LA City Hall

The is a center of government of the city of Los Angeles, California
  • Address: 200 North Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Type: Los Angeles City Office Building
  • Architect: John Parkinson, John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin, Sr.
  • Opened: 1928

General Information 

Los Angeles City Hall is the center of government for the city of Los Angeles. It houses the mayor's office as well as meeting, chambers of the Los Angeles City Council. This building is the base-isolated structure. Base isolation is a seismic retrofit technique. This building underwent a seismic retrofit that will allow it to sustain minimal damage and remain functional after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake.

An image of City Hall has been on Los Angeles Police Department badges since 1940. The new headquarters facility for the Los Angeles Police Department is set to open the summer of 2009. Designed by AECOM (formerly DMJM) in joint venture with Roth + Sheppard Architects, the new 11-storey building is located across the street from West side of City Hall. As you can see, this building reflects an excellent image of City Hall.
Headquarters for Los Angeles Police Department


George E. Cryer was elected mayor of the City of Los Angeles in 1921. During his administration, large public works projects were launched, including the Central Library, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and construction of the Los Angeles City Hall. The city commissioned John Parkinson, John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin, Sr as the architects for the new city hall. The cost of the original building was five million dollars. The dedication ceremonies were held April 26, 1928.

Prior to the late 1950's the Charter of  Los Angeles did not permit any portion of any building other than a purely decorative tower to be more than 150 feet.  This was to keep the City's architecture harmonious. City Hall was the only building allowed to break the 13-story height limit by the city until 1957. Therefore, City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles from 1928 until 1964, and shared the skyline with only a few structures, including Richfield Tower and the Eastern Columbia Building.

Currently, Los Angeles City Hall is the 26th tallest building in Los Angeles (actually tied with the Equitable Life Building).

There was a major renovation and seismic retrofit project was undertaken from 1998 until 2001. The renovation repaired damage from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake along with polishing the marble exterior.

Today all the City Hall's facilities cover almost 21 acres.


The building was designed by John Parkinson. John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin Sr., and was completed in 1928.  Los Angeles City Hall has 32 floors (27 floors above ground), and at 454 feet high, is the tallest base-isolated structure in the world.
City Hall is made up of three major components: the base, Mid-rise and the tower. To form the concrete tower, sand from each of California's 58 counties and water from each of its 21 missions was used.  The top of the tower was designed to resemble the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. The inspiration for this design came from the Los Angeles Central Library which was completed before City Hall had started to be built.

City Hall has an observation deck, free to the public and open Monday through Friday during normal business hours.  The peak of the pyramid at the top of the building is an airplane beacon named in honor of Charles A. Lindbergh, there is an art gallery on the 3rd floor that exhibited paintings by California artists.

View from Observation Deck

Hollywood Sign
Financial Dist. & Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles Times Building
Little Tokyo

Grand Park

Central Rotunda

The granite steps from the Spring Street entrance leads to a Grecian detail for the main entrance, followed by a more Romanesque style for the forecourt. The interior, especially in the central rotunda, is Byzantine in style, the floor, wall, and ceiling decorations by Austin Whittlesey, who worked closely with Herma Sachs and Anthony Heinsbergen.
The most notably area of the interior of city hall is the central rotunda on the third floor Spring street entrance.

The central rotunda is clad with marble and inlaid tile. The ceiling of the rotunda contains eight figures representing Art, Public Service, Government, Protection, Trust, Education, Health, and Law.

The columns surrounding the rotunda are each of different kinds of marble, including Curly Green, Tinos, and Verde Campan Melange.

City Hall at sunrise during 2009 L.A. Wildfires


1. ^ a b c d e "Los Angeles City Hall". Retrieved on 2009-07-25.
2. ^ a b "Big Orange Landmarks". Floyd B. Bariscale. Retrieved on 2009-07-25.
3. ^ a b "Los Angeles City Hall". Retrieved on 2009-07-25.
4. ^ a b "Los Angeles Movie Locations ". The Official Guide Los Angeles. Retrieved on 2009-07-25.
5. ^ a b "LAPD Headquarters nears completion". World Architecture Retrieved on 2009-07-25.


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