Mulholland drive at night is one of L.A.’s most awesome sights. The view into the Valley is quintessentially L.A. An expansive grid of lights on the diagonal, leading into the dark mountains, it’s best on a clear, cold night following a storm. I love the drive, and last night I was thinking about the way it shows in the photographs of Julius Shulman, the landscapes of Peter Alexander, and in the world of film.
I drove along the curving, elevated highway last night, headed east of Laurel Canyon. As I passed Torreyson Drive, I stopped at the Universal City lookout and turned around. There, high on the hill, I could see the supporting steel structure of Chemosphere, John Lautner’s iconic residential masterpiece.
David Gebhard and Robert Winter have a brief entry about Chemosphere in Los Angeles, An Architectural Guide: ”At first it seems to be a flying saucer, but then you see it is on a pedestal, firmly riveted to the hill.”