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Exploring the County's Aging, Neutra-Designed Hall of Records

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Images by Henry Salazar via Zev Yaroslavsky

With the Grand Park opening next door (the next segment debuts on September 11), County Supe Zev Yaroslavsky's always-informative website takes a look at the aging but lovely Hall of Records. The 15-story modernist building was designed by the great Richard Neutra and turns 50 years old this year--it's home to 11 county departments (including the District Attorney, the Alternate Public Defender, and the Auditor-Controller to Regional Planning), but the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk moved out years ago, as did their records. The building is not in high mid-century shape, unfortunately--its records area and top-floor cafeteria ("with its dramatic 'spider leg' exterior columns and broad balcony showcasing killer views") have both been converted to office space and its "solar-activated aluminum louvers, designed to move with the sun and keep the offices inside shaded ... have been locked into place for more than two decades." The building manager says they're way too pricey to fix. Still, filmmakers love to shoot at the building and "There's even talk of screening outdoor movies and concert simulcasts on the Hall of Records wall that faces the new Community Terrace section of the park."
· A Modernist icon and the kid next door [Zev Yaroslavsky]