Famous Los Angeles Architecture

In Los Angeles we have our share of famous buildings and other structures. Hey, we even have our share of residential and commercial junk removal companies—of course one company shines above the others. When you’re not making room in YOUR edifice by using our services, check out some of L.A.’s most iconic architecture. This is an article we found on the Curbed.com website and are reposting it here:

The Los Angeles skyline might not be as famous as Chicago’s or New York’s. But thanks to Hollywood and the movie business, LA’s got plenty of buildings that are instantly identifiable (regardless of whatever role they play on screen).

The most iconic buildings are the ones that most signify Los Angeles. They give Angelenos that back-home feeling when they return from vacation. They’re the places locals bring out-of-towners. They help tell the story of Los Angeles.

Here are the 20 most iconic buildings in LA, from Googie architecture to celebrity haunts to folk art to grand old movie palaces.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

1. Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory, 2800 E Observatory Rd

Los Angeles, CA 90027

Once called “probably the most recognizable and beloved building in Los Angeles,” this 80-year-old structure is named for Griffith J. Griffith, who gifted the land for his namesake park to the city. Designed by John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley, the observatory has appeared in numerous films (from Rebel Without a Cause to Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) and probably tens of millions of selfies.

2. Watts Towers

1765 E 107th St

Los Angeles, CA 90002

Okay, so the Watts Towers are more like art than they are buildings, but they are iconic nonetheless. This collection of 17 towering sculptures—two of which rise to almost 100 feet tall—are their own state park and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (They are one of just nine folk-art pieces on the list.)

3. Chateau Marmont

8221 Sunset Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90046

(323) 656-1010

This established celebrity hangout on the Sunset Strip as famous for its discretion as it is for its long history of celebs behaving badly here. The Chateau has been around since the 1920s as apartments; it became a hotel in the 1930s. So it’s understandable that in all that time it would have so many incredible stories associated with it, like the time Led Zeppelin rode through the lobby on motorcycles, or Scarlett Johansson and Benicio Del Toro maybe hooked up in an elevator.

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4. Eastern Columbia Building

849 S Broadway

Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 478-0755

This freaking fantastic Claud Beelman-designed Art Deco building stands out even in Downtown, where there are plenty of very lovely restored buildings. The building’s exterior is covered in striking teal terra cotta and all sorts of fun embellishments (golden chevrons, sunbursts), all topped off by a clock tower and neon “Eastern” sign. The building now holds fancy lofts and equally fancy ground-floor retail. It’s part of the rapidly-fancifying section of Broadway near Ace Hotel.

Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles
Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles

5. Walt Disney Concert Hall

111 S Grand Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(323) 850-2000

Designed by Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and its shiny exterior are synonymous with Los Angeles. Perched atop Bunker Hill, the bold and curvaceous building was named on a 2012 list of buildings that changed America. It opened in 2003.

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6. The Getty

1200 Getty Center Dr

Los Angeles, CA 90049

(310) 440-7300

The Getty Center’s hilltop location (the most valuable property in the whole county) gives it a lot of visibility. The sprawling compound of the museum, designed by architect Richard Meier, includes gardens and offers some stunning views of the whole city.

LAX Airport Theme Building
LAX Airport Theme Building

7. LAX Theme Building

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1d Center Way

Los Angeles, CA 90045

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This example of Googie architecture, is one of LA’s most exciting and futuristic, looking like a cross between a spacecraft from The Jetsons and some kind of intergalactic beast. The Theme Building opened at LAX in 1961; now, it’s only really open on the weekends, and then, only the observation deck. The view of it is probably better than the view from it anyway.

The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, CA
The Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, CA

8. Hollywood Bowl

2301 N Highland Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90068

(323) 850-2000

Picnic baskets at the Hollywood Bowl’s summer concerts are an LA tradition, as is trying to see the fireworks from the Fourth of July show from various adjacent locations. Built in the early 1920s, the venue has kept up-to-date with additions like a cool wine bar and upgraded bathrooms.

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9. The Stahl House (Case Study House #22)

1635 Woods Dr

Los Angeles, CA 90069

(208) 429-1058

Designed by Pierre Koenig, the 1960 Stahl House has been called “a superlative architectural statement in steel and glass cantilevered over the broad expanse of Los Angeles.” It’s probably the best known LA example of the Case Study House program, which aimed to create affordable houses for post-war families.

In the foreground is a house with a glass room that is situated on a cliff edge. The view in the distance is of a cityscape.

