Beverly Hills City Hall

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Beverly Hills City Hall
BeverlyHillsCityHall03.jpg
General information
TypeCity hall
Architectural styleSpanish Revival architecture
Address455 North Rexford Drive, Beverly Hills, California, 90210
Completed1932
Renovated1982; 2008
Design and construction
ArchitectWilliam J. Gage, Harry G. Koerner

The Beverly Hills City Hall is a historic building and city hall in Beverly Hills, California.

Location[edit]

The building is surrounded by North Santa Monica Boulevard, North Rexford Drive, South Santa Monica Boulevard, and North Crescent Drive,[1] its main entrance is at 455 North Rexford Drive, which faces the Beverly Hills Public Library, adjacent to the Beverly Hills Police Department.[1][2][3] A few doors below on North Rexford Drive is the Beverly Hills Fire Department, next to the Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden.[1] Behind it, on South Santa Monica Boulevard, is the Beverly Hills Civic Center.[1]

Close-up of the cupola.

History[edit]

In the 1910s and 1920s, before this building was constructed, city administration services took place at the Beverly Hills Hotel.[4] However, in 1925, a two-storey building was erected on Burton Way to serve as a city hall and fire department building,[5] yet five years later, a petition signed by 2,000 residents which was presented to the Beverly Hills City Council called for a new building in a new location.[5]

Thus, in 1930, land was purchased from the Pacific Electric to build the city hall.[5][6] Construction lasted from 1931 to 1932;[6] the building was designed by architects William J. Gage and Harry G. Koerner in the Spanish Revival architectural style (though sometimes also characterized Churrigueresque).[3][4][7][5] The building was constructed by the Herbert M. Baruch Corporation. When the city hall opened in 1932, it was called by The Los Angeles Times the "largest and most expensive City Hall of any municipality its size in the country."[5][6]

The building was renovated in 1982.[2] Additionally, it was expanded from 49,000 to 67,000 square feet.[2] Moreover, the ground-floor reception area was renovated in 2008, when the main entrance was moved from North Crescent Drive to North Rexford Drive.[2]

The building appears in the movie In a Lonely Place (dir. Nicholas Ray, 1950),[8] it is also used as the police department building in Beverly Hills Cop (dir. Martin Brest, 1984).[9]

For the Beverly Hills centennial in 2014, a 15,000-slice cake in the shape of the Beverly Hills City Hall was designed by chef Donald Wressell of the Guittard Chocolate Company and decorated by Rosselle and Marina Sousa,[10][11] it cost US$200,000 to make.[10]

As part of the Beverly Hills Centennial Arts of Palm Installation, sculptor Brad Howe designed four sculptures outside the City Hall.[12] According to The Beverly Hills Courier, it is "the largest short-term public art installation ever to be held in Beverly Hills."[12]

In the midst of the 2015 drought, the city government replaced the grass in front of the city hall with Mexican sage to reduce their water consumption.[13]

Purpose[edit]

The building houses the city administration, including the office of the Mayor of Beverly Hills and board meetings of the Beverly Hills City Council.[2] Additionally, it houses the Municipal Gallery, an evolving art space designed by interior designer Gere Kavanaugh.[14]

Inside the building, a sculpture by Auguste Rodin called Torso of a Walking Man can be seen.[15]

Heritage value[edit]

In May 2013, the Beverly Hills City Council voted to add the building to its list of historical preservations.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Google Map
  2. ^ a b c d e City of Beverly Hills: City Hall
  3. ^ a b Beverly Hills City Hall, Time Out
  4. ^ a b BEVERLY HILLS, A BRIEF HISTORY Archived February 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Beverly Hills Historical Society
  5. ^ a b c d e f Eve Bachrach, Beverly Hills Landmarking 1932 Churrigueresque City Hall, LA Curbed, May 7, 2013
  6. ^ a b c Marc Wanamaker (2005). Early Beverly Hills. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 115. ISBN 0738530689.
  7. ^ Jeff Dickey, Los Angeles, Rough Guides, 2003, p. 114
  8. ^ Karie Bible, Marc Wanamaker, Harry Medved, Location Filming in Los Angeles, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2010, p. 93 [1]
  9. ^ Gabriel Solomons, World Film Locations: Los Angeles, Bristol, England: Intellect Books, 2011, p. 56 [2]
  10. ^ a b Martha Groves, For Beverly Hills' centennial, a 15,000-slice cake — of course, The Los Angeles Times, April 25, 2014
  11. ^ Amy Scattergood, A Chocolate Cake for 15,000 People Comes to Rodeo Drive Archived 2014-05-10 at the Wayback Machine, LA Weekly, April 30, 2014
  12. ^ a b 'Arts of Palm', The Beverly Hills Courier, August 22, 2014 Volume XXXXVIIII, Number 34, p. 1 [3]
  13. ^ Carlton, Jim (May 5, 2015). "Nowhere Is Safe From California Drought—Not Even Beverly Hills". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  14. ^ City of Beverly Hills: Municipal Gallery
  15. ^ City of Beverly Hills: Public Art in Beverly Hills

Coordinates: 34°04′22″N 118°24′02″W / 34.0729°N 118.4005°W / 34.0729; -118.4005