City Hall is Constructed and Dedicated
Los Angeles City Hall is the center of the government of the city of Los Angeles, California, and houses the mayor’s office and the meeting chambers and offices of the Los Angeles City Council. It is located in the Civic Center district of downtown Los Angeles in the city block bounded by Main, Temple, First, and Spring streets.
The building was designed by John Parkinson, John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin, Sr., and was completed in 1928. Dedication ceremonies were held on April 26, 1928. It has 32 floors and, at 454 feet high, is the tallest base-isolated structure in the world, having undergone a seismic retrofit from 1998 to 2001 so that the building will 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. City Hall’s distinctive tower was based on the shape of the Mausoleum of Mausolus, and shows the influence of the Los Angeles Public Library, completed soon before the structure was started. An image of City Hall has been on Los Angeles Police Department badges since 1940.
To keep the City’s architecture harmonious, prior to the late 1950s the Charter of 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. 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. City Hall has an observation deck, free to the public. The building was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1976.