Frank Lloyd Wright's Anderton Court Shops in Beverly Hills, California, 1952
Nestled, almost hidden on Rodeo Drive between Dayton Way and Brighton Way in the heart of Beverly Hills, is Frank Lloyd Wright's last built project in the Los Angeles area. The Anderton Court Shops is a small shopping center with four levels of various boutiques, whose advertisements somewhat detract from the smooth surfaces of painted concrete. To visit the upper floors, one travels on an exposed, angular ramp that climbs up the building. Wright would later dramatize the ramp concept in the interiors of the VC Morris Gift Shop in San Francisco and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Near the top of the ramp, visitors meet an open courtyard. Large, circular windows contrast with the sharply angled lines of the rest of the building. The concrete floor has a diamond pattern that Wright used frequently in his Usonian Houses.
From here, the geometric mast can be seen up close. Wright used masts like this in a number of his later projects. The mast has a science fiction essence to it, and parallels the Googie architecture seen in Los Angeles from the late 1940's through the mid 1960's.
Wright demonstrated a mastery of concrete over his 70-plus year career. His first major expression of concrete was in the Unity Temple of Oak Park (1905), where Wright lived and worked for the first twenty years of his career. His last major expression of concrete was in the Guggenheim Museum, completed in 1959, a few months after the architect's death.