Sunday, July 21, 2024


In 1905, a resolution was issued, according to which the construction of buildings was forbidden when their height would exceed 45.7 meters. Thus, for many years Los Angeles City Hall was the only building visible from afar. Find out more about the history of the building at Los Angeles Future.

The project of the City Hall and 5 places of the municipal government

The building was designed by talented architects of Los Angeles of the 1920s: John B. Parkinson, John S. Austin and Albert S. Martin. It was a dream team, so it is worth considering what they became famous for.

1. John Parkinson opened an architectural bureau in Los Angeles and later designed the house for Homer Laughlin, Susana Machado Bernard House and Barn and the city’s first skyscraper. His contribution to the development of the architectural taste of Los Angeles is significant.

2. John S. Austin became famous thanks to the Hollywood Masonic Temple, Shrine Auditorium. The renowned architect and the public figure participated in the design of the Griffith Observatory and other outstanding buildings. 

3. Albert S. Martin designed the truly impressive Thomas Higgins Building and the Million Dollar Theater in the city center, Desmond’s (department store), the Queen of Angels Hospital, Catholic churches (St. Monica Catholic Church, St. Vincent Catholic Church) and other projects. 

Approval of the project of the City Hall

The first place where representatives of the municipal government began gathering was a rented hotel (in the 1850s). In 1888, it was a fairly well-known building in a Romanesque Revival style (location was on Broadway).

At an architectural forum in 1928, John Austin emphasized that public buildings could be built of any height regardless of the decree from 1905. Despite the authoritativeness of the architects, at that time the exceptional height of the city hall required discussion. A height of 138 meters, which is 28 floors, was specified in the project. And the municipal government of the city could quite comfortably accommodate themselves on four floors. The main explanation was that the city hall was the central element. The Board of Public Works approved the project, calling it “extremely satisfactory and beautiful.”

The building of the city hall was built from concrete in a modern American style.

City Hall on the screens

The building of Los Angeles City Hall could literally be drawn from memory. In 1940, it was added to the image on police badges. Subsequently, the architectural structure began to appear in television shows:

• “Dragnet”

• “Perry Mason”

• “The Adventures of Superman”.

The image of the city hall in “The War of the Worlds” by Herbert Wells attracted special attention. In the 1953 film, the building is blown up. It was the beginning of a tradition of large structures destruction.

In 1991, the authority of the city hall building grew even more after the release of the music video “Diamonds and Pearls”.

The Grand Opening

In 1928, the grand opening ceremony of the city hall was held. The event brought together city residents, which, by the way, lasted three days. It was a festive consecration, a parade, hundreds of ships. There were performances and veterans of the Civil War were present. The city residents remembered this event for the rest of their lives.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the city hall building was renovated. The cost of the work was previously estimated at 299 million dollars. Specialists carried out seismic works. And in 2002, a re-consecration was held. Los Angeles mayor James Hahn announced the following at the event:

“This is the city hall of a large, really large city. Some want to divide it, but I do not think we should let that happen.”

The city residents were delighted with the re-opening procedure of the building. For the city dwellers, the city hall is a public symbol and pride. It is one of the famous landmarks with its own history. City residents know it well, the same as tourists and guests of Los Angeles. Tens of thousands of people come to this place in order to see with their own eyes challenging and incredibly interesting light shows projected on the concrete surface of the City Hall.

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