Los Angeles is perhaps best known for its residential architecture, especially those mid-century greats that put modern 20th-century architecture on the map. However, our hometown also has a rich history of beautiful public and corporate architecture, most of which still survives today.
We’ll start by taking a look at architect John C. Austin, whose work changed the face of LA forever.
The Griffith Observatory
The Griffith Observatory was a WPA project of the early 1930s and so, of course, was designed by Austin in iconic Art Deco style. The center opened in 1935 and remains a popular SoCal destination to this day.
The famous Los Angeles City Hall was designed in 1928 by John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin, Sr., and John Parkinson. For 30 years, it remained the tallest building in the city, and is still an important constituent of the Los Angeles skyline. The landmark building has been featured in scores of movies and television shows, from Superman to Dragnet.
Designed in collaboration with G. Albert Lansburgh and A. M. Edelman, Austin and his associates created the building in a unique Moorish Revival style that paid homage to the Arabic temple that once stood in its place. From its opening in 1926 until the early 2000s, the auditorium hosted such glamorous events as the Academy Awards, the Grammys, the American Music Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards.