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Published on : Friday, August 5, 2016
People know Beverly Hills for shopping, dining and spas, as well as the celebrities who regularly enjoy our amenities. However, many are surprised to learn that the city is overflowing with art, architecture and cultural attractions. This self-guided walking tour lets you explore the vast (and photo-worthy) collection of public art, architectural gems and art galleries that add to the allure of this already beautiful city. Here are 12 must see-stops of Beverly Hills’ art and culture scene.
The Paley Center for Media
This modern structure was designed by renowned architect Richard Meier of Getty Center fame. Its contemporary façade boasts floor to ceiling windows and sleek, modern lines. Inside, the facility houses an unparalleled library of classic radio and television programming and regularly presents screening events and panel discussions with today’s most celebrated television actors, directors and producers.
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts once served as the home of the main Beverly Hills Post Office. To this day, the building is considered an architectural gem of the city with much of the old space preserved and blended to fit in with its more contemporary elements. Inside the new Bram Goldsmith Theater, the design takes its inspiration from the movement of performers. With a state-of-the-art stage and sculptural American Walnut wood interior, the theater’s intimate setting ensures an unprecedented patron experience, offering spacious seating, adaptable acoustics, cutting-edge lighting and excellent sight lines. The grounds also feature a sunken sculpture garden, elegant landscaping and a promenade terrace.
Beverly Hills City Hall
Just across Santa Monica Boulevard you can see Beverly Hills City Hall, which is the large Spanish Renaissance building known for its pale blue exterior paint accents, its blue, green and gold tile dome, and gilded cupola which was designed in 1932.
Beverly Gardens Park
A walk in Beverly Gardens Park presents a unique opportunity to experience a vast and impressive collection of public art and garden landscapes, including formal rose and cactus gardens. The park is anchored by the famous 40-foot long Beverly Hills Sign and Lily Pond, the most photographed location by visitors in the city. Significant art installations dot the landscape, particularly between Camden and Rexford Drives. The 15-foot wide stainless steel Erratic sculpture by Roxy Paine symbolizes a glacier’s erratic path as it is carried hundreds of miles from its origin over time. Barry Flanagan’s eccentric Drummer and the bold sculpture from Yayoi Kusama entitled Hymn of Life: Tulips are some of the residents of Beverly Gardens Park.
Just north of the park on Rodeo Drive, the O’Neill House, built in 1988 by Don O’Neill, stands out as an homage to Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi. The private residence, basically oval in shape (no square corners inside or out), drips with swirl accents, reminiscent of icing on a wedding cake.
The Witch’s House
The converted private home, also known as the Spadena House, has a pointy, lopsided roof, tiny windows and stucco with a distressed paint job, and is surrounded by an intentionally overgrown English-style garden. The home was once surrounded by a moat-like pond and was originally built in 1921 to serve as the offices and dressing rooms for a film studio in Culver City. The house was moved to its present location in Beverly Hills in 1934. People know Beverly Hills for shopping, dining and spas, as well as the celebrities who regularly enjoy our amenities. However, many are surprised to learn that the city is overflowing with art, architecture and cultural attractions. Take a walk and enjoy the vast (and photo-worthy) collection of public art, architectural gems and art galleries that add to the allure of this already beautiful city.
One of Beverly Hills’ staple galleries is a must-see stop on this art and culture tour. With rotating exhibits, Gagosian Gallery’s Beverly Hills location designed by famed architect Richard Meier, has dedicated itself to organizing important exhibitions of contemporary art, while presenting earlier works of art from the modern era.
Walk of Style Plaques
Hollywood may have a Walk of Fame, but Beverly Hills has the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style. Bronze plaques line both sides of Rodeo Drive, commemorating fashion icons who have set trends and blazed trails in the fashion industry. Each plaque features a personal quote from the recipient along with his/her signature. Past Walk of Style Award recipients include Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Edith Head, Herb Ritts, Valentino, Burberry and Gianni and Donatella Versace.
An unexpected sampling of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture is located in the middle of Rodeo Drive’s shopping district. The somewhat whimsical, slightly quirky structure, built in the Art Deco style in 1953, includes a zig-zagging ramp with no stairs and pointed stacked spire, a departure from his earlier designs.
Robert Graham’s Torso
It would be hard to miss the silver Torso sculpture situated in the median at Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way. Formed by artist and sculptor, Robert Graham, the 14-foot installation acknowledges Beverly Hills’ standing as a fashion capital and is the symbol for the city’s Walk of Style Awards.
Located at the corner of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, is a unique collection of stores and restaurants form the charming shopping venue known as Two Rodeo. One of the most photographed spots in the city, Two Rodeo features a dramatic fountain and outdoor staircase (built to mimic the famed Spanish Steps in Rome) leading to a European-style cobblestone Via.
The art and artistry of Galerie Michael is best appreciated once a guest walks into the gallery. Within the Two Rodeo collection, the gallery specializes in fine European paintings, drawings and prints from the 17th Century to the present and regularly exhibits the works of Rembrandt, Picasso, Renoir, Matisse and many other significant artists.