The Getty Center: Light, Space, and Views to Enjoy

posted by Sharon May 12, 2019 25 Comments
Getty Center Los Angeles

The Getty Center is built on a hilltop in Los Angeles, where it provides a place of beauty and space high above the homes and the busy freeway. In its prime location, you will enjoy views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. On a recent visit, I was so taken with the style of architecture that I’m going to focus on just that. The Getty houses world-class art and a remarkable garden, which we can look at in future posts. So what is so notable about the style of the Getty Center?

As soon as you arrive by tram after winding up the road, you notice that all around are buildings, grounds, stairways, and walls of white and cream. Travertine tile brought in from Italy is everywhere, giving the campus a unified, clean, simple look. And this is extremely calming.

The Getty Center was designed by architect Richard Meier, who chose this tile for travertine’s qualities: Permanence, solidity, simplicity, warmth, and craftsmanship. About 16,000 tons of tile from just outside Rome is now shaped and polished here. Getty Center Los AngelesAn abundance of trees soften the hardness of the tile. And fountains and ponds add a soothing contrast, too.  Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los AngelesPoints around the Getty Center provide views from terraces and balconies.Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los AngelesThe Getty is free. You pay to park ($16) and then the entire museum is open to you. Tours are also free of charge. I enjoyed the architectural tour with our enthusiastic guide Carolina.  She’s standing here in front of the only color in the entire complex of buildings. The light purple represents the color of the sky at sunset.Getty Center Los Angeles

Blocks of travertine sit here and there. You can see what the unpolished stone looked like.Getty Center Los Angeles

All of the squares of tile are 30 inches by 30 inches. In contrast to so many square lines, the curves keep the design from being too stark.Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

Getty Center Los Angeles

You’ll find very little in the way of signs pointing you various places. Carolina explained that the design “invites” you to explore. You naturally want to pass under this arch. A canopy over a doorway shows that it’s a friendly door so you can enter.  And a table under a trellis makes you want to linger here with a latte.  The campus includes a cafe, a restaurant, and a coffee cart that offers not only drinks but also fresh fruit and snacks. The cappuccino bread is delicious!Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

Getty Center Los Angeles

Another theme of the Getty Center is symmetry. This looks like one tree until you look from the side. Rows of trees or plants are lined up so perfectly. The order, even in the landscape, is relaxing.

Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

Even the columns that help hold up the structures are elegant. Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

I kept returning to this pool. Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

The lavender bed added a bit of color. And the trees bloom in different seasons, so you can return to visit and see the changes.Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

Inside the galleries, the light and white architecture continues. This is the central staircase in the West Gallery. Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

If you are in need of respite from the hustle and bustle of life, the Getty Center is the place to go.  Getty Center Los Angeles

When you’re ready to return to “reality,” the tram is waiting to take you back down the hill.Getty Center Los Angeles

You’ll have great memories as you look back on your visit in this relaxing place of light and beauty. Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

Getty Center Los AngelesThe Getty Center is open from 10 to 5:30 and on Saturdays stays open until 9:00. It is closed on Mondays. Parking is $16; entrance to the Getty Center is free. For more information, check out the website.

How about you? Have you visited the Getty? Do you have a favorite center or museum where you go to relax and recharge?

Linking up with Image-in-ing, The Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Weekend Wanderlust, Faraway Files, Wanderful Wednesday, Feet Do Travel, My Corner of the World, Monday Escapes, and Weekend Travel Inspiration.

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25 Comments

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Carol May 13, 2019 at 6:37 am

Looks like a wonderful place to visit!

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Lady Fi May 13, 2019 at 10:13 am

Wow – what a beautiful place!

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Eileen Wise May 13, 2019 at 10:17 am

Hello, it is a beautiful place. Thanks for the tour. Awesome photos. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

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Junieper/jesh May 13, 2019 at 10:44 am

Have never seen such awesome images of the Ghetti, Sharon – you are a great photographer:) Don’t know how it is in San Diego, but around LA hubby told me several stories about owners of residences importing rock, tile, or specific architectural items from Italy or France (mostly). Since you live in that area, you know that L.A. does not look white or marble like, so in my opinion that is a great asset! Many thanks for sharing with All Seasons and have a lovely week, Blog Friend!

