This is another display in the “Becoming Los Angeles” exhibit that I mentioned yesterday. This picture gives the scope of this diorama, and the picture below shows some of the details. What you can tell is how modest the city of Los Angeles was about 90 years ago. The tall white tower towards the center is city hall, which is still around today.
I’m guessing most people prefer the wildlife dioramas. But not me. Perhaps because of my interest in architecture and cities, I just love these kinds of displays. I spend a good deal of time looking at it.
I think most of us underestimate the amount of change in big cities. Los Angeles in the 1930s looks like a backwater compared to New York City. Yes, New York is still bigger now, but the gap is a lot less. Forty years ago, Austin was a small college town. There were only a handful of modern skyscrapers. The boom in the 1980s and after the 2000s has utterly transformed downtown. The suburban sprawl now stretches far and wide.
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