Observations on California's diverse architectural heritageNowhere is California's cultural vigor, diversity, and independent spirit on better display than in the many forms of its buildings. As a way of engaging our imagination and deepening our understanding of the structures around us, Frozen Music invites readers to view architecture in a new way--not through architectural criticism but through literature.
Frozen Music explores the diversity of California architecture through excerpts taken from novels, memoirs, essays, poetry, and more. Examining structures from the early missions to present-day buildings to futuristic visions, the pieces in this collection move from romantic to speculative, comedic to philosophical.
Included are Mike Davis's commentary on the fortified cells of affluent society in Los Angeles, and the architectural policing of social boundaries; Malcolm Margolin's telling of the ceremony involved in replacing an old center post in an Indian dance house; John Fante's description of the collapse of the brick Alta Loma Hotel; and Paul Goldberger's comparison of Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall to a musical instrument. Excerpts from Herbert Muschamp, Charles Moore, William Gibson, and others show there is no single grand story of California architecture but rather an amazing eclecticism that befits California's diverse cultural heritage.