Capitol Records Architect Welcomes His New Neighbors

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For the past several years, Los Angeles has been embroiled in controversy over a plan to build a couple of office towers next door to the iconic Capitol Records building. Today in the LA Times, the guy who actually designed the Capitol Records building weighs in with a refreshingly reasonable take:

I’ve been stunned over the years that there is still a vacant parking lot next to Capitol Records. It would seem to me that somebody in 60 years might have gotten off the mark and done something with it.

Now there is a proposal to build next door, and people have objected to the height of the buildings, and to building anything next door to Capitol Records at all.

I’m not concerned about putting buildings of any scale next to Capitol Records. I don’t think people walking along a street pay a lot of attention to anything above the third floor. It’s insignificant from a pedestrian’s point of view whether a building is 20 or 30 or 40 stories high. I think this building can nicely hold its own.

….If you only had a community of architects, you would have a desert. There is a community there, but you need to understand the economic drivers of the project. There are a developer’s needs and wishes, the residents’ needs and wishes, the community’s needs and wishes. I think we have to have faith that there is an overlap, a richer solution that responds fully to all people’s needs.

Great cities should always retain an awareness and appreciation of their history. But that doesn’t mean preserving their landscapes in amber, as so often seems to be the goal of preservationists these days. LA is a city, not a national park, and Hollywood needs more density. Both the Capitol Records building and its famous underground recording chambers will be fine with some new neighbors.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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