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Today’s Guest: Chris Martin

Hello Enthusiasts –

So, today’s episode is crowd sourced.   I asked the hive mind who they wanted to hear, and the overwhelming choice was the person who made nitroglycerin in their garage as a child.

Well, that person is none other than Chris Martin.

Instead of retyping the whole episode description, I’ll just paste it in here.  This gives you the pitch on why you’re gonna want to listen to this episode.  But trust me, you will.

As always, you can listen right on this website, or subscribe to Apple podcasts (which I would prefer) here. Or, a quick search of “Enthusiastically Los Angeles” brings it right up in Spotify, iHeart, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

And, here’s why you should listen.  Hope you are all safe and sane…


It’s not an exaggeration to say that today’s Downtown would not look the way it does were it not for the Martin family.

Chris is the Chairman and CEO of AC Martin Partners, his family’s continuously operating 113 year old architecture firm, which has designed and built more of Downtown’s buildings – and more of its iconic buildings – than any other.  Chris’ grandfather helped design LA’s historic City Hall – the building that no other building in Los Angeles could be taller than until the early 70s.  Chris’ father helped design the LA Department of Water & Power building, with its well known cantilevers and fountains.  And Chris himself helped bring the newly opened Wilshire Grand Center to fruition, the tallest building in the West and designed by Chris’ cousin David.  And these are just three of many: the building that is now the NoMad … the ‘twin towers’ on 5th & Flower, where Drago Centro is … the Higgins Building, with the Edison in the basement … all designed by AC Martin.

But Chris’ story is more than just “the family business”.  Chris has chaired just about every business organization in Downtown, giving him a front row seat to Downtown’s renaissance.  You’ll hear about wrenching choices he made along the way just to keep the doors open.  And you’ll also hear how tragedy helped shape his work on the Wilshire Grand.

The story of Chris and his family is really the story of Los Angeles.  And Chris’ life has been a fascinating journey.

Oh, and in case you think this is just a conversation about buildings and business, we talk about making nitroglycerin, timber logging, and what it’s like to fly an airplane you helped build.  Just listen – you’ll be entertained.

(And in case none of this yet entices you to take a listen, here’s a fun fact: this was my very first podcast interview, so you can listen for how I’ve improved … or haven’t…)