I recently went on a photo outing with my friend Kaija to explore downtown Los Angeles, a place I rarely find myself. Naturally I was drawn to the city hall--I've seen it on every taxicab, and it can be seen from all over the city as a bold reminder of our rich art deco history. The details on the courthouse's doors and façade still tip their hat to that lost art movement that defined the early twentieth. Across the street, and part of the civil center is a modern, opposing cubical building that is more pattern than thoughtful design and is remarkable for its dedication to the square form. Sadly its architecture and proximity to City Hall too accurately punctuates the loss of appreciation for Los Angeles' bold upbringing. Even the buildings on Spring Street and Broadway--once majestic art deco palaces for movies are husks of what they once were with their lobbies converted to bargain jewelry stands, medical offices, and tourist tchotchke black holes. Sometimes they are left whole; not to be enjoyed by the public but for rental to a film crew. The beautiful Union Station still echoes with history, but its ticketing booths are "for events only" and can only be gazed upon by passersby looking at a history preserved for prom nights and commercial shoots. Despite losing touch with such a fascinating cultural past, our city has built an impressive skyline that still leaves a midwesterner with a sense of awe.