Capitol Records Bldg | Vine St 08/12/2009 13h13
One of the Hollywood landmarks is the Capitol Records Building for sure. It looks like a pile of vinyl 45s on a turntable if there are still people who remember this phenomenon.
Capitol Records Building
The Capitol Records Tower is one of the most distinctive landmarks in Hollywood, California. The 13-story earthquake-resistant tower, designed by Welton Becket, was the world’s first circular office building, and is home to several recording studios. Although not originally specifically designed as such, the wide curved awnings over windows on each story and the tall spike emerging from the top of the building combine to give it the appearance of a stack of vinyl 45s on a turntable.
The construction of the building was ordered by British company EMI soon after its 1955 acquisition of Capitol Records, and was completed in April 1956. The building is located just north of the intersection of Hollywood and Vine and is the center of the consolidated West Coast operations of Capitol Records—and was nicknamed "The House That Nat Built" to recognize the enormous financial contributions of Capitol star Nat "King" Cole. The rectangular ground floor is a separate structure, joined to the tower after it was completed.
In mid-2008, a controversy erupted over a plan to build a condominium complex next door, igniting fears that the building’s legendary acoustical properties (specifically its renowned underground echo chambers) would be compromised.
The blinking light atop the tower spells out the phrase "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 activating the light was thrown by Lyla Morse, Samuel Morse’s granddaughter. In 1992 it was changed to read "Capitol 50" in honor of the label’s fiftieth anniversary. It has since returned to spelling "Hollywood".
In the 1974 disaster blockbuster film Earthquake, the tower was shown collapsing during a massive tremor. Thirty years later, in an homage to Earthquake, the tower was again depicted as being destroyed, this time by a massive tornado, in The Day After Tomorrow.
In September 2006, owner EMI announced that it had sold the tower and adjacent properties for $50 million to New York-based developer Argent Ventures.
[ Source and more information: Wikipedia – Capitol Rcords Building ]
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