Stairways, fountains and streetlights are among the many overlooked small things that enrich and give character to our cityscapes. Seeing and appreciating them is the idea behind the Urban Details series. Many have significant histories and are associated with important civic leaders, and many are merely the result of some functional requirement, but nearly all are the product of the loving hand labor of talented artisans.
Discover the Music Box Steps where Laurel and Hardy rolled a pianola up a long stairway in this Academy Award-winning film. Imagine corseted high-heeled housewives negotiating hundreds of narrow steps heading to the streetcar carrying shopping bags. How about a fountain dedicated to Rudolph Valentino commissioned after his death by a group of loving fans? Learn about the 5-Globe Lewellyn, the Olympic Special and other historic streetlights still gracing once-elegant boulevards.
These compact books are designed as small photo albums ornamented with hand written captions and color coordinated ribbon place markers. Urban Details will inspire readers to rediscover the best-hidden treasures in their own cities.
Historian Virginia Comer is widely published on the subject of Los Angeles history. Her books include Angels Flight: A History of Bunker Hills Incline Railway, El Alisal, and Los Angeles: A View from Crown Hill, which won the Southern California Local History Award.