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Never Built: Los Angeles explores the “what if” Los Angeles and dares the city to dream big again.
Never Built: Los Angeles explores the “what if” Los Angeles and dares the city to dream big again.
436 backers pledged $43,114 to help bring this project to life.

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Never Built: Los Angeles, an exhibition opening this spring at Los Angeles's A+D Architecture and Design Museum, features a collection of spectacular projects that only saw the drawing board. In words, drawings, models, videos and other media the show looks at visionary works that had the greatest potential to reshape the city. 

The exhibition will include buildings from legends like Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, Rudolph Schindler, Frank Gehry and Thom Mayne, as well as master plans, parks, amusements parks and even transportation proposals like subways, monorails, and aerial transport. All could have transformed both the physical reality and the collective perception of the city. The fascinating stories and mesmerizing images surrounding these projects shed light on a reluctant city whose institutions and infrastructure have often undermined inventive, challenging urban schemes from some of the world's greatest architects, engineers and planners. Never Built sets the stage for a renewed interest in visionary projects in Los Angeles and dares the city to dream again. 

During two years of research we have unearthed countless untold stories and hundreds of beautiful yet buried images. We have completed the exhibition book, published by Metropolis Books, and worked with one of the nation's most celebrated designers—Clive Wilkinson Architects— to conceive of a show worthy of the topic. The entire museum space will become an alternative version of Los Angeles, with an amazing floor map of the city as a guide.

We have finished the research and we have the exhibition design ready. But we need YOUR help to make the show a reality! We are asking specifically for your (tax deductible!) donations to pay for the floor graphic, the cost of building museum-quality models (as well as an 11-foot-tall tower made of over 67,000 Legos), the expense of rights to borrow and mount original drawings, and the price of installing all this, and so much more, into the museum space. Please help us make this amazing show happen. 

-Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin, Curators, Never Built: Los Angeles

Video Photo Credits : Eric Lloyd Wright; Los Angeles World Airports Flight Path Learning Center; Architecture and Design Collection, Art Design & Architecture Museum, UCSB; Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation; Chris Georgesco; Getty Research Institute; Huntington Library; Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive; The Walt Disney Company; Hollywood Heritage; Los Angeles City Archives; John Lumsden; City of Santa Monica; Edward Cella Art and Architecture; Steven Holl Architects; Atelier Chistian de Portzamparc; OMA; B+U. 

Lloyd Wright, Civic Center Plan (Courtesy Eric Lloyd Wright/ UCLA Special Collections)
Lloyd Wright, Civic Center Plan (Courtesy Eric Lloyd Wright/ UCLA Special Collections)
Proposed Goodell Monorail, 1963 (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive)
Proposed Goodell Monorail, 1963 (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive)
Frank Lloyd Wright, Huntington Hartford Athletic Club, 1947 (Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)
Frank Lloyd Wright, Huntington Hartford Athletic Club, 1947 (Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)
Model display "plinths" for the exhibition, designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects
Model display "plinths" for the exhibition, designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects
Museum's Wilshire Boulevard facade, with Los Angeles map floor graphic and Lego tower
Museum's Wilshire Boulevard facade, with Los Angeles map floor graphic and Lego tower
Curator Sam Lubell with Thomas Musca, who will be building the exhibition's 11-foot-tall Lego tower.
Curator Sam Lubell with Thomas Musca, who will be building the exhibition's 11-foot-tall Lego tower.
Curator Greg Goldin
Curator Greg Goldin
Steven Holl's Natural History Museum addition
Steven Holl's Natural History Museum addition
Luckman and Alexander's star-shaped Hollywood Museum atop Griffith Park (LA City Archives)
Luckman and Alexander's star-shaped Hollywood Museum atop Griffith Park (LA City Archives)
Yes, Disneyland almost happened in Burbank! (Burbank Review)
Yes, Disneyland almost happened in Burbank! (Burbank Review)
Layout of exhibition: Installations, models, prints in front; 3D animations in back.
Layout of exhibition: Installations, models, prints in front; 3D animations in back.

Risks and challenges

Because this exhibition is extremely ambitious it faces many challenges. Our most pressing concern, of course, is funding. But once we achieve our funding goals we then need to build out the show. That means installing a 2,200 square foot floor graphic, installing exhibition display cases, building models from scratch, creating a eleven-foot-tall lego tower, mounting original materials and reproductions, and finalizing video animations, among so many other things. We also need to ensure that our exhibition catalogue is ready in time for the opening and that the speakers are confirmed for the various events. There are so many moving parts, but we're up to the challenge. And you can help make it happen.

Exhibition design team: Clive Wilkinson Architects, Olson Visual, All Coast Construction, The Model Shop, Shimahara Illustration, Buro Happold, Michael P Johnson Fine Woods, Targetti, Orly Shuber.
Exhibition research team: Carren Jao, Laura Ng, Muffy Marracco, Kate DeFronzo

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    You name on the Never Built website. (And our gratitude!!)

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    A+D pin and your name on the Never Built website.

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    Never Built postcard signed by the show's curators, and your name on the Never Built web site.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Never Built: Los Angeles T-Shirt designed by our exhibition designer Clive Wilkinson.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    2 tickets to the Never Built: Los Angeles exhibition opening at A+D Museum. The must-visit event will be attended by many of the world famous designers featured in the show.

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    Pledge $101 or more About $101

    2 Tickets to Never Built party at Tim Disney's prefab desert house in Joshua tree. February 16.
    https://aplusd.org/neverbuilt_desertoasis

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Curator-led group tour of the Never Built: Los Angeles exhibition.

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    Limited edition Never Built poster, signed by the show's curators.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Never Built book—signed by curators and by Thom Mayne— and guided tour of selected Never Built sites with curators.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    + Name listed as Bronze Partner in all printed materials, A+D Website and all promotional announcements
    + 2 Tickets to Never Built VIP Gala Preview
    + 2 copies of the book Never Built:Los Angeles signed by curators and foreword author Thom Mayne
    + Recognition with special notation on Museum Sponsor Wall

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    + Name listed as Silver Partner in all printed materials, A+D Website and all promotional announcements
    + 4 Tickets to Never Built VIP Gala Preview
    + 2 copies of the book Never Built:Los Angeles signed by curators and foreword author Thom Mayne
    + Recognition with special notation on Museum Sponsor Wall
    + 2 One year memberships to A+D

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    + Name listed as Gold Partner in all printed materials, A+D Website and all promotional announcements
    + 6 Tickets to Never Built VIP Gala Preview
    + 2 copies of the book Never Built:Los Angeles signed by curators and foreword author Thom Mayne
    + Recognition with special notation on Museum Sponsor Wall
    + 5 One year memberships to A+D

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Funding period

- (60 days)