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10 Los Angeles City Hall (E)

Los Angeles City Hall, 1926-28

John C Austin, John and Donald Parkinson, and Albert C Martin. Austin Whittlesey, Interiors.

200 N Spring street, Southeast corner of Spring Street and West Temple Street.


The approach which the architects took was a Goodhue-esqe, combining the traditional classical temple as a base ith the symbol of a skyscraper complimenting on the prowess of American business. In their presentation of the design the consortium of architects noted that "the first story of City Hall would be of monumental character," and that the skyscraper tower ". . . was necessary to cut te skyline." The tower with its sloping walls, turned out to be monumental as well, and the top of the tower seems to be a twenties interpretation of the ancient Mausoleum at Halicarnasus should have looked like (although it should be noted that when the building was built it was referred to as "Italian Classic"). Following in the footsetps of Goodhue, Hartley Burr Alexander of the University of Nebrasca furnished the inscriptions for the building. ("The city came into being to preserve life, it exists for the good of life.")


In the interior public spaces, especially in the central rotunda, the mood is Byzantine, with the floor, wall, and ceiling decorations by Austin Whittlesey, who worked closely with herma Sachs and Anthony Heinsbergen. It was fitting that when the building wa dedicated in April of 1928, that the three-day affair was under the direction of Sid Grauman.


Until the 1950s the twenty-eight-story tower was the only structure allowed to exceed the 150-food height limitation. Now its tower is only one among many,


Architecture in Los Angeles: A Compleat Guide

David Gebhard and Robert Winter

Downtown, Civic Center, No. 7

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Taken on April 21, 2009