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Sunday, September 13, 2009


2009 - The Year of Valley History

Learning about the treasures of Southern California is easily a lifetime adventure. When the weather is cool, we explore the San Fernando Valley and inland communities - and, when it's hot, it's off the coastal areas of the Southland. This Saturday we took a long awaited walking tour of downtown Santa Monica, sponsored by the Santa Monica Conservancy. We had two guides, Winston an architect and Jerome a writer and social scientist. We knew from our starting place, the Rapp Saloon built in 1875, that this would be a great morning - and, it was.

Churrigueresque sculptural details from the structure at 1433-1437 Fourth Street in Santa Monica.
Architect Henry Hollwedel designed this Southern California treasure in 1927. He drew upon Spanish and Mexican design roots to decorate his handsome structure. You may recall that Churrigueresque, arising from Spanish Baroque architecture, has been widely used in California. The Valley's Portal of the Folded Wings previously posted on this blog is a splendid example.

When Cardinal Charles Borromeo lead the Counter Reformation at the urging of the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church embraced baroque as a form of spiritual defiance to the Calvinists whose puritan theology led to the destruction of art and architectural decoration.

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