From the Archives: Cornerstone laid at Los Angeles Times building


While the fourth Los Angeles Times building was under construction in 1934, work was halted just long enough to place the cornerstone.

In the April 11, 1934, L.A. Times, Chapin Hall began:

A block of polished California black granite, three and a half tons in weight, was slowly lowered into place at 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon near First and Spring streets. It enfolded a somewhat weather-beaten but sturdy box. The granite block was the cornerstone of the new Times building. The box contained the date originally placed on it — Oct. 1, 1911 — when an impressive ceremony marked a similar function for the present Times building at First Street and Broadway. This was just one year after a still-older structure on the same site had been destroyed. To the copper box, considerable new material had been added, telling the later story of Los Angeles and of The Times in the spirit of 1934. Probably no one present yesterday will ever see the box again. That is for posterity.

Present at yesterday’s ceremony were many civic and other dignitaries, hundreds of The Times’ official family and several thousand citizens who found time to participate, by their presence, in the colorful program. Above the great block in whose granite heart is entombed so many interesting exhibits over which 21st century Los Angeles may well ponder, a magnificent modern newspaper plant is taking form, but the same spirit pervaded the gathering, the ceremony itself and the affectionate congratulations of hundreds of friends to which the late Tom Fitch, a veteran and brilliant Times writer, gave utterance at the conclusion of his cornerstone address on that October Sunday afternoon nearly 23 years ago:


“Honor and remembrance to The Times of the past, but hail, all hail, to The Times of the future.”

The building was finished in 1935. The Times will vacate the premises in mid-2018 for its new offices in El Segundo.

May 8, 2018: The Los Angeles Times' cornerstone marks the building at First and Spring streets in downtown Los Angeles.
(Scott Harrison / Los Angeles Times )

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