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83 Years Ago: City Hall Shines at Dedication

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, at 11:45AM
City Hall Dedication California Historical Society / USC Digital Archives

Los Angeles' new City Hall is illuminated by 82 searchlights during dedication ceremonies on April 26, 1928.

On April 26, 1928, 12,550,000,000 beam candlepower worth of searchlights illuminated Los Angeles' grand new City Hall as film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer brought its entire inventory of lighting equipment to Downtown for the building's three days of dedication ceremonies.

Earlier in the day, an estimated 250,000 people had lined Broadway and the streets around City Hall for a parade that included the typical array of bands and civic organizations, but also Cecile B. De Mille and a float carrying Leo, the MGM lion. Nearly 32,000 people took part in the event.

The new building was a big step up from the 1888 structure on Broadway that had been the city government's home for the preceding 40 years. The $9-million structure contains 8,167 tons of structural steel and 900,000 rivets.

Architects were commissioned on August 17, 1925, and ground was broken on March 4, 1926. The cornerstone was laid on June 22, 1927, and the building's first occupants—the Superior Court—moved in on January 2, 1928.


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