So long, Hennessey + Ingalls


Today's the end of an era, as our city's venerated art and architectural bookstore closes down in preparation for a big move across town.

As far as I know, H+I has already had three homes over the years: a strip mall at Pico & Westwood back in the '80s; a high-profile storefront on the Third Street Promenade in the '90s, and most recently ('til today) around the corner on Wilshire.  (There was also a short-lived annex up in Hollywood for a time.)

Next up: a ground floor spot at One Santa Fe in Downtown LA, across the street from Sci-ARC... probably a good move.

Angeleno Archinecters: your thoughts or experiences of H+I over the years?

Jan 17, 16 4:37 pm

good bookstore - overpriced, some nice hard to find items tho.

Jan 17, 16 4:39 pm  · 
Maybe they'll get more business now that they'll be in the Arts District. The Hollywood store was nice. It seemed like they had a better selection there.
Jan 17, 16 4:47 pm  · 

H & I had a store in Orange County just north of South Coast Plaza back in the day.

Jan 17, 16 5:13 pm  · 

Yes, definitely expensive books.  I don't blame the bookstore, though.  The presses set the prices.

One great memory for me is the annual "20% Off Everything" sale held each November.  It made things a bit less pricey, plus I almost always ran into old friends and classmates on that big Saturday every year.

Jan 17, 16 5:14 pm  · 

Although it is super important that LA have an architectural bookstore of the magnitude of H&I, I kinda wish it was another one with friendlier folks.  I'm totally willing to pay list for to a local bookstore, but not when the folks running the place are so contemptuous of their customers. 

Jan 17, 16 7:30 pm  · 

Janosh, thanks for that.  I always wondered if it was just me... but you're right.  The staff there (with one or two cheerful exceptions) has always seemed almost studied and purposeful in their sullen attitude.  For decades.  They do their jobs, and they are helpful, it's true.  But that glum affectation I definitely won't miss.

Jan 17, 16 8:01 pm  · 

I always thought Arcana was better curated and more helpful. I went to their new location in Helms Bakery a couple of years ago with a Dutch scholar friend and they didn't have the books each of us asked. They were so apologetic that we had to comfort them!

I don't know about H&I's new location is going to be good as Form Zero tanked thereafter moving to Traction Ave. However, the area is more gentrified now with more disposable income earning demographics who might buy coffee table books. I don't see nearly as much foot traffic around One Santa Fe. Yes, it is near SCI-Arc but that has its limits.  

Jan 17, 16 11:38 pm  · 

Shit, I lived in LA for almost a year and didn't even know this place existed. Probably just as well, because I was so broke during that time I wasn't able to afford any nice architectural books anyway.

Jan 18, 16 12:03 am  · 

I'm curious where Archinect's crackerjack editorial team is on this story.  True, it doesn't carry the weight of Meryl Streep's cousin's barber or an underwater hotel or the Playboy mansion, but I'd've thought this would merit a news blurb.

Jan 18, 16 12:49 pm  · 

The old 80's Morphosis designed location on 3rd street in Santa Monica was a legendary cruising ground. If the new downtown location can approach even a small level of renown for the same I will consider it a success. 

Does anyone know who the architect for the new location is? The Marmol Radziner design for the location that just closed was dull and terrible for book browsing with the majority of the stock set on shelves below three feet.

Jan 18, 16 2:15 pm  · 

I'm really going to miss it.  We buy most of our books on Amazon now, but H&I was the go-place to find good books on design when you needed instant gratification.  Plus, they always have a book rack out on the sidewalk on weekends with closeout bargains.  It was always my mission to find a "hidden treasure" in the closeout rack.  Almost always did.

H&I will always have a special place in my heart, because they hosted a book signing when our book came out.  They were really gracious and supportive, and it was a great event.  

Jan 18, 16 4:09 pm  · 

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