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Leon Whiteson

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
Leon Whiteson, a Zimbabwe-born architect-turned-critic and novelist who wrote about architecture for publications such as Architectural Digest, the Toronto Star and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, died of cancer Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 82. His death was confirmed by his wife, Aviva Layton. Whiteson was architecture critic at the Toronto Star from 1980 to 1983 and the Herald Examiner from 1984 to 1988. He later wrote freelance articles on architecture and design for the Los Angeles Times and in 1989 was honored by the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects with its distinguished achievement award in the media.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
Leon Whiteson, a Zimbabwe-born architect-turned-critic and novelist who wrote about architecture for publications such as Architectural Digest, the Toronto Star and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, died of cancer Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 82. His death was confirmed by his wife, Aviva Layton. Whiteson was architecture critic at the Toronto Star from 1980 to 1983 and the Herald Examiner from 1984 to 1988. He later wrote freelance articles on architecture and design for the Los Angeles Times and in 1989 was honored by the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects with its distinguished achievement award in the media.
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REAL ESTATE
May 15, 1988
I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am that Leon Whiteson is now writing for The Times. I have enjoyed his articles. Keep up the good work. ROBERT F. MAGUIRE III Los Angeles
BOOKS
January 2, 2000 | DAVID S. KATZ, David S. Katz is the author (with Richard H. Popkin) of "Messianic Revolution: Radical Religious Politics to the End of the Second Millennium." He is a professor of history at Tel-Aviv University in Israel
Traditional fundamentalist theology speaks of a seven-year period of "tribulation," after which time mankind will witness the Second Coming of Christ. It has been almost seven years since the Branch Davidian "compound" burned to the ground in central Texas on April 19, 1993, killing 74 people, including 21 children, and once again messianic violence is raising its ugly head.
REAL ESTATE
February 24, 1991
The architectural critique by Leon Whiteson, "Hammer's Modest Museum" (Jan. 13), was a welcome attribute that has been sorely missed--an evaluation of our built environment. PATRICIA L. HARRIS Van Nuys
REAL ESTATE
April 9, 1989
I am so impressed with your newly revised Real Estate Section that I decided to write and say "thank you." Especially to be noted are sections on preservation, urban scene, architects, gardening and home improvements. Leon Whiteson's article on the Home Savings of America Tower (March 19) was well written and most interesting. SHIRLEY SUPPLE Arcadia
NEWS
June 4, 1989
It is amazing how an "artist" can sculpt, build, paint, or otherwise create unadulterated junk and then have it acclaimed as "art" by the cultural savants among us. Such is the case with Sam Rodia's Watts Towers ("Watts Towers: Latest Goal Is to Save Creator's Details" by Leon Whiteson, May 26). When I first saw Watts Towers in the 1950s, my reaction was that it was all a put-on and I couldn't figure out what all the shouting was about. Rodia's "masterpiece" is one of the biggest and slickest hoaxes of all time.
REAL ESTATE
May 22, 1988
Regarding Leon Whiteson's article on the urban design ideas of AKS Runo (May 8)--was Mr. Whiteson deliberately quoting the phrases of the three designers out of context in order to hold them up to ridicule, or do they really espouse such ideas as "Los Angeles can't be mapped in the mind," "Arcades, paseos, and planted paths . . . would seem very phony here" and "The wide green lawn (in front of City Hall) is a . . . blank hole"? Nobody could really believe that a mayor's blue ribbon committee would hire inexperienced, "avant-garde" people from out of town to consult on urban design, a social art grounded firmly on local context.
NEWS
March 20, 1988
Leon Whiteson's series on architects has been an interesting look at some of the personalities behind our region's built form. As a young architect with my own design firm, I found his latest article, "Struggling to Build Careers as Architects" (Feb. 24), both accurate and disturbing. It is accurate as it describes the growing subculture of recent graduates who live on academic ideals and small commissions. These architects, spewed forth in record numbers by the five architectural schools in Southern California, typically are good designers but have little training in business or communications skills.
BOOKS
January 2, 2000 | DAVID S. KATZ, David S. Katz is the author (with Richard H. Popkin) of "Messianic Revolution: Radical Religious Politics to the End of the Second Millennium." He is a professor of history at Tel-Aviv University in Israel
Traditional fundamentalist theology speaks of a seven-year period of "tribulation," after which time mankind will witness the Second Coming of Christ. It has been almost seven years since the Branch Davidian "compound" burned to the ground in central Texas on April 19, 1993, killing 74 people, including 21 children, and once again messianic violence is raising its ugly head.
REAL ESTATE
February 24, 1991
The architectural critique by Leon Whiteson, "Hammer's Modest Museum" (Jan. 13), was a welcome attribute that has been sorely missed--an evaluation of our built environment. PATRICIA L. HARRIS Van Nuys
NEWS
June 4, 1989
It is amazing how an "artist" can sculpt, build, paint, or otherwise create unadulterated junk and then have it acclaimed as "art" by the cultural savants among us. Such is the case with Sam Rodia's Watts Towers ("Watts Towers: Latest Goal Is to Save Creator's Details" by Leon Whiteson, May 26). When I first saw Watts Towers in the 1950s, my reaction was that it was all a put-on and I couldn't figure out what all the shouting was about. Rodia's "masterpiece" is one of the biggest and slickest hoaxes of all time.
REAL ESTATE
April 9, 1989
I am so impressed with your newly revised Real Estate Section that I decided to write and say "thank you." Especially to be noted are sections on preservation, urban scene, architects, gardening and home improvements. Leon Whiteson's article on the Home Savings of America Tower (March 19) was well written and most interesting. SHIRLEY SUPPLE Arcadia
REAL ESTATE
May 22, 1988
Regarding Leon Whiteson's article on the urban design ideas of AKS Runo (May 8)--was Mr. Whiteson deliberately quoting the phrases of the three designers out of context in order to hold them up to ridicule, or do they really espouse such ideas as "Los Angeles can't be mapped in the mind," "Arcades, paseos, and planted paths . . . would seem very phony here" and "The wide green lawn (in front of City Hall) is a . . . blank hole"? Nobody could really believe that a mayor's blue ribbon committee would hire inexperienced, "avant-garde" people from out of town to consult on urban design, a social art grounded firmly on local context.
REAL ESTATE
May 15, 1988
I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am that Leon Whiteson is now writing for The Times. I have enjoyed his articles. Keep up the good work. ROBERT F. MAGUIRE III Los Angeles
NEWS
March 20, 1988
Leon Whiteson's series on architects has been an interesting look at some of the personalities behind our region's built form. As a young architect with my own design firm, I found his latest article, "Struggling to Build Careers as Architects" (Feb. 24), both accurate and disturbing. It is accurate as it describes the growing subculture of recent graduates who live on academic ideals and small commissions. These architects, spewed forth in record numbers by the five architectural schools in Southern California, typically are good designers but have little training in business or communications skills.
REAL ESTATE
September 29, 1991
Regarding Leon Whiteson's article on Frank Gehry's design for the new Disney Hall (Sept. 15), if it's an architectural masterpiece, why is it so ugly? ELLENE MERTENS, Los Angeles
REAL ESTATE
April 9, 1989
Thanks for Leon Whiteson's fine coverage of Home Savings Tower. The article was very fair and accurate reporting of the building and the concepts behind it. And I respect his conclusions although I may not agree with them. TIM VREELAND Los Angeles Vreeland is principal designer at A.C. Martin & Associates.
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