Indigenous Inhabitants

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Newport Center, Newport Beach. Intaglios incised carving by Tom Van Sant (1967).

One of my favorite places to spend the holidays is Newport Beach, where I love to study the “brutalist” architecture of Newport Center. In 1967, artist Tom Van Sant created a series he called “Indigenous Inhabitants” that captured the region’s wildlife (many of which are extinct now) in concrete using a technique called Intaglios – Italian for incised carving. His work was commissioned by Architects William Pereira and Welton Becket.

 

 

 

Naples Island. Long Beach, California

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Long Beach was a popular getaway for Los Angelenos seeking to escape the inland summer heat in 1903 when Arthur Parson built the islands of Naples in the marshy Bixby Slough at the mouth of the San Gabriel River in Long Beach, California. The design was inspired by the canals and gondolas of the “Venice of America” community developed by Abbot Kinney near Santa Monica to the north.

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Completed in the 1920s, it was severely damaged by the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, but survived to become a jewel of the coast.

Photographs by Daniel Stiel.