Untold LA

Photographing the Astonishing Homes of LA's West Adams District

In 2012 photographer Jett Loe encountered the forgotten Los Angeles District of West Adams, the original wealthy area of town, the “Beverly Hills before Beverly Hills.”  Filled with an astonishing collection of Victorian and Craftsman homes in vibrant, diverse neighborhoods West Adams proved to be a revelation.  Following a successful Kickstarter campaign Jett spent two years producing this mammoth delight of a book that documents the variety of homes and people in the area.

Totaling a fully interactive 365 pages with 500 photos, 70 oral history audio clips from West Adams residents and two hours of behind-the-scenes video commentary, Untold LA is a massive treasure trove for lovers of Los Angeles, American history and architecture.

Travel Without Traveling - Frank Tyler Apartment Building

[As part of the remit to make the Untold LA iPad Book available to as many people as possible I'll be posting photos from the book in sequential order on a regular basis until it is completely online.]

On Page 107 of the Western Heights Chapter we see the side of this rare Frank Tyler apartment building. Rare as it's not the customary Tyler family home seen in the Van Buren Place Chapter and throughout West Adams.

I wanted to include this shot in the book not just because of the novelty of a Tyler apartment, (you can't see much of it after all), but for the view it affords of us of all this Los Angeles flora. The plants seem to explode from the pavement, surrounding and framing the building; I find the view extraordinary.

This was one of the great pleasures of doing the Book - the time it gave me to look - to see. It's why I recommend to anyone that they take up a craft such as drawing or photography - these arts teach you to see. Once the brain begins to process objects and movement in space differently - from what can be called an artists' viewpoint - your surroundings transform. What are normally just some plants next to a sidewalk outside an apartment building instead become a jungle, a strange ripeness, an alien invasion of the surreal in your daily stroll.

At the least seeing differently, gaining an eye for shape, color and movement, is a way to travel with out traveling.