Photographer's Note

Holler at me if this seems somewhat inappropriate (!), but this building has always seemed rather, well, phallic to me! Regardless, it's unmistakable in the downtown skyline, and was once the tallest in the city (until 1964!), measuring in at 454 feet, with 32 floors. It's supposedly based on the original plan of the Mausoleum of Mausolus, a famous ancient Achaemenid tomb at Halicarnassus for a Persian satrap build around 350 BC, which was one of the original seven wonders of the world. This structure is also rather old, for the city of Los Angeles, at least, having been completed in 1928. It was designed by John Parkinson, John C. Austin and Albert Martin, Sr.

The building is something of a tribute to the state of California, which became such in 1850: it reportedly has concrete in the tower made with sand from each of California's 58 counties, and water from its 21 missions. The top of the pyramid is an aircraft beacon named in honor of Charles Lindbergh. It houses the mayor's office and is the meeting place of the LA City Council.

It's something of a wonder that this structure is still standing, a testament to how well it was designed and the quality of the construction, as there have been multiple large earthquakes since its completion, including the Long Beach quake in 1933, a 6.3 magnitude quake which killed 115 people, the second deadliest in the state's history next to the great San Francisco quake in 1906, and, more recently, the Northridge earthquake, a 6.7, which occurred in 1994. This structure was completed before the Long Beach quake, however, which devastated many buildings in Los Angeles, including 70 schools (it's estimated that the death toll would have exceeded 1,000 if the quake had occurred during school hours). Subsequently, the California legislature passed the Field Act in April of 1933, mandating that all new school buildings, and, eventually, all other structures in Los Angeles, be built according to earthquake code, which usually involves bolting buildlings to their foundations and reinforcing them to prevent collapse. as such, this structure was closed for several years so that it could undergo a seismic retrofit (from 1998-2001), which should allow it to sustain minimal damage from a quake measuring upwards of 8.0, so hopefully it will be around for some time to come.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 78 N: 1010] (1821)
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