How Dreck Is Made

Does this look plumb to you?
Does this wall look plumb to you?
Lets take a closer look...
Lets take a closer look…hmmm
How is the poured concrete attached to the blocks?
Let us connect concrete walls using the cake batter technique

IMG_2015

Construction has stopped on the new USA Fitness gym in Panorama for reasons not aesthetic.  Like an abandoned ark, this hodgepodge of listing, peeling concrete forms and blocks has loomed for months, half-completed, over Van Nuys Blvd.  Shut down by the Building Department, presumably.

The trouble would appear to have originated in the failed mating of two distinct structural techniques, poured concrete and reinforced blocks.  The blocks went up first. They must have thought they could use the exoskeleton as an anchor for setting forms for the pour, but they gave way.   Those who skimp on aesthetics will skimp on engineering. They will do the minimum.  Cheap on cheap equals cheap.

T’wasn’t always so. Los Angeles is thick with sublime and timeless commercial structures, built by craftsmen, forgotten or hidden over the years behind quick paint jobs and dreadful get it done by Wednesday facades.

Even in Panorama.

Panorama, 1964
Ohrbach’s, 1964
Valley Swap Meet, 2017
Valley Swap Meet, 2017