Capitol Records building in Hollywood, CA
Capitol Records building in Hollywood, CA

10. Capitol Records

Capitol Records Building

Los Angeles, CA 90028

The Capitol Records building in Hollywood apparently was not intended to look like stacked records but that’s definitely what it looks like. The building’s been around since 1956; it was designed by architect Louis Naidorf in Welton Becket’s office. It was, for a while, set to be joined by two giant towers; that project is still battling to get built.

Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA

11. Dodger Stadium

1000 Vin Scully Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(866) 363-4377

Dodger Stadium is often found at the top or near the top of those most Instagrammed places lists. The baseball venue has inspired at least one incredibly detailed head tattoo and is one of a few centralized place where all of LA comes together to cheer for something.

12. Dolby Theatre

6801 Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood, CA 90028

(323) 308-6300

The Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak Theatre) on Hollywood and Highland has been the permanent home of the Academy Awards since 2002, and, when it got renamed as the Dolby, part of the deal was that the Oscars would continue to be held there for 20 more years. Before they took up in the Dolby, the Oscars ceremony hadn’t been held in Hollywood proper since 1961, when it was hosted at the Pantages.

Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, CA
Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, CA

13. The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, Los Angeles

404 S Figueroa St

Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 624-1000

The shiny towers, rotating rooftop lounge, and thrilling exterior elevators of the Bonaventure are firmly lodged in the hearts of many Angelenos. Love it or hate it, it’s supposedly one of the most photographed buildings in the whole world. Designed in the 1970s by John C. Portman Jr., it’s wonderful inside, where there are fountains, lots of concrete, and little lounging pods.

14. Bradbury Building

304 S Broadway

Los Angeles, CA 90013

(213) 626-1893

Famous for its roles in movies, including Blade Runner and countless others, the Bradbury building’s timeless interiors have been cast as foreign hotels, futuristic abandoned industrial spaces, and the kind of office building where a person might find a private eye from a noir film.

It was completed in 1893, and it features ornate railings, cage-style elevators, and marble stairs. It was designed by George H. Wyman, but the Los Angeles Conservancy says that maybe it was more of a team effort with Wyman (then not actually an architect) and architect Sumner Hunt, who was originally hired to draw the building.

beverly hills sign
beverly hills sign

15. The Beverly Hilton

9876 Wilshire Blvd

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(310) 274-7777

The Beverly Hilton is famous for many reasons, both positive (it’s been the home of the Golden Globes since 1961) and the negative (Whitney Houston died here in 2012), but ups-and-downs should probably be expected in a hotel that’s been around since 1955.

16. TCL Chinese Theatre

6925 Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood, CA 90028

(323) 461-3331

Everybody wants to get their photos with the Chinese Theatre when they come to LA—so much so that they sit on the dirty ground posing next to the cement footprints of some famous person without giving a second thought to how gross that is (or maybe thinking about it and just not caring). That’s the amazing power of the Chinese Theatre.

Los Angeles City Hall
Los Angeles City Hall

17. Los Angeles City Hall

200 N Spring St

Los Angeles, CA 90012

The image of City Hall is on official paperwork for the city, and the structure has become the centerpiece of LA’s New Year’s Eve celebrations at Grand Park, LA’s version of a “warm-weather Times Square” and a city-wide tradition since 2014. The building, designed by John Parkinson along with Albert C. Martin and John C. Austin, has been around since 1928.

18. Randy’s Donuts

Randy’s Donuts, 805 W Manchester Blvd

Inglewood, CA 90301

This giant, lumpy donut atop a donut shop “represents the postwar optimism and whimsy of the city in a way few other places can,” says the LA Conservancy. Randy’s, designed by Henry J. Goodwin, was made for the Big Donut Drive-In chain and was completed in 1953. It became Randy’s in the 1970s.

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19. Rose Bowl Stadium

1001 Rose Bowl Dr

Pasadena, CA 91103

(626) 577-3100

The Rose Bowl has been many things to LA: the long-time home of a much-watched New Year’s Day football game, once a possible NFL venue (though the Rose Bowl did not want to have anything to do with that), and a place to go for the famously great flea market of the same name. The horseshoe-shaped venue was completed in 1922 and was designed by architect Myron Hunt.

Union Station in Los Angeles
Union Station in Los Angeles

20. Union Station

800 North Alameda Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

The transit hub of Los Angeles, Union Station has been an icon since it opened in 1939. Union Station is considered the last “grand” railway station in the U.S., as it was built as the train began to lose popularity to other types of transportation, like cars.

Now, it’s at the center of a huge-scale master plan to grow the station that will involve the preservation of this landmark.

Los Angeles architecture is definitely interesting

Los Angeles has a plethora of iconic buidlings. When your iconic building become too cluttered, but sure to give us a call for the friendliest junk hauling in all of L.A.!

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