Friday, September 30, 2011

Retro Friday: The 1960s-Era Proposed LAX/Santa Monica Island

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It seems like quite a leap to imagine L.A. actually pulling something this ambitious off. But even back in the 1960s, the folks behind the Los Angeles International Airport knew that LAX needed to expand to accommodate the huge increase in air passengers. That's where this idea came from: A new man-made island off the coast, connected by bridge and subway, that would continue LAX plus house a full community.

Someone at Reddit L.A. found these images the other day while looking through the Los Angeles Public Library's amazing photo archive collection.

Here are the details, direct from the photo caption:

Drawing of a combined Los Angeles International Airport. Drawing shows a new Santa Monica Island with a subway connecting to the aiports (bottom) and a causeway, bridges and subway at the top of drawing. The island will have provisions for the SST, with 2-15,000 ft. runways. The island will also have its own commercial area, hotels, art center, trade center and office building, apartments, parks and beaches, an aerospace university and a sports center. Drawn by architect R. Donald Jaye. Photo dated: March 12, 1968.

And here's an architectural rendering:

airport1

Others have found these drawings as well; here are takes on the Santa Monica Island That Wasn't via Skyscraper City; Examiner and the LA Weekly.

I can never get enough of these depictions of proposed redesigned L.A. city plans that never got off the ground. Past posts:

What Could Have Been (and Thankfully Wasn't): The Doomed Ambassador International Project

Failed Civic Center Plans Through the Years

What Could Have Been: L.A. Civic Center, Circa 1933

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