Capitol Records Building

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Capitol Records Building
Capitol Records sunset.jpg
Alternative namesCapitol Records Tower
Capitol Tower
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Architectural styleGoogie architecture
Location1750 Vine Street
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°06′11″N 118°19′34″W / 34.103085°N 118.326189°W / 34.103085; -118.326189Coordinates: 34°06′11″N 118°19′34″W / 34.103085°N 118.326189°W / 34.103085; -118.326189
Construction started1955
Completed1956
OwnerArgent Ventures
Height
Antenna spire46 m (151 ft)
Technical details
Floor count13
Lifts/elevators2
Design and construction
ArchitectWelton Becket and Associates
Designated:November 15, 2006
Reference No.857
References
[1][2][3]
 
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Capitol Records Building
Capitol Records sunset.jpg
Alternative namesCapitol Records Tower
Capitol Tower
General information
TypeCommercial offices
Architectural styleGoogie architecture
Location1750 Vine Street
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°06′11″N 118°19′34″W / 34.103085°N 118.326189°W / 34.103085; -118.326189Coordinates: 34°06′11″N 118°19′34″W / 34.103085°N 118.326189°W / 34.103085; -118.326189
Construction started1955
Completed1956
OwnerArgent Ventures
Height
Antenna spire46 m (151 ft)
Technical details
Floor count13
Lifts/elevators2
Design and construction
ArchitectWelton Becket and Associates
Designated:November 15, 2006
Reference No.857
References
[1][2][3]

The Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower, is a Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District building that is located in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The building is a thirteen-story tower that was designed by Welton Becket and is one of the city's landmarks.[4] Construction occurred soon after British company EMI acquired Capitol Records in 1955, and the building was completed in April 1956. Located just north of the Hollywood and Vine intersection, the Capitol Records Tower houses the consolidation of Capitol Records' West Coast operations and is also home to the recording studios and echo chambers of Capitol Studios. The building is included on the List of Registered Historic Places in Los Angeles.[citation needed]

Design[edit]

The building design was based upon the graduate school drawings of Lou Naidorf who, as the primary architect, designed the first circular office building at the age of 24 years.[5][6] The wide curved awnings over windows on each story and the tall spike emerging from the top of the building only coincidentally resembles a stack of records on a turntable.[7] The rectangular ground floor is a separate structure, joined to the tower after completion.

The tower incorporates 13 stories, to conform to the 150-foot (46 m) zoning height limit that was in place at the time of its construction. Height restrictions were later lifted in 1956.[8] The 13th floor of the tower is the "Executive Level" and is represented by an "E" in the building's two elevators.[citation needed]

The blinking light atop the tower spells out the word "Hollywood" in Morse code, and has done so since the building's opening in 1956. This was an idea of Capitol's then president, Alan Livingston, who wanted to subtly advertise Capitol's status as the first record label with a base on the west coast. The switch was initially activated by Leila Morse, the granddaughter of Samuel Morse.[7] In 1992 the light was changed to read "Capitol 50," in honor of the label's fiftieth anniversary—it has since returned to spelling "Hollywood".[citation needed] A black-and-white graphic image of the building appeared on the albums of many Capitol recording artists, with the phrase, "From the Sound Capitol of the World".[citation needed]

Capitol Studios[edit]

The building houses the Capitol Studios, a recording facility which includes an echo chamber engineered by guitarist Les Paul. The first album recorded in the tower was Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color.

In popular culture[edit]

Current disposition[edit]

In September 2006, EMI announced that it had sold the tower and adjacent properties for US$50 million to New York-based developer Argent Ventures. The studio claims that it is threatened by noise from construction of a condominium and underground parking lot by building firm Second Street Ventures that would have heavy equipment working within 18 feet (5.5 m) of its renowned underground echo chambers, which are themselves over 20 feet (6.1 m) below ground level.[10]

According to the CBS Evening News on July 31, 2008, Second Street Ventures deny this, and the developer's co-owner David Jordon says that they have arranged construction work outside the hours of Capitol's recording schedules; he also claimed that they have arranged for soundproof materials to be placed between the underground parking lot and Capitol's echo chambers. A senior record producer in the recording industry, Al Schmitt, says it would be "heartbreaking" if the company could no longer use the echo chambers, which he says are, "the best in the business."[citation needed]

In November 2012, Steve Barnett was announced as the new Chairman & CEO of the Capitol Music Group and the company stated that his office would be based out of the building.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Capitol Records Building at Emporis
  2. ^ Capitol Records Building at Glass Steel and Stone
  3. ^ Capitol Records Building at SkyscraperPage
  4. ^ Christopher Hawthorne (29 May 2011). "Critic's Notebook: Hollywood landmark at a crossroads". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  5. ^ MillenniumHollywood (23 October 2012). "Millennium Hollywood: Lou Naidorf" (Video upload). YouTube. Google, Inc. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Jessica Hundley (16 January 2003). "A star was born". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Huell Howser; Sue Satriano (1988). Exploring L.A. with Huell (mp3) (video). Hollywood, California: KCET. Archived from the original on 20071208. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Nathan Masters (23 May 2012). "L.A.'s Changing Skyline: A Brief History of Skyscrapers in the City of Angels". KCET. KCETLink. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Congressional Record". Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Bob Pool (June 18, 2008). "Capitol Fears For Its Sonic Signature". Los Angeles Times. p. B2. 
  11. ^ August Brown (26 November 2012). "Steve Barnett to lead Capitol Music Group". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 

External links[edit]