Tar on the Boulevard: Mr. Hancock’s Ranch and the Future of the La Brea Tar Pits

Join Doug Suisman at the Page Museum this Thursday for an evening lecture as he looks at the La Brea Tar Pits in the context of Los Angeles’s urban history and the development of its boulevards, especially Wilshire. He’ll trace the development of the La Brea Tar Pits from tar pools to private rancho to asphalt mine to excavation site to public park to world-renowned paleontological site museum. And he’ll look at the future of the Tar Pits, as new development projects — subway line, high-rises, and LACMA expansion — promise to change the urban context of Hancock’s ranch once …

Exploring Our City

Every time I take a trip to a new city, I think about what, where, and how I am going to explore this new city. With that thought process comes anticipation, and even exhilaration of all the places I am going to explore. Recently, I’ve tried applying that same logic – though less methodically – to my own city of Los Angeles. Why don’t I treat my own city with the same sense of curiosity as I do places I’ve never been to? Does everyone eventually become complacent in their knowledge of their own environment that they forget that their …

Words That Start With the Letter S

SCHOOL is in session.  We recently completed a gateway garden project for Palisades Charter High School.  It never ceases to amaze me, when done well, how signs and graphics just give a place or space that finishing touch.  They seem to contribute, at least in this case, to that first impression of what lies beyond the front gate or they even share with you a story of something long lost here.  And after all that time we spent looking at spacing and scale, at placement and visibility, at color and finish, at message and narrative, at all those technical and …

Philz Coffee in Santa Monica

Philz Coffee, a 15-store company from San Francisco, recently opened its newest cafe in Santa Monica – its very first venue outside of the Bay Area. Philz was founded in 2003 by Phil Jaber, who has been experimenting with coffee for more than 25 years. His focus is on unique combinations of beans and on the art of pour-over coffee (no espresso-based drinks here). Absolutely do not miss the iced mint mojito coffee, which sounds a bit strange but tastes wonderful. Philz is located right on Santa Monica Boulevard near 6th Street, in a new mixed-use building with apartments above. …

Visit our new map cases on Third Street Promenade

Suisman Urban Design’s new map cases have just been installed on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. Six custom map boxes now line the length of Third Street from Wilshire to Broadway (Colorado is coming up soon). The design consolidates both the map and directory information on one panel  — not only simplifying information to illustrate where you are on the Promenade but also directing you to local landmarks and destinations including your walking time. To help locate and identify each map box from a distance a vertical mast lights up in the evening and each box is customized by location …

Bushnell Park North Breaks Ground

The first major piece of Hartford’s iQuilt Plan has broken ground.  A road diet has given shape to Bushnell Park North, a pedestrian promenade lining the northern edge of Bushnell Park.   Slideshow of progress images here

USC Annenberg’s Josh Kun Praises Los Angeles Boulevard:

“Doug Suisman’s Los Angeles Boulevard is making me look at the city in totally new ways…there are revelations at every turn, and the writing is as powerful and poetic as anything I’ve come across in awhile.”   See the full commentary below by Josh Kun, Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism, USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. Read here  

Los Angeles Boulevard on KPCC’s “Take Two”

Los Angeles Boulevard is discussed on KPCC’s “Take Two” by book critic and founder of lending library Libros Schmibros in Boyle Heights, David Kipen. “Shamefully — monomaniac about Los Angeles that I am — I did not know this book existed until Christopher Hawthorne, the architecture critic for the LA Times, started championing it. Suisman is a really good writer, a graceful writer – literature’s loss has usually been architecture’s gain, but luckily in this book we have both.” David Kipen, book reviewer, Southern California Public Radio Listen Here KPCC Take Two: Reading By Moonlight  

Architects Newspaper on the Pits

Michael Webb writes about the recently renovated Observation Pit at La Brea Tar Pits in his latest article in the Architects Newspaper. Read more about how the “building and bones achieve an effective fusion of the recent and distant past”. Take a look here: Architects Newspaper

Pali High Beautification Underway

The first of a series of projects that are part of Pali High’s beautification effort was recently completed. Sue Pascone, newsletter editor of the Post 283 News writes about the origin of the project and the effort to realize future phases. Take a look at the article here. PaliHi Beautification Underway – Post 283 News

Los Angeles Boulevard – Published at last!

PUBLISHED AT LAST! We’re delighted to announce that LA Boulevard is now available! Visit your local bookstore, or visit one of the links below.                 THE LOS ANGELES TIMES’S CHRISTOPHER HAWTHORNE CALLS DOUG SUISMAN’S BOOK ON THE BOULEVARDS “THE MOST IMPORTANT TAKE ON THIS GIGANTIC SUBJECT.”    

SUD Helps Parking Authority Renovate a Huge Public Structure

The Hartford Parking Authority (HPA) has asked Suisman Urban Design to help renovate its massive, 8-level, 1300-space Church Street Garage in downtown Hartford. The garage is highly visible from I-84, and stands directly across the street from the XL Center, Hartford’s main sports and performance arena. The design uses color, graphics, lighting, and wayfinding to help connect the parking facility with downtown’s increasingly vibrant pedestrian network, as envisioned in the iQuilt Plan. The project is funded by HPA with support from the iQuilt Partnership.

ORO Editions will republish Doug Suisman’s classic, "Los Angeles Boulevard"

Suisman Urban Design is pleased to announce that in the Spring of 2014, ORO Editions will publish the 25th anniversary edition of Doug Suisman’s seminal monograph, Los Angeles Boulevard. Since its first publication by the Los Angeles Forum in 1989 in a limited run of 1,500 copies, the book has been much sought after and difficult to find. The new edition will contain the original content plus a new chapter on Suisman’s boulevard work in practice. Please sign up here [link] if you would like to reserve an advance copy. Be sure and read Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne’s front-page …