Metropolis Magazine reports on a series of bus tours offered by Esotouric Tours, inspired by the work of architecture critic Reyner Banham. The short piece also links out to a 1972 BBC documentary titled “One Pair of Eyes: Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles.”
In the film, we tag along with Reyner as he picks up his car at the airport, tours the freeway system, listens to his “Baede Kar” visitor guidance system, tours the “Watts Redevelopment Project,” recalls his introduction to Los Angeles’ streets through the silent films made on location in 1920s LA he watched as a child, indulges in “motorized art appreciation” as he ogles the curves of the Santa Monica Freeway, and much more!
“In terms of form, Los Angeles breaks all the rules which have been deduced by town planers over the years from existing cities like London, like Paris…it breaks all those rules and yet I would maintain it is still in spite of that a great city and a significant city. Because I think that the form matters very little and as you can build a city any shape you like as long as it works.”
I love Banham’s enthusiam for LA, but the model that LA has followed doesn’t seem scalable. Reaching a certain size (both in square miles and population), it’s a model that doesn’t seem to continue to work as it grows.