THE THEME BUILDING at LAX is part of a self-driving tour of 1960s landmarks. (Argonaut file photo by T.W. Brown)

The Los Angeles Conservancy and its Modern Committee will hold a self-driving tour Sunday, November 8th, “It’s a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod City,” highlighting a collection of 1960s historic resources near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and in Westchester.

Event organizers say that the tour offers a rare chance to visit 1960s-era “gems” integral to Los Angeles’ history as a modern metropolis. Featured stops along the tour include:

n LAX Theme Building (1961) — The landmark space-age structure was designated a cultural and historic monument by the City Council in 1992. While the building is currently being renovated, the observation deck will be open for the tour (for the first time since 2001);

n St. Jerome Catholic Church (1966) — An intact example of mid-century modern religious architecture in Los Angeles. Its polygonal sanctuary features original terrazzo floors, gold mosaic tiles, and a soaring folded-plate roofline;

n IBM Aerospace Headquarters Building (1963) — Inspired by the technology of the time, the exterior was designed to resemble a computer punch card. The building is now home to Otis College of Art and Design in Westchester; and

n The Proud Bird Restaurant (1967): An aviation-themed example of the “destination restaurant” fad popular in Southern California during the 1960s. The restaurant offers views of LAX runways and is surrounded by World War II-era aircraft.

The tour will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 8th. At check-in, tourgoers will receive a booklet detailing the tour route and interesting sites to see along the way. Official stops will feature a docent-led tour of the site.

Tickets are $25 for L.A. Conservancy members, $30 for the general public, and $10 for children 12 and under. For tickets, laconservancy.org/sixties/, or http://lac.laconservancy.org/modtour/.

“It’s a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod City” is part of “The Sixties Turn 50,” a nine-month program celebrating the ‘60s architectural heritage of greater Los Angeles and exploring how best to preserve it, as buildings from the decade start turning 50 in 2010.

The tour is sponsored by City National Bank, Los Angeles World Airports, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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