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Restaurant as symbol

March 12, 2007

Re "Landmark LAX eatery sidelined by falling arches," March 9

In the report on the closure of the theme restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport, Alan Rothenberg, president of the city's Airport Commission, states that the structure "certainly is a symbol." It is indeed. The crumbling, poorly maintained structure is symbolic of the horrible infrastructure of the entire region. Southern California has one of the biggest economies and one of the highest per capita incomes in the entire world, yet it cannot build a modern airport nor a modern mass transit system.

Every time I fly from Hong Kong International to LAX, I am shocked by the contrast between the two facilities and the infrastructures of the cities they serve. LAX is an old, decrepit facility that is an embarrassment to Los Angeles.

On the highly congested Westside, expansion of LAX is not an answer. The airport should be decommissioned and auctioned off as valuable coastal property. The revenues from the sale could help build a modern facility inland, where there is more space, as well as a modern rail network to quickly move passengers within the metropolis and to and from the new airport.


Cebu City, Philippines


It is encouraging to read that the "iconic Theme Building" arches will be structurally investigated and appropriately restored. The article describes the building as a "signature site" of Los Angeles and a "historic cultural monument."

In this article, and others that have been published in The Times over the years, I find it inappropriate that credit is not given to the architect who created such a notable edifice.

Paul Williams (1894-1980), who designed the building in the late 1950s, was a prolific designer of many fine and elegant buildings in Los Angeles. As a highly successful African American architect, his work is respected and enjoyed by architects and laypeople.

The LAX Theme Building remains a timeless bright spot in the otherwise aging and unappealing visual and functional morass that is LAX.



Woodland Hills

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