The Century City Architecture Tour is a 60-minute walking tour that examines the history and architecture of this city built for the 20th century as it transitions into a city adapted for the 21st century. Conceived in the 1950's and realized in the 1960's, Century City is the host of a collection of architecture designed by many of the most renowned modern architects in history. Among others, Minoru Yamasaki, Welton Beckett, I.M. Pei, and the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill all contributed to this cityscape. More than a dozen buildings are examined in detail, and guests leave with an interesting perspective on the history and future of this fascinating and unusual city.
The land that became Century City was originally owned by cowboy actor Tom Mix, who sold his 176-acre lot to William Fox, founder of Fox Film Corporation in the 1920's. Fox turned the land into a massive studio backlot for filming, and the company merged with Twentieth-Century Pictures in 1935 to become 20th Century Fox. By the rise of television in the 1950's, the major motion picture studios in Hollywood and across LA began selling off their land, and Fox was no exception. One of the reasons that solidified Fox's decision to sell off the Fox studio backlot to become Century City was the astronomical cost for the filming of Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Originally budgeted at $2 million, the costs soared past $40 million by the time the film opened in 1963. That same year, the first buildings in Century City opened up, including I.M. Pei's Century Tower Apartments.
Local LA architect Welton Becket was responsible for the master plan of Century City, and one of the most distinctive features of this city for the future, was the conceptive use of "wide green spaces" to separate skyscrapers with landscaped plazas, fountains, and park-like areas for the leisure of its occupants. Unlike Downtown Los Angeles and other urban cores, the Century City skyline is spread apart, giving it what some may describe as a sparse or unfinished look. This was the righteous intent of the architect to "prevent urban overcrowding", but the overall effect has been criticized as eery by some. Nonetheless, Century City is interesting as a prototype for a conceptual, city of the future from the 1950's. Century City is a living, architectural museum with modern buildings spanning nearly half a century, and designed by some of the most well-known and respected architects of the midcentury era through now. The Century City Architecture Tour discusses the history and development of Century City as an urban prototype while examining the architecture of the individual buildings and their contextual relationships to one another.
This distance of this walking tour is less than a mile, and the tour ends near the Westfield Century City Shopping Center (part of the original group of buildings in Century City). The Century City Architecture Tour is a great activity for corporate outings in Los Angeles. Dinner reservations and catering packages can be arranged to accommodate your group's needs, and we can do a complimentary meet-n-greet at any hotel or office building in Century City for your tour.
The Century City Architecture Tour is available as a private tour or group tour, and timing is flexible.
2 person minimum
Adults: $25 Seniors (65+): $22 Students: $20 Groups of 10+: $20/person