Curbed L.A. today features a bit of architectural whimsy — not in the form of Buck Rogers-like blueprints imagined during the 1930s, but a list of city projects that never saw the light of day and which would make cool destinations on a iPhone GPS application. Some are dead and buried projects such as the Richard Neutra-designed public housing in Chavez Ravine, various Case Study houses and, incredibly, a ski slope in Culver City. (The latter sounds like an idea hatched by someone encountering Clearman's North Woods Inn on LSD.) More recent examples include Frank Gehry's Grand Avenue design and the Hollywood Freeway Park, that greenbelt proposal to be built atop our own Blood Alley.
Curbed asks readers to vote on which quixotic projects should be built into the hypothetical app, which sounds like a noble cause — or at least a good excuse to bat around favorite foiled projects. We must, however, tweak one impression left by Curbed, that L.A.'s onetime assistant housing director Frank Wilkinson was jailed for his advocacy of the Chavez Ravine project. While the public housing plan began his troubles, Wilkinson's imprisonment was more directly related to another kind of housing — the House Un-American Activities Committee, before which Wilkinson refused to testify in 1955.