Photograph courtesy of City of Lakewood Historical Collection

Photograph courtesy of City of Lakewood Historical Collection

We’ve been here before, arguing fiercely about the look of Los Angeles, memorably in the mid-1970s, when the growth machine that had boomed the city to bigness – and greatness – first stalled. It had been an epic, hundred-year bender by then, turning square miles of flood plain, valley, and foothill into single-family house lots. And it seemed that the city was sobering up – and growing up – as its development pattern matured around its low-rise, suburban-appearing uniformity. Sure, the hangover from the boomtime lingered in City Hall’s failure to notice the changing direction of the growth machine, and in Angeleños’ faith that an improved middle-class paradise – in the form of yet another subdivision – would be found around the next bend in the freeway. More