This exploration of Shulman's L.A. architecture (1960-1986) was expected to reveal a body of work that strongly referenced his exceptional modernist background + would align with the work of architects who strive for a continuum of signature style. Ironically it resulted in the point of view that his disparate L.A. work represents elements of the improbable assemblage of architectural styles that could be viewed as L.A. Vernacular. The question of who designs vernacular architecture + the challenges they face is rarely raised. Architecture historian Nicholas Olsberg: "It is the use of a logical, economical, well-planned set of local conventions that makes for a good city building stock. ...Since the turn of the 60's, standardized building system + a huge + ever growing set of local code regulations has made innovation in housing very difficult."
Shulman's collection of architecture, art + design books, journals + systematic scrapbooks of architecture postcards suggest that he was avidly following L.A. contemporary residential + commercial work. He was always looking at architecture- in everyday life + in his travels. Facing this difficult time to promote innovative architecture, he found success designing apartment buildings + complexes that point to the era's flux of L.A. styles- often facade variations on contemporary, dingbat, mediterranean, english,etc. Shulman's developer clients especially valued his skills in designs + layouts that attracted renters. The recently documented collection of Shulman buildings, viewed now in various stages of condition + renovations, with only a few original plans to consult, startlingly resemble the random L.A. building types artist Ed Ruscha photographed: "It is thanks to Ruscha's having recorded these structures in 1965 + in many cases having provided the inspiration for others to photograph similar subjects- that we find ourselves today more observant + appreciative of the architecture that so unassumingly but definitively influences our experiences of the city."- Virginia Heckert RUSCHA - SOME L.A. APARTMENTS
Shulman's L.A. work, representative of this time, is now part of the continuum of the L.A. vernacular urban landscape. The revelation of his significant modernist background adds an ironic facet to the history of L.A. architecture. The video SOME SHULMAN ARCHITECTURE + the e-book SOME SHULMAN L.A. APARTMENTS reflect this conclusion.