Blackwell North Amer Because the principal business of Los Angeles has been to produce some of the world's best fantasies, perhaps it is inevitable that we think of its architecture as largely composed of palatial homes and restaurants in the shape of a hat. And while there are indeed many examples of architectural whimsy here, it is also true that Los Angeles is a very old city and one in which skilled and imaginative architects have been building for a very long time. Landmarks of Los Angeles serves to correct our "fantastic" impressions of what the city and its buildings look like and provides a history of the growth of a great metropolis. It begins when Los Angeles was simply a missionary outpost and the Mission San Fernando - still preserved - was one of its few structures. It continues through the long agricultural period, which lasted until the 1920s, when oil and the movie industry both helped to turn a town into a city. While fine Victorian and Romanesque buildings had been constructed even before the oil barons and movie moguls established themselves in Los Angeles, it took the prosperity of the 1920s and the prevalent Deco and Moderne styles to give the city its unique architectural character. Beginning then major office, civic, and retail structures like the Bradbury Building, City Hall, and Bullock's Wilshire, and residences like the Samuel/Novarro and Storer houses were designed by architects like the Parkinsons, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Austin, and Albert Martin, all of whom transformed Los Angeles into a vital center of modern architecture. In Landmarks of Los Angeles writers and photographers Patrick McGrew and Robert Julian describe each officially protected site - including not only buildings but also boats, trees, and even the famous "Hollywood Sign" - and historic district. They also provide photographs of 200 of the more than 500 Historic-Cultural Monuments of the City of Los Angeles.