A continuation of my visit to film and television locations in the Los Angeles area as a means to “walk the walk” of my novel’s characters and bring realism to my storytelling. This week, The Los Angeles City Hall.
Poster from “The War of the Worlds” courtesy Paramount Pictures
The Los Angeles City Hall building although not featured as a focal point in my new novel, is nevertheless mentioned, and therefore worthy of inclusion in this series of articles. Completed in 1928, it is the center of government for the city of Los Angeles, California. The mayor’s office and city council chambers and offices are located here. Its official address is 200 North Spring Street in the Civic Center of downtown Los Angeles. Once a dominating structure, it is now dwarfed by taller, newer skyscrapers.
L.A. City Hall (Photo by Piazza)
City Hall was designed by the architects, John Parkinson, Albert Martin, and John Austin. Its construction was started in 1926 and was dedicated two years later in April of 1928. Its’ tower stands 454 feet high and contains 32 floors. In design, the tower’s shape is based on the Mausoleum of Mausolus located in present day Turkey.
Another view of L.A. City Hall (Photo by Piazza)
On March 24, 1976 it was designated a Los Angeles Cultural Monument.
From George Pal’s “The War of the Worlds” (1953) courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Model of City Hall before destruction (Courtesy of Paramount)
Model of City Hall destroyed by (martian heat ray) special effects (Courtesy of Paramount)
To me, having grown up in the 1950s, it will always be the Daily Planet building of the Adventures of Superman– the early TV series which starred George Reeves as the Man of Steel.
Adventures of Superman (George Reeves)
Of course this building has also been seen in other film and television productions.
- War of the Worlds (1953) starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson
- The Bad News Bears (1976) starring Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal
- Dragnet (1987) starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks
- Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 (2011) starring Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler
Jack Webb as Joe Friday- Dragnet (TV)
- Dragnet (1951-1970) starring Jack Webb.
- Perry Mason (1957-1995) starring Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale
- Adam-12 (1968-1975) starring Martin Milner and Kent McCord
These are just a sampling of films and television shows in which it appeared. It is indeed a landmark of Los Angeles, almost identifiable to the city as the Golden Gate Bridge is to San Francisco. I couldn’t write of 1930s downtown Los Angeles without a mention of this cultural monument.
Look for the sequel to Anything Short of Murder coming in 2013
Tony Piazza is author of the 1930s Hollywood murder mystery novel, “Anything Short of Murder,” which had its roots on the TCM fan website. His next novel, “The Curse of the Crimson Dragon” was released early 2012 and is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. He was an actor/extra during the 1970s and worked with such legends as Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Karl Malden. His non-fiction e-book “Bullitt Points” is an in depth look at the making of “Bullitt” from a person who was there. Look for it where fine books are sold, or at the link posted below. All profits go to the Boys Republic charity: www.bullittpoints.com.