Friday, November 06, 2015

Iconic Capitol

Capitol Records Tower in progress. Hollhywood, 1954

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll notice that I love yarn. My other love (other than my husband, of course) is the City of Los Angeles. I'm an L.A. native. My parents grew up here. My Dad was in the building business. He would drive us all over the City when we were kids and point out iconic buildings. Many of the mid-century buildings were ones that he may have had a hand in either developing or supplying the doors and wardrobes. Due to these excursions, I've always been aware of the architecture around me. Thank you, Pop.
One of the wonders that we drove by often was the Capitol Records building in Hollywood. My Dad's parents lived in Hollywood, so we were in the vicinity almost every weekend from the time I was born until my Grandfather passed away in 1965. We loved seeing a round office tower! I do believe that this was the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
Capitol Records is on Vine Street, north of Hollywood Boulevard. It's 13 stories high. It was designed by Welton Becket Associates (1956). People have said that the shape, along with the spire on top resembles a stack of 45 rpm records on a turntable. It was not originally designed with that in mind, but the legend survives.

1954, Capitol Records Tower

Welton Becket's Elevation Plans for Capitol Records

At night there is a blinking red light on the tip of the rooftop spire.  It spells out "Hollywood" in Morse code. Capitol Records was the first major record label on the west coast.  Musician Johnny Mercer founded the label in 1942 with music store owner Glenn Wallichs and Buddy DeSylva, a musician and producer at Paramount Studios.

Capitol Records Spire viewed from Yucca St., Hollywood

At Holiday Time a "tree" of Christmas Lights is Arranged on the Spire of Capitol Records. Photo by Roy Hankey, 1962.

I love this round building so much, that when my friend, Tony de Carlo (1956-2014) painted his version of a wooden cut-out of the building, I immediately purchased it to hang in our dining room.

Acrylic on Masonite Wood by Tony de Carlo

Blue-Haired Natalie having fun with Tony's Capitol Records Cut-Out. "Nat in the Hat"

I'm so glad that all of the recent controversy about tearing down this iconic building has subsided. Let's hope the Capitol Records Tower lasts forever!

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At 9:17 PM PST, Blogger gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

I love when you do these kinds of posts (and Natalie "wearing" the building is a hoot!)

At 11:12 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks, Gale! I LOVE learning more about my favorite places in Los Angeles. I want everyone to know all about this beautiful City!

At 9:28 PM PST, Blogger latestgeneralnews said...

I have bookmarked this website and I will keep visiting you for further such interesting posts.

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