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Abbot Kinney – The best contemporary architecture walk in America?

Looking down Abbot Kinney

Yesterday we wandered along Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice. A mix of shops, restaurants, businesses, bars, and residences, it is, for my money the premiere contemporary architecture stroll in the United States.

Bookstore at one end of Abbot Kinney

The photos shown here are from my Abbot Kinney photoset on Flickr. And I didn’t capture all that I really liked.

The old and the new

What works about Abbot Kinney? The maintenance of the older brick buildings lends character and history, something you don’t get a lot of in L.A. The contemporary architecture fits with the older work — taking on the same boxy shape.

(post-?)Modern architecture

Also, the contemporary architecture, on its own, just looks good. The buildings here are bright, clever, creative, without being over-the-top, gauche, or ugly.

A mix of color

And, the mix of small boutiques, restaurants, and architecture and design firms lends a fiercely independent air. No chain stores here!

Big and little

So, next time you’re in L.A., head down for a stroll along Abbot Kinney. It’s not that long — 4 or 5 blocks. It’ll take maybe an hour, and that includes shopping and, say, getting a cup of coffee. Enjoy the genius of this street, and wonder, like I do, if this has simply just happened, or somehow been planned.

  1. And don’t forget to stop at Abbot’s Pizza at 1407 Abbot Kinney. I travel all the way from Australia to get that pizza with the chilli bagel crust.

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