The Untold L.A.: The Perfect Holiday Gift for Mid-City Fans

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Category: Our History
Published on Thursday, 18 December 2014 16:25
Written by Renee Montgomery
A 360-page rich compendium of 500 photos, 70 oral histories, and two hours of behind-the-scenes videos illustrating West Adams' architectural wonders and culture, "The Untold LA" is perfect gift for Mid-City fans who own iPads or Mac computers. It is the result of a two year documentary project by Jett Loe, a professional photographer and former BBC director who resided in London and Glasgow for eleven years before relocating to Mid-City Los Angeles. 

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When the San Francisco native decided to accompany his wife Elizabeth Quiros-Loe, a doctoral fellow at LMU, to Los Angeles, Loe discovered the "astonishing" charms of West Adams historic neighborhoods.  "My wife wanted to live in a communal house and I started looking in the Harvard Heights neighborhood of West Adams.  In my search, conducted by foot and bus [Loe was car-less], I was amazed by the beauty of the homes in the district.  Following my discoveries, I was astonished to find that no one had done a coffee table book of photographs of them," Loe described to the USC Annenberg Media Center.

DEC14unjettweb2Shortly thereafter Loe moved to a 1910 Craftsman in North University Park and set out on a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the  documentary project, exceeding his goal in 25 days at $9,000.  The professional photographer had optimistically figured the project would take two months, but soon found it would become an extensive full-time undertaking, requiring several months simply to gain access to certain properties, e.g., UCLA's Clark Library.  The result is an amazing resource of beautifully photographed residential and public architecture -- street views as well as intricate exterior and interior details, -- that has been applauded in the Huffington Post and The Craftsman Bungalow.

Loe explained to TNN that local residents were overwhelmingly supportive in his quest to photograph as many great Victorian and Craftsman edifices as possible.  Besides lush photographs, Loe conducted 70 oral histories chronicling life in the area, running a wide gamut of residents back to 1902, including Kinney Heights's Wally Matsura who hosts a weekly salon in his home. 

The important "Untold LA" interactive book can be easily accessed for iPads and Macs at the iTunes store for $9.99, with 50 of Jett's favorite photographs available for free Pdf downloads.

If people want to be notified if and when the book comes out in print they can sign up to the ‘keep me updated’ list by going to http://untoldla.com.

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