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Fun60 May 13, 2019 at 11:01 am

Thanks for this post. I have only been to LA once and sadly I didn’t have the time to visit the Getty Museum. I missed an amazing building.

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Mother of 3 May 13, 2019 at 11:08 am

That is beautiful! I love all the curves and the water features.

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup May 13, 2019 at 11:58 am

Interesting architecture!
Thanks for joining this week’s linkup at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/05/home-made-salami.html

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Tamar A Strauss-Benjamin May 13, 2019 at 1:48 pm

I went to the Getty once – such an amazing space!

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William Kendall May 13, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Exquisitely beautiful architecture!

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Sandra Nachlinger May 13, 2019 at 6:09 pm

What a gorgeous facility in a beautiful setting. Just looking at your pictures (especially the fountain) was a restful experience.
My post features a visit to #Seattle’s Volunteer Park Conservatory.

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s.c. May 14, 2019 at 12:35 am

It looks very nice. I had once the change to visit but I choose for a visit at venice and venice beach instead because I had only a 2 day stay over there.

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Mandy May 15, 2019 at 3:33 am

I’ve visited the Getty Villa but not the Getty Center. I’m hoping to visit when I go to CA this summer. The view of LA from there looks stunning! If you have any suggestions for what to do in LA, I’d love to hear them.

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Mary May 15, 2019 at 4:27 am

If I ever go back to California this would definitely be on my bucket list. SUch a beautiful place to visit.

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Allison May 15, 2019 at 6:07 am

I like the pool too. I can almost hear the sounds of the water and how soothing it would be. It looks like the Getty Center has some pretty amazing views too. #wanderfulwednesday

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Katherine May 15, 2019 at 6:31 am

The travertine tile really does make the Getty Center feel at one with the landscape while standing out nicely. I’d love to visit the Getty Center, I hadn’t heard of it when we were in LA before, so we’ll have to make the trip back!

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betty - NZ May 15, 2019 at 4:26 pm

It’s so nice to be able to visit places like this through blogging! Thanks for sharing your photos and information about this fabulous gem.

Thanks for joining ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!

My Corner of the World

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dee Nambiar May 15, 2019 at 10:12 pm

I’ve heard of the views. But I didn’t know it had this interesting tile-connection. That’s a lot of tiles!
I haven’t been there. I’d love to see it on one of my trips that side.
Thank you.

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Charlotte Jakobsen May 16, 2019 at 4:29 am

I visited a few years ago and it was just amazing! Would love to go again some day☺

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Jean | Delightful Repast May 16, 2019 at 11:38 am

Sharon, I’ve always wanted to go there, but so far haven’t made it. Your photos are outstanding and have given much more of a taste of the place. Must put this on my list.

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Cristina - Memories of the Pacific May 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm

I visited both the Getty Center and Villa nine years ago and even though they are different, I absolutely loved both of them. Your post brought a lot of memories!

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Rhonda Albom May 16, 2019 at 7:17 pm

I have heard much about the Getty Center and the art within. Thanks for a view of the outside and the grounds as I think they have been overlooked. It is quite modern but the travertine somehow imparts an old world look.

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Esther May 17, 2019 at 2:48 am

Wow, the views alone would make it worth the visit. What in interesting building.
#FeetDoTravel

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Giulia May 19, 2019 at 10:48 am

Never been here but after ur article I would like to visit it

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Lissy L'Amoreaux May 19, 2019 at 12:51 pm

I live in LA and the Getty Center is one of my favorite places to visit! I have gone several times for certain exhibits, but as you show here, it is nice to just visit and walk the grounds and soak in all the beauty and views!

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Val May 19, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Is it really purple the sky during sunsets?! That s fantastic! Also, I am surprised (pleasantly) that it s free, thanks for sharing this info! The photos and the architecture are definitely interesting too!

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