The Los Angeles That Was Never Built

Had these 13 grand architectural plans been executed, the city would look entirely different today

(Eric Lloyd Wright)

Santa Monica Offshore Freeway, by John Drescher and Moffat and Nichol

The Santa Monica Offshore Freeway, sometimes called the "causeway," was a 1965 vision for a freeway from Santa Monica to Malibu, about 18 miles to the north. The freeway was meant to ease the traffic on the well-worn Pacific Coast Highway, and it leaped from downtown Santa Monica to a string of man-made islands off the coast and reconnected to the mainland in Malibu.

"It floated through the legislature in California, and it was eventually passed by the city, the county and the state legislature," says Lubell. "The only reason it did not happen was that Governor Pat Brown, the father of our current governor, vetoed it."

You'd think Brown put the kibosh to the plan for environmental reasons. The plan to develop the coastline instigated, at least in part, the environmental movement in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, according to Lubell. But, in the end, the death knell for the project was actually a lack of funding.


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