One of Palm Springs’ masters of Desert Modern architecture, Donald Wexler, was honored with New York Times and Los Angeles Times obituaries today. Fitting tributes to a great architect and a wonderful human being.
The Guardian newspaper published this intriguing article about how the Habana Hilton, the hotel-casino that had just opened in 1958, became the symbol for Fidel Castro’s dismantling of America’s dominant position in Cuba when he took it over as his headquarters in early 1959.
Habana Hilton upon completion in 1958
The article also generously includes quotes from my Havana book.
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I was surprised to learn that former Project Runway fashion designer Christian Siriano says that his new Resort 16 fashion line was inspired by my book “Palm Springs Holiday.” The Desert Sun took notice and published this article. How fun! … Continue reading
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Because of the renewed interest in Cuba travel, it made sense to completely revamp my Havana Before Castro website. It includes chapter summaries, a downloadable sample chapter, and cool Then & Now photos. Take a look! People are using … Continue reading
Tagged architecture, bar, Batista, Beny More, capri, Casino, castro, cigar, conga, Cuba, daiquiri, Floridita, Havana, hilton, La Bodeguita del Medio, mambo, Mob, modern, mojito, nightclub, nightlife, restaurant, riviera, rum, rumba, tour
Richard N. Frank, son of original Lawry’s owner Lawrence Frank, died on Wednesday, May 20th in Pasadena. Los Angeles Magazine editor and historian Chris Nichols wrote this obituary. I wrote an extensive illustrated blog about Lawry’s 75th anniversary that is … Continue reading
Tagged Beverly Hills, classic dining, cocktails, historic restaurants, Lawry's, Los Angeles, restaurant row, Richlor's, steakhouse, Stears for Steaks, Tam O' Shanter
Two major victories in two days. New York City’s Landmarks Commission voted to deny requested alterations to the interior of the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. The interior had been designated years ago, but the current owner nonetheless wanted to make changes that would have harmed its integrity and historic fabric. The Four Seasons remains my favorite restaurant interior in the United States.
Four Seasons Grill Room
The other big victory was in Los Angeles. One of the best remaining examples of Googie style 1950s coffee shop architecture was declared a Los Angeles landmark! Hopefully, this will motivate the new owner to keep rather than demolish the building, which is what motivated the nomination.
Norm’s La Cienega on the border of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.
This is my favorite mid-century restaurant interior in America. And it’s threatened with inappropriate alterations!
The magnificent Four Seasons Grill Room.