Maybe it's the asymmetrical layout of the front façade. Maybe it's the pleasing balance of beige and hunter green (I'm fairly color-blind, so I'm just guessing here). Maybe it's the way the building appears to nearly float atop those tiny stilts (dig that International Style!). But most likely, it's those swell tubes projecting with geometric precision from the right side.
See 'em? They don't jut far from the façade, but they recess sufficiently inward to provide resting spots for local birds (I waited around for a while to get a decent pic of one sticking his head out, but wasn't that fortunate). It's so cool to watch the effects of morning shadows on these adornments, so eye-catching and gleefully useless.
Oh, I snapped a decent pic of one bird, mocking my efforts to photograph one roosting in one of those little tubes. Underneath, you can spot an essential component of Dingbat style: over-sized and stylized street address numbers. Again, seeing the shadows play with that san-serif font was pretty cool.
As is often the case, William Gibson offers some insight:
"Architectural photography can involve a lot of waiting; the building becomes a kind of sundial, while you wait for a shadow to crawl away from a detail you want, or for the mass and balance of the structure to reveal itself in a certain way."In my return visits to L.A. - and in trips to other Dingbat meccas - I may eventually discover an ever more perfect example of this architectural form. But for now, 1553 South Fairfax Avenue is my favorite Dingbat. Is there one you like? Post a comment - preferably with a Google Street view so we can see it!
(Photographs by Andrew Wood)