Fast Forward: The Architecture of William F. Cody

900 E. 4th Street, Los Angeles CA 90013
Tue–Fri 11 am–5 pm, Sat/Sun 12 am–6 pm

Fast Forward: The Architecture of William F. Cody (1916 – 1978) marks the architect’s 100th birthday and celebrates his seminal contribution to modern architecture. Before graduating from USC in 1942, Cody had already distinguished himself as an expert draftsman and designer while working for Cliff May on housing developments in Los Angeles. An invitation to design a hotel in Palm Springs brought Cody to the desert in 1946 where he remained active until his death in 1978. From breakout jobs like the Del Marcos Hotel (1946), to inventive country club concepts like the Eldorado (1957), to houses for celebrities, Cody’s designs defined cutting edge, midcentury living. His work is inextricable from Palm Springs, the Bay Area, and the American Southwest, and although his aesthetic is often referred to as “Desert Modernism” his architectural range was broader and more diversified. Cody’s international imprint can be seen in important commissions in Mexico, Cuba, and smaller projects in London. This exhibition honors the full scope of this work through rare examples of his masterful color renderings of personal sketches and architectural commissions, photographs of now-lost structures, and examples of vanguard building systems that included beams and roof slabs so thin that his buildings seemed to defy gravity. While his architecture was disciplined and technically innovative, Cody was no rationalist. His love for entertaining was mirrored in his love for social spaces rich with patterns, texture, color, and art.