Herald Examiner Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Gensler-Ryan Gobuty

Herald Examiner Building

William Randolph Hearst commissioned Julia Morgan to design the Examiner building in 1913 to house his sixth newspaper, the Los Angeles Examiner. 

Morgan was California’s first licensed female architect and one of the most influential architects in the state. The Examiner building was the first large-scale project she would design for Hearst – Morgan’s other works commissioned by Hearst include Hearst Castle in San Simeon and Marion Davies’ Estate in Santa Monica (now Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach).

She designed the Herald Examiner building in the Mission Revival style of architecture popular throughout Southern California in the early twentieth century. Located at the southwest corner of Broadway and 11th Streets in downtown Los Angeles, the building's red tile roof and blue and yellow tiled domes make it a visible neighborhood landmark.

It housed the newspaper's offices until 1989, when the newspaper (by then renamed the Herald Examiner) closed.  Within a few years, Hearst Corporation was exploring demolishing the building to make way for a parking lot.

The Conservancy made a call to action and formed a Blue-Ribbon Task Force co-chaired by then Councilmembers Joel Wachs and Rita Waters. We nominated the building for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. It was determined eligible for listing, following the Hearst Corporation's objection to the nomination. 

There was an outpouring of support to preserve the Herald Examiner Building, and Hearst dropped its demolition plans.  Over the following decades, the building became a popular filming location even as it fell into disrepair, and its surrounding area became increasingly neglected and underutilized.

In 2016, Georgetown Company partnered with Hearst Corporation to bring back the architectural legacy and prominence of the building. The $80 million rehabilitation project sought to adaptively reuse the former newspaper offices and production facility for multiple mixed-commercial tenants and catalyze the neighborhood's revitalization.

The Herald Examiner Building reopened in 2021 with Arizona State University as its major tenant, bringing new life to the area.

In 2022, the L.A. Conservancy bestowed the project a Preservation Awards Chair's Award winner.

Photo by Mike Hume

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