Calendar. 12.15.09.

This makes me wish I was in L.A. right now. I’ve always been fascinated by the city’s oil derricks beam pumping units. (Thank you, RWB.) Now you can tour them with the Center for Land Use Interpretation — this Friday, Dec. 18th at 12 p.m. Tickets ($30) must be purchased in advance. (Image courtesy of CLUI. Via BLDGBLOG.)


  1. RWB

    I don’t think there are many derricks in Los Angeles. Derricks are the tall towers used to drill oil and gas wells (and water wells sometimes). What you have pictured is a “beam pumping unit”–a pump used used to lift oil from older oil fields (such as the ones in LA). (It is amazing to see these things in the middle a city, I admit.)

  2. ries

    There are indeed a few drilling rigs left in LA- but they dont look like the old wooden derricks in “There Will Be Blood”.
    A few blocks from my old house, on Pico Blvd between Fairfax and La Cienega, there is a 6 story or so “building” with no roof, and no windows- its a visual screen for the slant drilling rig that sits inside it, drilling all over the neighborhood.
    Its called a drilling island, and it has over 50 oil wells originating from it.
    Most deeds in LA specify, when you buy your house, that you dont own the mineral rights- and drilling occurs under most of West LA, Hollywood, and other areas.
    Beverly Hills High School has “drilling island” next to the tennis courts.

    When I lived in LA, we called them beam pumping units “DogHammers”.

  3. marshall

    Don’t forget the actual fake drilling islands off the shore in Long Beach. At least one is a total shrine to the aesthetics of the 1980′s. I’ve long wanted to take a pirate cruise to one.