Sunday, July 22, 2012

Photo Essay: City Hall at Sunset

During the summer, the Los Angeles Conservancy (of which I am a proud member) hosts weekly "sunset" tours of various Downtown LA attractions on Wednesday nights.

Although the Summer Wednesday tours are actually shorter in duration than the regular Saturday morning tours, there is one destination only available on Wednesday nights: City Hall.

N. Main St. facade

Now that I'm not working a full-time job, I could actually drive all the way Downtown to take the tour. (That, of course, didn't prevent me from being late and having to run a couple of blocks to meet my group.)

Municipal buildings always interest me, partially because of their restricted entry policies, but also because they don't often receive a lot of attention when it comes to preservation and restoration.

Built in 1928, City Hall's grandiose hallways - including the rotunda with its ornate ceiling and tremendous chandelier - are awe-inspiring, and in great condition.

Third floor rotunda, ceiling

You can even walk to the upstairs balcony to get a closer view.

What a rare treat to be able to walk around a city government building like City Hall - an architectural crown jewel of historic Downtown LA - as a civilian, at night.

Spring Street entrance, interior


Its Grecian and Romanesque design elements keep the eyes cast upwards.

East Lobby, Third Floor

John Ferraro Council Chamber, Room 340

An even bigger treat was visiting the observation deck that wraps around the entire 27th floor of the building...

Window latch, 27th floor observation deck views not only of the Downtown skyline...

27th floor observation deck

Bell, 27th floor observation deck

27th floor observation deck

...but also the Magic Hour sunlight reflecting off the mountains in the distance.

27th floor observation deck, facing northeast

Spring Street entrance forecourt

Sometimes I like to visit a place during both day and night, since changes in light make such a difference on how you view anything (a building, a trail, whatever)...

...but I can't imagine a better time to see LA's City Hall, or see LA from City Hall.

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