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From the Archives: The old Hall of Records at night

Dec. 1955: Night time image of Los Angeles old Hall of Records from Spring St. side. This photo was
December 1955: Nighttime image of Los Angeles old Hall of Records from Spring Street side.
(John Malmin / Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

Opened in 1911, the old Hall of Records consolidated many Los Angeles County offices under one roof. In later years, the city of Los Angeles untangled streets around the new City Hall into a new street grid. This left the old Hall of Records off-angle to the nearby streets.

In 1973, the old Hall of Records was demolished – see below.

This image above by John Malmin's appeared as No. 22 in the 1955-56 Los Angeles Times Know Your City photography series.

The Dec. 9, 1955, Los Angeles Times caption reported:

KNOW YOUR CITY, NO. 22-- There isn't a manicurist in the place. But there's lots of filing. And you might think there'd be music. But there is none. Lots of important people in here. Including Cupid. If you can't guess, answer is on Page 32, Part 2.

ANSWER: You surely recognized this as a night shot of the Hall of Records, made from the Spring St. side. Get the clues?-- "filing", Cupid (because the Marriage License Bureau is there)? And music? (Music-- Hall of Records, get it?) ...

March 27, 1959: The Los Angeles County Hall of Records was completed in 1911. This photo was publish
March 27, 1959: The Los Angeles County Hall of Records was completed in 1911. Steve Fontanini / Los Angeles Times
The Old Hall of Records, built in 1911, is to be torn down. Photo published in the Oct. 26, 1970 Los
A 1970 photo of the old Hall of Records angled against the new Criminal Courts Building, which is on the right. Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times
July 7, 1973: Three photo combo as the last section of the Old Hall of Records is toppled. These pho
July 7, 1973: Three photo combo as the last section of the Old Hall of Records is toppled. Cal Montney / Los Angeles Times

This three-photo sequence by staff photographer Cal Montney appeared in the July 8, 1973, Los Angeles Times. The original caption reported:

FROM LANDMARK TO RUBBLE--Demolition crew topples last wall of Old Hall of Records, Civic Center's most charming and idosyncratic landmark. Finished in 1911, it served as seat of county government until 1960.

The lot, opposite the Spring Street entrance to the Los Angeles City Hall, is now the lower section of Grand Park.

This post is a combination of two previous From the Archives posts of July 20, 2015, and Sept. 25, 2015.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here


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