the massive new Ivy Station Transit Oriented Development project (under construction), and cruise on foot through the Platform, the vibrant and progressive retail and office center across from the LA METRO Expo Line light-rail station. We will finish our tour with lunch at the restored and adapted art deco Helms Bakery District, a center for design show rooms and very good restaurants.

Tour II: Creative Space: High-Tech, Adaptive Reuse Architecture

The purpose of this tour is to focus on urban and community responses to the possibilities inherent in a growing creative economy. The Los Angeles region was arguably the birthplace of the first modern creative economy in the form of the nascent motion picture industry. In this half-day afternoon walking tour, we will begin with the models and workshop at the design office of Eric Owen Moss Architects, for an overview of the extraordinary Hayden Tract. Nominated for the 2019 American Institute of Architects 25-year Award, this historic district gave birth to the phenomenon of creative office space. Over the last 30 years, Eric Moss (former Director of Sci-Arc school of architecture) and developers Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith quietly redeveloped and adapted an old light-industrial tract into one of the most desirable creative office districts in the country. Also known as Conjunctive Points, the district is home to Apple Music, the Leonardo di Caprio Foundation, Movember, and dozens of high tech and media firms of all sizes. We will visit Vespertine, recognized as the best new building by the 2018 Los Angeles Architectural Awards, and also named the best restaurant in LA by the late, beloved LA Times restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold.* We will also see the Samitaur Tower, the Pterodactyl Building and Complex, the Stealth Building and the Beehive.

(* The only food critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, Gold not only wrote about food but also the communities within Los Angeles that created it. His writing invited readers to explore the textures and contours of Los Angeles through its cultures and foods. While the “grown up” restaurant critics were writing about the latest four-star Hollywood hangout, Jonathan Gold wrote about what was happening in the strip malls you drive by without a second notice.)

Tour III: Bicycle Tour of Ballona Creek and Wetlands

This urban wetland eco-system has long been the site for conflict between competing needs and interests. The Creek wends its way quietly and largely unseen through some of the most desirable real estate in the Los Angeles region. It’s terminus wetlands, not far from LAX International airport at which many DMDU attendees will arrive to the 2018 Annual Meeting, are important breeding grounds for many aquatic and avian species. The wetlands are considerably reduced in size owing to the pressure of development, but the latest round of construction was performed according to a plan that sought to preserve the most essential features for sustaining the local eco-system. You can be the judge of how well this compromise succeeded.

A well-maintained bike path follows the course of Ballona (“bah YO nah”) Creek from Culver City all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Visitors would be free to determine how far or how long they wish to go. One could traverse the entire level path easily in one hour with a similar length for return. How long you stop along the way would be up to the participant. Depending on the degree of interest, we will identify local bicycle rental opportunities and then provide information for participants to make their own arrangements. The tour is being planned on a self-guided basis. However, the local organizers are currently looking into the possibility of engaging volunteer docents recruited from among the Culver City Civic Spark Fellows who are working on the Ballona Creek Renaissance Revitalization/Habitat Restoration project.

If we do engage a docent, we will attempt to schedule the bicycle tour so as not to conflict with whichever proves to be the most popular civic tour (I or II) among pre-registrants.