Linde + Robinson Laboratory at Caltech | Los Angeles Conservancy
Linde + Robinson Laboratory at Caltech
Photo by David Wakely

Linde + Robinson Laboratory at Caltech

Built in 1932, the Henry M. Robinson Laboratory of Astrophysics at Caltech was designed by the firm of Mayers Murray & Phillip (formerly Goodhue Associates). They collaborated with Russell W. Porter, noted designer of telescopes and observatories in the early twentieth century.

An elegant, monumental structure, the laboratory building uniquely blends elements of the Spanish Colonial Revival style with celestial and solar motifs, down to original light fixtures depicting starbursts and signs of the zodiac. It beautifully conveys its original function, with fine decorative details and stencil decoration by renowned artisans A.T. Heinsbergen and Company.

The laboratory housed Caltech's astronomers and astrophysicists for nearly eighty years. Among countless achievements made here, Caltech co-founder and renowned astrophysicist George Ellery Hale led the construction of the 200-inch telescope on Mount Palomar.

In 2008, Caltech began transforming the building into the new Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, devoted to developing solutions to the world's complex environmental problems. The remarkable rehabilitation and restoration earned the project a Conservancy Preservation Award in 2012.

Photo courtesy

Braille Institute of America

To address the unique challenge of designing a building for people who would experience a building without ever seeing it, architects Yohannan and Miranda began their process by wearing blindfolds for two weeks.
Rancho Los Amigos and power plant structure. Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

Rancho Los Amigos

The former County Poor Farm, now abandoned, provides a rare glimpse into the early history of Los Angeles.