Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles, 1925-1965 is a spectacular collection of vintage photography that showcases the glowing neon heritage of the City of Angels. More than 200 images fill its pages. L.A. has long been recognized as the most vibrant city in America, and part of its radiance comes from streets lined with neon signs during the Golden Age of neon from 1925 to 1965. Photographer and historian Tom Zimmerman shows images that depict, in both color and in black-and-white, what Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and countless other writers have tried to put into words.
What? Los Angeles was the original wine country of California, leading the state’s wine production for more than a century? Los Angeles County was the agricultural center of North America until the 1950s? And where today’s freeways soar, cows calmly chewed their cud? How could that be? Los Angeles, the capital of asphalt and Kleig lights, was once a paradise filled with grapevines and bovines, so abundant with Nature’s gifts that no one could imagine a more pastoral place? Los Angeles County was the center of an agricultural empire. Today, it is the nation’s most populous urban metropolis. What happened? Where did the green go?
Declared one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, Los Angeles Central Library is a monument to fine architecture and artwork—and, of course, its renowned collection of the written word and its world-class special collections. Los Angeles Central Library and its history are as fascinating as any of the storied volumes found on its shelves. City leaders fought for decades to build a landmark structure and later battled to demolish it, yet generations of Angelenos have watched the building stand tall, survive fires, and endure into the twenty-first century, ready to face a high-tech society that thought it could live without books.Year after year Central Library proves its essential place in the heart of Los Angeles. And each year it becomes more important.
by Darryl Holter and William Deverell