Cover image for Glitter stucco & dumpster diving : reflections on building production in the vernacular city
Glitter stucco & dumpster diving : reflections on building production in the vernacular city
Chase, John, 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Verso, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 239 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA735.L55 C5 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Speeding across the California landscape, Chase pauses frequently to see what's really there: not just what the movies have taught us to expect, but the range and variation of the built environment that occupies what he calls 'everyday space'. A practising architect and urban planner, as well as an important architectural critic, Chase explores a myriad of locales and examines their architectural features--from the gay community space of West Hollywood, to the stucco box apartment complexes of the 1950s, to the truly weird mix of domestic arrangements in Venice Beach, to gated communities, to some of the historic houses of Hollywood and Beverly Hills and to the most recent transformations of the casino architecture in Las Vegas. At once learned, witty and ironic, Chase makes the mundane world of Southern California vistas come alive on the page.

Author Notes

John Chase is currently the urban designer for the City of West Hollywood.

Table of Contents

John BeachFrances Anderton
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Part 1 The Southern California Home as Commodity
The stucco boxp. 3
Build your castle upon the trash: the making of mountaingatep. 39
Part 2 Illusion and Delusion in Los Angeles
Finding los angeles in the movies, finding the movies in los angelesp. 51
How can i miss you when you won't go away?: convention versus invention and the survival of period revival in southern californiap. 75
Knocking off the knock-offsp. 103
Part 3 Las Vegas
Pirates! volcanoes! neon!: welcome to the capitol of non-glamour!p. 117
Part 4 Personal Space
A curmudgeon's guide to urban living: paranoia, pagoda and pirate cavep. 143
Trashy space, trashy behavior and trashy peoplep. 173
Part 5 Classifying and Evaluating Building Production
The typology of building productionp. 191
Duty and the beast: the representative and the lovable in the preservation of the recent pastp. 201
You are what you buy: the consumerist imperative in american building productionp. 211
Bibliographyp. 233