Pomona Civic Center | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Pomona Civic Center

In the late 1960s, Pomona decided to revitalize its city center with a new Civic Center and a downtown pedestrian mall. It planned a complex of twelve buildings, but only six were actually built, meaning we will never get to see the auditorium, monorail station, heliport, or residential high-rises that might have been.

The six constructed buildings, completed by 1969, are notable in that they represent the largest concentration of Welton Becket and Associates-designed architecture in the nation.

Becket was renowned for his Modern designs and for his adherence to the concept of total design, exerting control over every aspect and detail of a project. The City Hall, Council Chambers, Public Library, Police Department, Superior Court, and Public Health buildings are all carefully related to each other and feature similar building materials, especially exposed aggregate concrete.

They are largely New Formalist in style, with features like thin columns, overhanging roofs, and a pavilion-like feel. City Hall and the Council Chambers building are an interesting pair, both designed by B. H. Anderson for Welton Becket and Associates. City Hall is monumental, with two rectangular volumes joined by a central glass pavilion with a dramatic overhanging roof. The Council Chambers building is small and circular, like a miniature version of the Forum in Los Angeles.

Spatial variation in the complex is created by a unifying pedestrian plaza that changes levels and ties the complex together; it features broad walkways and park-like plantings to soften the more severe lines of the government buildings. The complex once included reflecting pools, now drained, that reportedly were stocked with trout for fishing contests.

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Ambassador College

A wide array of diverse architectural styles dating from 1905 to the 1970s, all the buildings make sense together thanks to a cohesive master plan and strong landscape design.
Mel's
Photo by Jessica Hodgdon/L.A. Conservancy

Mel's

A great example of Louis Armet and Eldon Davis early Googie designs, showing their use of angled rooflines, dramatic signage, and other space-age elements that would become even more angled and dramatic in their later work.