California City, the third largest city in California by area, that promised “Utopia” dreaming of building another Las Vegas or Los Angeles in the middle of harsh Mojave desert has been mostly undeveloped and deserted since 1960s when the sweeping real estate boom came to an end.
When the desert fields are seen on the ground level, there are no signs of development. But once the viewer’s perspective is elevated to a few hundred feet above the ground, the vast land starts unveiling the endless paved roads and empty grids engineered for massive residential and commercial districts in the middle of literally nothing.
The frenzy seeking for a new fold mine of real estate went on for years in 1960s since the people at the time believed that buying land no matter where it’s located would bring a fortune. Whenever I notice some kind of real estate boom, it always reminds me of the landscape in California City that clearly shows what our blind obedience to fast money can cause.
Among many faces of our built environment, what attracts my attention is its failure. The architectural remnants of radical movements that are now generally considered as failure always make me raise a question about how things that are happening now will be considered in the future.