Saturday, April 2, 2011

L.A. Incorporated 1850

April 4, 1850 – Los Angeles, California is incorporated as a city.

Los Angeles City Hall, completed 1928, is the tallest base isolated structure in the world. It is the center of the government of the city of Los Angeles, California. It houses the mayor's office as well as the meeting chambers of the Los Angeles City Council. It is located in the Civic Center district of Downtown Los Angeles in the city block bordered by Main, Temple, 1st, and Spring streets.


The building was designed by John Parkinson, John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin, Sr., and was completed in 1928. It has 32 floors and, at 454 feet (138 m) high, is the tallest base-isolated structure in the world, having undergone a seismic retrofit that will allow the building to sustain minimal damage and remain functional after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake. The concrete in its tower was made with sand from each of California's 58 counties and water from its 21 historical missions. The city hall's distinctive tower was based on the purported shape of the Mausoleum of Maussollos, and shows the influence of the Los Angeles Public Library, completed soon before the City Hall was started. An image of City Hall has been on Los Angeles Police Department badges since 1940.

Due in part to seismic concerns, prior to the late 1950s the City of Los Angeles did not permit any portion of any building other than a purely decorative tower to be more than 150 feet (46 m) high. Therefore, from its completion in 1928 until 1964, the City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles, and shared the skyline with only a few structures having decorative towers, including the Richfield Tower and the Eastern Columbia Building.

The building was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1976.


An observation level is open to the public on the 27th floor. The Mayor of Los Angeles has an office in room 300 of this building and every Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays at 10:00am, the Los Angeles City Council meets in their chambers. City Hall and the adjacent federal, state, and county buildings are served by the Civic Center station on the Metro Red Line.

Popular culture

The building has been featured in the following popular movies and television shows:

Adventures of Superman - as the Daily Planet building beginning in the second season of the 1950s TV series. At the time the TV program was broadcast, the show's "Daily Planet" building (Los Angeles City Hall) was frequently confused with the similarly designed Pennsylvania Power & Light Building in Allentown, also built in 1928. Additionally, the exact design of this building is used as the Newstime magazine headquarters in the Superman comic books.

Alias - a CIA black ops unit is located behind a maintenance door at Civic Station.

Dragnet - the building appears as itself in the TV series. The first episode of Dragnet (1951) Season 1, Episode 1: "The Human Bomb," Original Air Date: 16 December 1951 was filmed at Los Angeles City Hall. It was embossed on Sgt. Joe Friday's famous badge number 714 that was displayed under the credits.

Adam-12 - During the Seventh Season opening credits montage, City Hall is shown directly at the end, as the building that officers Reed, and Malloy drive away from, it is also shown on the embossed badges, numbered 744 (Malloy), and 2430 (Reed).

The 2003 Dragnet series - used the L.A. City Hall building aerial shot and badge throughout its introduction.

War of the Worlds - the City Hall was destroyed in the 1953 film version (although the H.G. Wells book has the aliens attacking London, the setting was changed to Los Angeles for the film).
and also in the following other media:

Midnight Club: Los Angeles video game as part of Downtown Los Angeles of the city of Los Angeles.

Mission impossible :"Ultimatum" 1972 Thermonuclear bomb planted under City hall in sewer duct by frustrated nuclear scientist, in order to blackmail the US government into "change" of its foreign policy and replacing some "corrupt" congress and cabinet members. If demands are not met..the 50MT bomb will detonate--destroying all of Los Angeles county. The IMF must locate and defuse the bomb before it is too late.

GTA:San Andreas video game as part of the city of Los Santos.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (Japanese manga series) - the building serves as the headquarters for one of the main occupation armies of the antagonist Principality of Zeon, under Garma Zabi.

Miss Murder, music video by the band AFI (April 2006)

Escape From L.A.- The building is shown sunken, along with the ruins of Los Angeles, as Snake

Plissken operates his submarine toward the prison.

SWAT 3 - One mission has the player rescuing hostages and defusing a bomb within the top floors of the building.


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