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Archetectural element in Sepulveda Bridge in Los Angeles

Architecture and Hidden Gems
in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles?

Yes, we do have architecture in Los Angeles; we have towering Greek temples, shimmering movie castles, freeway passes that fly through the air and gothic bridges that would make any troll proud. 

LA has lots of famous buildings and websites to show them off.  I wanted to show you some of the not-so famous little treasures you might find along the way.

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The Sepulveda Tunnel
Under Mulholland Drive
in Los Angeles

Archetectural element in Sepulveda Bridge in Los AngelesThe Sepulveda Tunnel runs underneath Mulholland Drive and connects the San Fernando Valley with the west side of Los Angeles.  Two lanes run north, one runs south.  It was opened in 1930.  The tunnel facade contains elements of Greek and Roman architecture.  Inside, the tunnel is lined with tiles and has a tiny sidewalk. 

Coming up from the Valley, Sepulveda is a steep winding road with lots of hairpin turns.  Sleek sports cars slip past you before you even hear them.  Fat, lumbering SUVs cut you off, making you wonder about those rollover statistics.  They are doiing major work on the 405 so be aware that this stretch of over-used road will be even more gridlocked than usual.  At least it will give you more time to admire the architecture!  Visit the Sepulveda Pass Improvements page for more info on their progress...

Approaching from the West Side, Sepulveda is fairly straight and steep.  It runs parallel with the 405 freeway until ducking into the hills.  At night and on weekends Sepulveda has fairly light traffic.  That means most people may be going pretty fast on this road. 

I have seen bicyclists going through this tunnel on the weekends.  It always reminds me of the beginning of that Warren Beatty movie where he gets creamed in a tunnel.  It is not a structure you notice - unless it is rush hour.  Then you will have plenty of time to ponder the facade.  We do not recommend wandering around this area on foot - or bicycle.

There is another Sepulveda Tunnel which runs underneath LAX.  This tunnel is not marked, so we're just assuming it shares the same name. 

If you know  who designed this,
please make a comment on my blog and let me know!

Sepulveda Bridge bent falling rock sign in Los Angeles
A bent Falling Rock sign at the entrance to the Sepulveda Tunnel.  One lane runs north, into the San Fernando Valley.

Archetectural element in Sepulveda Bridge in Los Angeles
The upper corners have this symbol.  It could be a ram's head or two circles and a layered shield.
Car in Sepulveda Bridge in Los Angeles
No longer a dirt highway, Sepulveda Blvd. runs from the southern edges of Los Angeles to the north.

My sister helped me take this and most of the other photos.  I shot and she drove the getaway car.
Not a bad caper, eh?

Archetectural element in Sepulveda Bridge in Los Angeles
A view of the facade facing north.  This side has fading paint at the top.  As a result, the cement texture and interesting shading shows through.  Branches of oak and vines hang down from above. 

Just for a second pretend you have discovered the secret entrance to a Roman temple.

Sepulveda Tunnel in Los Angeles
The bottom of the Sepulveda Blvd. tunnel facade appears Roman.  A tiny sidewalk for brave souls runs through the tunnel.  Outside the paint is unmatched and peeling.

-- And don't you just want to get a broom?

North side of Sepulveda Tunnel in Los Angeles
This side faces south.  Fresh paint probably means it is covering graffiti.  Under the ram's head is another architectural element framed in beveled cement.  The element looks like an old electrical outlet cover. It has bolts and appears to be metal under the paint.

Here's a link of a photo showing the opening of the tunnel at The Valley Observed

Next LA Page:  Take a wild ride down the 405 freeway into
the San Fernando Valley on my LA Traffic and Rantings Page...
California Los Angeles Art Deco Poppies or Mission 
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Vintage Stone Architectural Art Cards & Stationery
Beautiful stone elements from a historic former bank building in Los Angeles, California

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