I love downtown Los Angeles. Well, in general I love Los Angeles so much, except when I am hating it, but the things I hate about it are the temporary annoying things like fires, traffic, tract housing and the 405. What I love about it are the historic buildings and the history, the neighborhoods that each have their own unique flavor, the different ethnic mixes and enclaves, the people who make up this city.
Every day I take the DASH bus right past the new cathedral (which is arse ugly on the outside, I have to say, sort of a nouveau spanish-weird-wtf style) and then past the old Hall of Justice building.
“Hall of Justice” All superhero cartoon memories from Saturdays in the 70’s aside, don’t you love that name? The Hall of Justice. The building dates from 1926 and was built in the Beaux Arts style. I imagine it to be this monument to justice, fairness and the law. The top of the building is complete with ornate columns and really temple-like compared to the boxy foundation building. I have liked to think, as I pass by every day, that it was perhaps some hushed sanctum for lawyers, judges and lots of books. All paneled in elaborate rosewood and brass, green lamps on wood tables and everywhere leatherbound law books with gilt lettering. I can almost imagine the smell.
Erhm. That’s a nice visual, non? Well, a nice fantasy, anyhow. According to the LA Conservancy website, those top floors were actually the original county jail. But still. I can imagine what I want.
Right now it’s empty due to quake damage, but they’re talking about refurbing it. I sure hope they remove the jail bit and put in that hushed, sacred space that is devoted to learning and truth and justice up on those top floors. I have imagined it, it must be so. You can see some pictures of it here.
Lotta history in those walls. The Manson family was tried there, for one.
I could go on and on about the buildings. I probably will because god knows I can’t blog about what I’m actually doing each day and I’m not knitting. I found a great directory of historic buildings here so you could totally take a gander for yourself.