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

posted by Sharon 31 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?

Travertine and Exquisite Architecture

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 Angeles

Fabulous Views

Points around the Getty Center provide views from terraces and balconies.Getty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los AngelesGetty Center Los Angeles

Take a Tour

The 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

Look for Symmetry

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

Lovely Pools and Colorful Trees

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

The Fabulous Central Staircase

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?

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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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31 Comments

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Carol at

Looks like a wonderful place to visit!

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Lady Fi at

Wow – what a beautiful place!

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Eileen Wise at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup at

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 at

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

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William Kendall at

Exquisitely beautiful architecture!

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Sandra Nachlinger at

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. at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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 at

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

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Giulia at

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

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Lissy L'Amoreaux at

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 at

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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FS Page at

The Getty Center is truly an architectural marvel and your amazing photographs have done a great deal of justice to give shape to this monument for your readers. Would love to visit this someday.

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Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) at

I love that style of architecture too. I hadn’t realised that the Getty had such a stunning location. That pond looks very inviting. I can imagine lots of people wanting to paddle their feet in it on a sunny day. Are you allowed to do that? Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles

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Karletta at

Thank you Sharon for your excellent online architectural tour of the Getty Centre. When I go walking and I see a bridge I naturally are drawn to cross it. I could relate to what you said . the “design “invites” you to explore. You naturally want to pass under this arch.” I could feel that.

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Anna at

Such a perfect mixture of elegance and modern architectural styling! Will definitely try to visit the Getty Center when in LA next time! #feetdotravel

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Phoebe | Lou Messugo at

What a great tour around this lovely place. We’re going to California this summer so I’m pinning for reference, thanks

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Jay Artale at

We went to the Getty just after it opened and all of the greenery and trees were really small and not bedded in yet, so it was so good to see how the landscape has matured and change. I love this location for the views, and we still have the David Hockney print we bought after seeing his exhibition. Well worth taking the bus to visit this location to avoid the parking.

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