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From the Archives: 1970 image of Los Angeles City Hall

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Sept. 12, 1970: Los Angeles City Hall, with the Los Angeles Times building in the foreground.
(Los Angeles Times)

A few months ago I came across a proof sheet, with negatives, of 12 images of downtown Los Angeles. One frame stood out — third row on the right. The clouds obscured everything except Los Angeles City Hall — which is bathed in sunlight.

This unpublished image needed to be scanned and shared.

Sep. 12, 1970: Proof sheet of images of Los Angeles City Hall and downtown Los Angeles taken by a Lo
Sep. 12, 1970: Proof sheet of images of Los Angeles City Hall and downtown Los Angeles taken by a Los Angeles Times photographer. Los Angeles Times

The weather report in the Sept. 12, 1970, Los Angeles Times reported, “Night and morning low clouds but mostly sunny in the afternoons.” The high temperature that day was 82 degrees.

In this 1970 image, construction for two new Civic Center Buildings is visible. In the left background is the County Criminal Courts Building — now named the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. On the right is the Los Angeles City Hall East. In 2014, it was renamed the James K. Hahn City Hall East.

At this point, I do not know the photographer’s name. This role of 120 medium format film may have been taken by a photographer working for the Times-Mirror corporate publicity department.

This view might be familiar. In an earlier From the Archives post, I shared this 1969 nighttime image, below, also taken from the south Times tower.

Similar images taken this year by Kirk McKoy and in 2013, by me, were used in recent Los Angeles Times stories about the historical status of the 1935 Times Building.

Feb. 4, 1969: Los Angeles City Hall and Los Angeles Times building at night. A full moon is on the r
Feb. 4, 1969: Los Angeles City Hall and Los Angeles Times building at night. Fitzgerald Whitney / Los Angeles Times

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here


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