Los Angeles (Spanish for “The Angels”), officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the cultural, financial, and commercial centre of Southern California. With a U.S. Census-estimated 2016 population of 3,976,322, it is the second-most populous city in the United States (after New York City) and the most populous city in the state of California. Located in a large coastal basin surrounded on three sides by mountains reaching up to and over 3,000 m, Los Angeles covers an area of about 1,210 km2. The city is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country.
Los Angeles City Hall (photo), completed 1928, is the centre of the government of the city of Los Angeles, California, and houses the mayor’s office and the meeting chambers and offices of the Los Angeles City Council. It is located in the Civic Center district of downtown Los Angeles in the city block bounded by Main, Temple, First, and Spring streets.The building was designed by John Parkinson, John C. Austin, and Albert C. Martin, Sr., and was completed in 1928. Dedication ceremonies were held on April 26, 1928. It has 32 floors and, at 138 m high, is the tallest base-isolated structure in the world, having undergone a seismic retrofit from 1998 to 2001 so that the building will sustain minimal damage and remain functional after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake. The concrete in its tower was made with sand from each of California's 58 counties and water from its 21 historical missions.
City Hall’s distinctive tower was based on the shape of the Mausoleum of Mausolus in Asia Minor, and shows the influence of the Los Angeles Public Library, completed shortly before the structure was begun. An image of City Hall has been on Los Angeles Police Department badges since 1940. To keep the City’s architecture harmonious, prior to the late 1950s the Charter of the City of Los Angeles did not permit any portion of any building other than a purely decorative tower to be more than 46 m. Therefore, from its completion in 1928 until 1964, the City Hall was the tallest building in Los Angeles, and shared the skyline with only a few structures having decorative towers, including the Richfield Tower and the Eastern Columbia Building.
City Hall has an observation deck, free to the public and open Monday through Friday during business hours. The peak of the pyramid at the top of the building is an airplane beacon named in honour of Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, cf Lindbergh Beacon. Circa 1939, there was an art gallery, in Room 351 on the third floor, that exhibited paintings by California artists. The building was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1976.