Almost twenty-five years ago, Doug Suisman published a small book of enormous significance: LOS ANGELES BOULEVARD. In his text, urban planner Suisman laid out his views and opinions on the structure of Los Angeles, its bones and arteries and sinews, exemplified by the long boulevards that cut across the urban body that is Los Angeles and that impinge on our lives daily, whether we drive, them, bike them, walk them, or take the bus.
Starting with the Pueblo, Suisman traces the histories of our iconic routes – Sunset, Wilshire, Hollywood – with fascinating discursions into transport moving from the streetcar to the automobile, the relationship of the movie studios to the streets, the value of the urban landscapes changing as the boulevards pass through them. Originally issued in an edition of only 1500 copies, the book soon went out of print, but its importance has been validated over the years by the circulation of fuzzy photocopies in university architecture departments and design studios.
For this edition, ORO Editions has brought back the original eight essays with the original illustrations, both photographs and Suisman’s own evocative and informative drawings and plans. In addition, over the years Suisman has, in his professional practice of urban design, applied his deep knowledge of the boulevard and how it works to projects in Los Angeles and across the country and beyond. Suisman has written new essays, Boulevards in Practice, on ten of these projects, ranging from Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue in Atlanta to the rethinking of the core of Hartford, his home town. He explains plans for a new vista for Lankershim, for Wilshire, for Hollywood and Highland, for Hill Street, and for other boulevards and neighborhoods in Los Angeles. One of the most profoundly important plans is a what amounts to a reorganization of Palestinian society, called The Arc, a system of transport and development that would bind the new state together in a way never seen before. Never constructed, plan for The Arc has remained a beacon of rational and humane design in a troubled place. For this expanded edition, Suisman has contributed a new introduction and illustrated his additional essays with a series of wise and elegant drawings, as well as new photographs. ORO Editions is proud to bring back this classic examination of our boulevards and their continuing influence, both in Los Angeles and around the world.