Addie Chapin


Addie Chapin

Los Angeles, refractions of the American Dream

by Jonathan Franklin

This series is an exploration of myth embedded in both mundane and celebrated Los Angeles architectural movements. The most fascinating thing about living in Los Angeles is the blatant performance that architecture plays in peoples' lives. While it can be argued that we all use design to reflect who we think we are and who we want to be, Los Angeles shamelessly expresses itself and its people through design. The architecture of Los Angeles is futuristic, weird, and eclectic but truly represents the diversity of people, dreams, and aspirations that make up the fabric of America. Even structures that seem to manifest a bygone era have in fact been constructed in the recent past: they are facades that announce, In Los Angeles, you can be anything you want to be. This series of selected photographs, taken through a controlled medium, a disposable camera, tries to capture the myths of Los Angeles, refractions of the American dream.


Water and the Myth of Power


Municipal Light Water Power Building

The Art Deco style reflects the prominence and power that the LADWP once held in the development of Los Angeles.



Choose Your Fairytale

Los Feliz Neighborhood

In the neighborhood where Walt Disney began creating movies, residential development romanticized eurocentric architecture of the past.

Spanish Colonial Revival

Spanish Colonial Revival

Storeybook/Tudor Revival

Storeybook/Tudor Revival

Monterey Colonial Revival

Monterey Colonial Revival



Myth of Immigration

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Chinese Gateway



Building Materials As Myth

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La Miniature Millard House, Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright took a mundane building material, the concrete block, and transformed it into an expression of permanence and beauty.


Garden Walls of Pasadena

Clinker bricks—bricks that are deformed and leftover from the firing process—create the illusion of happenstance, irregularity, and a timeworn aesthetic.



Myth of the Future

Union 76 Gas Station

West Hollywood

Googie Architecture

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Theme Building


Googie Architecture

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Wilshire Boulevard

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Myth of Film Industry

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Academy Museum, Foster & Partners



Myth of Finding Yourself

Swimming on top of buildings


Jonathan Franklin is a designer and artist living in Los Angeles, California. He is interested in the ways that urban spaces reflect the character of residents and of the city at large. As an urban designer at The Olin Studio, Jonathan's work focuses on revitalizing cities and landscapes with an eye towards future climate pressures and close attention to the existent context and demographic needs. He holds a BLA from the University of Georgia, and an M.Arch from Georgia Tech.