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As LA City Hall turns 90, we look back at its history




An audit from Controller Wendy Greuel finds the city is unable to track the true inventory of parking lots in Los Angeles.
An audit from Controller Wendy Greuel finds the city is unable to track the true inventory of parking lots in Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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Whether you’ve gone to LA’s City Hall for a ceremony or to troubleshoot city tax issues or gathered at the lawn below for a speech or during the Women’s March, you’re undoubtedly familiar with this fixture of Los Angeles.

In 1928, when the L.A. City Hall was just built, it was the tallest building in L.A. Its beacon was remotely switched on by President Calvin Coolidge, signifying its completion.

In his new book “Los Angeles City Hall: An American Icon,” which has a foreword by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Stephen Gee traces the history of the building. He tells Larry Mantle about its significance, from its early blueprints to the political fights around its restoration to what it symbolizes in the Downtown of today’s Los Angeles.

Stephen Gee will be discussing his book and doing a signing at at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 at Hennessey + Ingalls in Downtown L.A. and at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 4 at Vroman’s in Pasadena.

KPCC’s John Rabe once got to the very top of L.A.'s City Hall – not the observation deck, but the beacon itself.

Guest:

Stephen Gee, author of “Los Angeles City Hall: An American Icon” (Angel City Press, 2018); he’s also a writer and television producer